FOOD & WINE Launches Its First Culinary Festival in Latin America in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

The ‘FOOD & WINE Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo’ in March 2011 will showcase tastes of the nation, as well as local and internationally renowned chefs

NEW YORK and IXTAPAZIHUATANEJO, Mexico — Epicures will be heading south of the border this Winter for the inaugural FOOD & WINE Festival in IxtapaZihuatanejo on March 26-28, 2011 hosted by FOOD & WINE in conjunction with the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Convention and Visitors Bureau. The three-day event will honor the philosophy of “32 tastes, 1 history, 1 soul” in showcasing the authentic cuisine of the region and of Mexico as a whole.

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 IxtapaZihuatanejo 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.

“From the local produce and fresh fish, to the street markets and great restaurants, there’s a passion for authentic cuisine in Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo which make this the perfect travel destination and a natural fit for this epicurean festival,” said Christina Grdovic, vp/publisher of FOOD & WINE.  “We are excited to be partnering with the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Convention and Visitors Bureau to bring passionate foodies and top culinary talents together in this Latin American destination for a fun and adventurous weekend.”

The festival lineup, finalized later this fall, will feature both local and internationally renowned chefs sharing their secrets of the trade in seminars, presentations and intimate tours of the local culinary community. Tickets and a complete festival lineup will be announced later in 2010.

“We are honored to host FOOD & WINE and usher in a new era of celebrating the food of Mexico. Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo represent the best the country has to offer – not only in terms of cuisine, but also as a unique destination for world travelers. We couldn’t be more excited about partnering with FOOD & WINE and sharing the culture and cuisine that defines our great country,” said Higinio de Leon, Chairman of the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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, IxtapaZihuatanejo‘s activities include world-class spas, beaches, surfing, shopping and eco-tourism. With over 75 hotels and more than 25 miles of beach, IxtapaZihuatanejo provides an authentic escape unlike any other Mexican destination.

The towns are also committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Earlier this year, El Palmar, the stunning 1.6-mile beach which spans the front of Ixtapa‘s resorts and hotels, was certified by the Mexican government as a “Clean Beach” for its water quality, biodiversity and environmental education, among other factors.  El Palmar is the largest beach in Mexico and the first in the state of Guerrero to earn the certification.

What makes IxtapaZihuatanejo distinctive is the multifaceted appeal of the two neighboring yet unique towns. Ixtapa is a vacation haven of sandy beachfront and five-star resorts, while the older Zihuatanejo is a picturesque, traditional fishing village with ocean-front boutique hotels. Travelers to the region experience the best of both the modern and traditional, the visitor and the local, just moments apart.

About IxtapaZihuatanejo: IxtapaZihuatanejo 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 IxtapaZihuatanejo airport can be reached by non-stop service via several major U.S. 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.