Award-Winning Chef and Author Rick Bayless Will Be Featured Chef at the ‘FOOD & WINE Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo’

Winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and America’s authority on Mexican cuisine to join celebrated Mexican chefs to shine a spotlight on authentic tastes of Mexico

NEW YORK and IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO, Mexico, December, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — FOOD & WINE announced that award-winning chef and author Rick Bayless of the acclaimed Frontera Grill Chicago will be the featured chef at the inaugural FOOD & WINE Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo . The event, held on March 26-28, 2011, is hosted by FOOD & WINE in conjunction with the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Convention and Visitors Bureau. During the festival, Bayless will join forces with acclaimed chefs and mixologists from throughout Mexico to guide attendees on a palate-expanding journey of the country’s cuisine set in the Pacific Coast paradise. Together, the chefs will host three days of cooking demonstrations, tastings, seminars and intimate tours of the local culinary community to honor the philosophy of “32 tastes, 1 history, 1 soul.”

Bayless, noted for creative and contemporary Mexican cuisine, is credited with introducing Americans to an authentic Mexican epicurean experience. This year, Bayless was invited to prepare a meal at the White House state dinner honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderon. His passion for Mexico comes from years studying Spanish language and Latin American Studies, and the time he spent living in Mexico while writing his now-classic cookbook, Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico (William Morrow, 1987).

“I’m thrilled to participate in this festival and share with travelers a glimpse into the beautiful country that has inspired so much of my career,” said Bayless. “In Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, you’ll find a real appreciation for authentic cuisine, making this a perfect destination for the first-ever FOOD & WINE Festival in Latin America. Travelers can enjoy the bounty of a picturesque fishing village, and the unparalleled service of some of the best five-star resorts. I’m looking forward to working with the country’s top culinary talent during this weekend celebration.”

“We are honored to have Rick Bayless join us for the inaugural FOOD & WINE festival as we usher in a new era of celebrating the food of Mexico. There simply is no better ambassador to help guests in our country experience the best cuisine of Mexico,” said Higinio de Leon, Chairman of the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Bayless joins a group of noted chefs and sommeliers from across Mexico.

About the FOOD & WINE Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

FOOD & WINE, which presents the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and sponsors the New York City Wine & Food Festival and South Beach Wine & Food Festival, chose Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo for the magazine’s first foray into Latin America. The pristine setting, exceptional resorts, service and rich culinary heritage were all factors in the decision to bring this definitive event to the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

Beyond the plate, attendees will be able to enjoy all that this tropical paradise has to offer. Recognized as both a Top 10 Family Destination in the World and as a Top 10 Romance Destination in the Caribbean and Mexico by TripAdvisor, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo’s activities include world-class spas, beaches, surfing, shopping and eco-tourism. With over 75 hotels and more than 25 miles of beach, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo provides an authentic escape unlike any other Mexican destination.

The complete festival lineup and ticket information will be announced later this fall. For more information, visit

About Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo: Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is one of the premier vacation destinations in Mexico. Located on the Pacific Coast, it boasts world-class hotels, restaurants, fishing, surfing and family activities. Situated just 10 minutes apart, Ixtapa is a modern beach resort town, while Zihuatanejo is a historic fishing port. The Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo airport can be reached by non-stop service via several major U.S. and Canadian airlines.

About FOOD & WINE: FOOD & WINE is the modern, stylish, trend-spotting, talent-seeking epicurean brand. Created by American Express Publishing, the luxury-lifestyle authority, FOOD & WINE includes a monthly magazine with a circulation of 925,000, a books division and the website, with updates on Twitter (@fandw) and Facebook.