32 Tastes of Mexico, a year's worth of planning

Food & Wine Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

If you’ve been following the tweets from the Curator team this week, you’ve probably noticed that we’re sending updates from a bit further south than usual. That’s because we’re in Mexico, producing Curator’s first major food festival event: The FOOD & WINE Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.

The festival, co-produced with FOOD & WINE Magazine, kicks off in just a few hours with a VIP party and runs through Monday, encompassing mezcal tastings, dinners on the beach, cooking presentations from high-profile guest chefs from throughout Mexico, and even a market-to-table demo from renowned chef/author and Top Chef Masters winner Rick Bayless.

Festival sign

Our strategy in creating this festival was to differentiate Ixapa-Zihuatanejo from other Mexican destinations. Instead of tequila shots and spring breakers, these towns offer a more sophisticated, food-focused experience. That’s reflected in a diverse, interactive event that we’re pleased to see is already putting the towns of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo in the same conversation as culinary destinations like Aspen, New York and South Beach.

We look forward to how this will help the destination as a whole in the long run, as the festival continues to grow in 2012, and, ideally, several years in the future. Imagine how the talent pool for an executive chef at an Ixtapa hotel will expand when candidates know they can participate in this marquee event.

But this weekend, we’re focusing on a schedule that includes catamaran tours, wine seminars, a gala showcasing “32 Tastes of Mexico” and much more. Visit www.foodandwine.com/iz for the full schedule, or just look for #IZFWF on Twitter. Hasta luego!