From the passions of food lovers everywhere, the Food Network was born… along with TV shows like Top Chef and Rick Bayless – Mexico One Plate At A Time, a renewed interest in cookbooks, food magazines such as Bon Appétit, Saveur and Cook's Illustrated, the popularity of farmers' markets like the Saturday Organic Market, food websites like Chowzter’s Foodie Hub, food blogs like Nick Gilman's Good Food in Mexico City, stores like Williams-Sonoma and of course rock star celebrity chefs. Call it the culinary boom that’s not about to slow down anytime soon.
Traveling for the past three years, I have found Mexico to be full of food adventures. The promise is endless, even in the smallest pueblo tucked away in the most remote corner of Mexico. But this month, you don’t have to travel to get the experience. You get a double dose of indulgence with not one but two food festivals in San Miguel.
Mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual Sabores San Miguel and the debut of the San Miguel Food Festival, both part of the Cumbre Internacional de la Gastronomía de Guanajuato.
The festivals feature a variety of chefs, restaurants and products that showcase the diversity and national influence of San Miguel’s culinary profile.
Come hungry. You’ll delight in the food samplings and although you’ll be tempted to stick with your favorites, there are plenty of new chefs and restaurant to check out.
And if really want to master the art of the food festival? Calories consumed while:
sitting at a Chefs Table;
eating off someone’s plate;
on a holiday or a weekend;
partying on the patio at the Instituto until 3 AM;
someone else feeds you;
you’re listening to live music;
drinking out of a martini or margarita glass;
wearing your favorite color (why I have so many Rosa Mexicana outfits)
The 3rd Annual Sabores San Miguel will be held June 12-14, 2015.
What’s new this year? For the first time, the festival will include guest chefs from San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Toronto and London.
Carlo Mirarchi, Roberta's/Blanca, NYC
Photo: Food Fashionista
Carlo is the chef and owner of highly acclaimed Brooklyn restaurant Roberta's. His latest venture, Blanca, received a Michelin Star in 2012 and was recently named one of the country's top ten restaurants by the Times, Bon Appétit, and other publications worldwide. He was named one of Food and Wine's Best New Chefs of 2011.
Ted Torrado, Drake Hotel, Toronto
Chef Ted Corrado joined Drake Hotel Properties as Corporate Executive Chef in 2013. Corrado won Chef of the Year in 2008 from the Compass Group Canada and was named a Top 10 Chef in Toronto for the Gold Medal Plates competitions between 2009 and 2011.
Neal Fraser, Redbird/Vibiana; Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America, Los Angeles
Photo: Helist Collective
Recently, Neal Fraser expanded his repertoire with a fast-casual concept called Fritzi Dog, a healthier and higher-end hot dog stand at the Farmer’s Market at The Grove.
In late 2012, Fraser took over Vibiana and has passionately labored to breathe new life into the historic structure, and just recently opened Redbird.
Chef Fraser has been seen on the Food Network series Iron Chef America, as well as Top Chef Masters and Hell’s Kitchen, and most recently battled and beat Chef Bobby Flay on Beat Bobby Flay.
Joe Hargrave, Tacolicious/Chino, San Francisco
Joe Hargrave is the CEO of Tacolicious Management Inc. Tacolicious operates four locations in San Francisco and a tequila bar called Mosto. He also recently opened Chino.
Sara Deseran, Food Writer, San Francisco
Sara Deseran is a food writer and co-owner of both Tacolicious and Chino.
Bret Thompson, Pez Cantina/Milk, Los Angeles
Photo: LA Times
Bret left the Patina group to pursue his dream of opening his first business, MILK, Ice cream, bakeshop and café in Hollywood. In 2014 Bret opened his newest restaurant Pez Cantina, a Coastal Mexican Kitchen in downtown Los Angeles.
Quentin Frye, Big Bear Café, Washington DF
Quinten took his first Executive Chef position at Hawaii’s “Best New Restaurant” of 2012 - SALT Bar & Kitchen. He was a James Beard Award Semi-Finalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year and Hawaii Rising Star Chef for Sustainability. Frye returned to the mainland in 2014, running the show at Big Bear Café.
Lily Jones, The Lily Vanilli Bakery, London
Lily Jones has The Lily Vanilli Bakery on London's Columbia Road. Her clients include Elton John and Downing Street. She is one of the co-founders of the YBF Awards, now in its fourth year.
• Thursday from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (Charity Event)
• Friday from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
• Saturday 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
• Sunday 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
On Thursday June 11, the guest chefs will do a benefit for Feed the Hungry San Miguel and Huertos Sustenables San Miguel at Casa del Parque at Calle Baeza #7, behind the park, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. Chefs will have food stations, an open bar and live music. The cost is $650 pesos/$45 USD.
