Cancun, located in the Quintana Roo state, is México's number one tourist destination and is well known all over the world for its spectacular beaches, unique beauty and breathtaking turquoise waters. Its shoreline recently underwent a $71 million makeover that involved 1.3 billion gallons of sand which was used to renovate the Hotel Zone's seashore. But before you get too excited about the sand, there is still more good news to come.
Seven of Cancun's hotels and restaurants have received the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award for 2012. The AAA Five Diamond Award is the highest level of the AAA Diamond Ratings System for restaurants and lodgings administered by AAA (also known as the American Automobile Association). The AAA Five Diamond award is similar to a Five Star rating on a hotel. However, AAA chose to use diamonds ratings instead of stars.
With three restaurants ranked as AAA Five Diamond Award winners, Cancun has now earned its place among the ranks of the Top 4 cities with the most highly-acclaimed restaurants. Cancun also offers visitors four AAA Five Diamond hotels and resorts, the most out of any other international destination.
Cancun hosts a variety of activities in order to keep tourists entertained and one such outstanding event is the Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival that is to be held on March 15 to 18 of 2012. As many as 40 world-renowned chefs and sommeliers from across the Americas will present delectable dishes and pour exquisite wines and spirits. The festival will also honour the talented and renowned Chef Ferrán Adrià while benefiting the foundation Ciudad de la Alegría, which supports severely under privileged children, provides solutions for female victims of violence and brings help to the elderly deprived of family support in the community.
With a pleasant average annual temperature of 77 °F and famed for its large scale all-inclusive resorts and historical tourism, Riviera Maya offers tropical relaxation and cosmopolitan glamour.
In addition to these great features, food and wine lovers can now start scheduling their calendars for the First Annual Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival to be held March 15-18, 2012. The gourmet lifestyle event is dedicated exclusively to celebrating the best the Americas have to offer in terms of culinary talent, wine, food and spirits, as well as the rich ingredients and cultural traditions known to México.
Events include a gala reception, wine & spirit tastings, mixology seminars, celebrity chef cooking demos, a Cancun after-dark party, a gourmet tasting village, catamaran cruise and beach club dinner, panel presentations, networking luncheon, and a closing fiesta with a Latin grill competition. This year's special guest chef is Ferrán Adrià of the famous el Bulli restaurant, who will host a celebrity chef dinner and preside over this annual cooking festival that will feature over 30 distinct events spread out over 4 days and will highlight México's rising culinary stars, as well as culinary talent from all of North America.
México has had more culinary trainees travel to Spain to learn from the iconographic, celebrity Chef Ferrán Adrià than any other country in the world. After decades of México's fine dining chefs focusing on cuisine from other parts of the world, México's youngest top chefs are focusing on their roots and honoring the indigenous recipes and ingredients of their rich, fertile native land, while at the same time using cutting edge techniques and little-known Mexican artisan-produced ingredients.
Celebrity Chefs from around the world include Ferrán Adrià from Spain; Ingrid Hoffman, Jacques Pepin, Junior Merino, Aarón Sánchez, and Marcela Valladolid from the United States; Cristian Correa from Chile, Canadians Jerome Ferrer, Normand Laprise and Daniel Vezina; Martin Molteni from Argentina; Brasilian Mara Salles; and finally México's Paulina Abascal, Paola Garduño, Guillermo González Beristain, Federico López, Benito Molina, Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, Edgar Núñez, Enrique Olvera, Bruno Oteiza, Patricia Quintana, Alejandro Ruiz, Roberto Solís, José Ramón Castillo and Enrique Farjeat.
Festival partners & sponsors include: The Cancun Conventions Bureau; the Riviera Maya Tourism Trust, and Visit México; American Express Company (México); Grupo Herdez, Grupo Modelo, Travelocity.com USA and México, Nespresso, Nestlé Professional, Nestle Waters (S. Pellegrino, Perrier, Sta. María), Porsche, Viking, Coral Beach Fiesta Americana Hotel, Live Aqua Hotel, Me Hotel, Le Meridien Hotel, Condesa Fiesta Americana Hotel, La Negrita, Azul Tequila, Canirac, Pepsi, HotelBeds.Com, Vinoteca, La Europea, Constellation Brands, Ferrer&Asociados, Saveur, Latin Lover Magazine, Gula, Catadores, Taller Gourmet, Tattinger Champagne and many others in advanced discussion. There are a limited number of sponsorship and hospitality opportunities still available.