Friday, May 30, 2014

Food Festival, Boulud and Secrets Farewell

It was another beautiful day in Cancun as I woke up refreshed at Secrets The Vine.

I wasn’t rushing anywhere this morning so I went down for breakfast in the Market CafĂ©.  The selection was as big as it had been for lunch the previous day.

I had a little of everything, including one of my Mexican favorites, Chilaquiles. These are tortilla chips soaked in a green chile sauce (it can also be made with red sauce) and topped with cheese.

After breakfast, I changed into my bathing suit and met up with my fellow journalists at the Preferred pool.

It had a unique infinity setting that made you feel like you were floating in the middle of nowhere. We enjoyed some cocktails and chatted about how unique this setting was.

In the afternoon, we all headed to the Gourmet Tasting Village at the Moon Palace Resort. It was very different from ones I had been to at previous wine and food Festivals. It was smaller and had a bigger concentration on food than personalities or food products.

I sampled a selection of wine, mostly from Mexico and other Latin countries.  One that I really enjoyed was the Vallformosa Mistinguett Cava Brut from Catalonia, Spain.

All of the major resorts and restaurants in the area also had booths with samples of food from their restaurants. 

Since we were on one of their properties, Palace Resorts had quite a selection.  I enjoyed sampled Dona Pura sauces and preserves, and lots of chocolates

Also participating in the festival were students from Gastronomia, who made some delicious treats.  In fact, I have to say I was most impressed with their offerings.

We had a few hours before the banquet for Daniel Boulud and I took advantage of them to enjoy the main pool and beach some more. It was, after all, my last day.

The formal Tribute Dinner was held just downstairs at Secrets The Vine. It began with a cocktail hour by Taittinger Champagne.

The wine pairing dinner was coordinated by top chefs and sommeliers who participated in the festival, including Oliver Augeard and Elyse Lambert.

The chefs prepared items that were inspired by Boulud, such as a Saint Jacques Carpaccio and Beef Indochine braised in a sweet soy sauce.  All the chefs were recognized on stage before Festival Director David Amar presented Daniel Boulud with his award.

I had my final night of sleep in my junior suite at Secrets The Vine.. I took one more look at the breathtaking view of the Caribbean Sea from my balcony before grabbing my bags to leave in the morning.  I was definitely regretting not adding another day to the trip, but I knew I would be back. 

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