Kickoff for Sabores San Miguel will be on Friday, June 12. On Saturday, June 13, the chefs will offer samples of food to showcase the style of their restaurant. On Sunday, June 14, the chefs will recreate outdoor food markets as a tribute to street food.
Location: Parque Juárez, Calle Hermanos Aldama, Centro, San Miguel de Allende.
Cost: 25 pesos for all food and drink offerings. Entry to the food festival is free.
Many of San Miguel’s restaurants are participating including Augamiel, Casa Sierra Nevada, La Parada, The Restaurant, Hotel Matilda, The Rosewood, De Temporada and Aperi.
Events will feature cooking demonstrations, workshops, tastings, live music, children’s activities and other festivities which will include the producers of bread, cheese, olive oil, wine, beer, mezcals, meats and organic products from the region.
With all the rumors flying around about a certain chef sky diving into the park on Saturday to do her cake demo, half of San Miguel is likely to show up so get there early.
Photos: San Miguel Food Festival (unless otherwise noted)
This show makes its debut with a lot of high spirits and local flavors including San Miguel’s chef all-stars: Victor Palma (The Rosewood); Mateo Salas (Aperi); and Donnie Masterton (The Restaurant).
Photo: Food and Wines from Spain
It’s all in the family with the celebrated trio of father, Bricio Domínguez (El Jardín de los Milagros); son, Alonso Domínguez (Nextia) and nephew Pablo Domínguez (13 cielos). Book them at the Chefs Table Saturday night to have an authentic family experience.
Also featured are local favorites Chef Davide Giribaldi (Mi Vida); Chef Allen Williams (The Food Factory), and Chef Marco Cruz (Bui Cocina de Campo).
Making appearances are esteemed chefs Dante Ferrero (Neuquen); Leonardo de La Sierra (Equipo de San Miguel Gourmet) and private chefs Jonathan Alvarado and Julián García.
• Friday from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM
• Saturday 12:00 PM to 3:00 AM
• Sunday 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
All events will take place at the historic and picturesque Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, Centro, San Miguel de Allende. Be sure to take note of the stunning view from the back terrace; it’s one of the best in San Miguel.
$120 pesos per bracelet
This is a great price because with the bracelet you can go in and out as many times and days as you want. Don’t lose that bracelet however or you’ll have to buy another one.
The VIP Roof Terrace Party on Saturday, starting at 10:00 PM ending at 1:00 AM.
You are then welcomed to join the Fountain Patio Party that ends at 3:00 AM. Yes, you had better pack your PJ’s. It’s going to be a really late night.
Fountain Patio Party starting on Saturday at 10:00 PM and ending at 3:00 AM. People who already purchased the bracelet to get in are welcomed to join the party.
The VIP ticket. You can enter as many times as you want during the festival weekend. It also includes the VIP Roof Terrace Party on Saturday and one Chefs Table at either lunch or dinner. The bonus: You get to choose your chefs.
Photo: Explore and Go Mexico
Here’s a nibble of what you’ll get at the Chef Tables:
Friday Lunch: Leonardo de La Sierra and SMA Gourmet
Friday Dinner: Donnie Masterton, Marco Cruz, +1
Saturday Lunch: Victor Palma and Mateo Salas
Saturday Dinner: The Dominguez Family
Sunday Brunch: Allen Williams and Julian Garcia
Sunday Grill Out: Dante Ferrero
Check the website for an updated list of events.
Who will be there? Restaurateurs • Chefs • Hotels and Tourism officials • Designers • Art and Artists • Event Planners • Your entourage.
Photo: Cupcakes and Crablegs
Enjoy: Live Music – Elliot the Furniture, Los Rumberos De Massachusetts, Rabeats, and Alex Cross • Children's area • Mojigangas • Wine • Beer • Beverages • Mezcal • Gourmet Products • Free Wifi.
Photo: Casita Linda
Casita Linda: The San Miguel Food Festival has generously donated a portion of the ticket sales to Casita Linda. Casita Linda builds homes for the poor in San Miguel. Look for the Casita Linda booth at the Festival.
Go ahead and splurge. You’ve always wanted to book a Chefs Table but as we all know, there are not that many in San Miguel.
Chefs Tables are the front row seat to all the action and you’ll have an opportunity to get up front and personal with the chefs.
There is nothing a chef loves more than to have people at his table that are as committed to the food as he is. It makes for inspiring conversation and chances are you’ll learn a lot.
Can’t decide which chefs to single out? No help here. Like any great chef, this group breaks all the rules when it comes to cooking.
Savor every bite. It’s definitely worth the price of a VIP ticket just to catch this experience.