Flying into Puerto Vallarta, you can see just how remote the peninsula is thanks to a birds-eye view.
The Aeroméxico and Delta Opening Cocktail was held at the St. Regis, where guests had the opportunity to sample offerings from chefs participating in the festival.
The standout dish of the Opening Cocktail was a stewed octopus tostada.
The breakfast menu at Ketsi includes traditional chilaquiles, fried tortilla slices doused in red or green salsa, with fried eggs on top and the optional addition of chicken.
The view from the lobby at the St. Regis.
Held at the St. Regis’ Carolina restaurant, four French chefs paid tribute to their adopted home of Mexico via dishes including Sylvain Desbois’ lobster salad with achiote chile, black bean purée, spicy mango, and avocado.
The meal’s highlight was tuna a la plancha topped with huitlacoche and squid, served atop potato foam and chorizo and tomatillo salsa, prepared by chef Thierry Blouet.
Here’s the view from the tee at 3B, the Pacifico golf course’s famous par-3 hole and the world’s only natural ocean green, looking out to a green on an island 199 yards offshore.
One of the St. Regis’ hidden gems, the Mita Mary Boat is a small restaurant located right on the beach, grilling up the catch of the day. Australian chef Andrew Ormsby, who runs a catering company and four bars in Dallas, was at the helm for the weekend. “We’re working with seafood right out of the ocean, it’s fresh and gorgeous,” he told me. “If you’re working with great product, it comes easy.”
Lunch at the Mita Mary Boat started with cold-peeled king prawns with spiced tomato remoulade and lemon.
Up next was black grouper ceviche with avocado, tomato, and jalapeño.
The main course was grilled mahi-mahi with serrano polenta and poblano-chipotle cream.
At the awards ceremony held in a tent near the driving range, Michelin-starred chef Montse Estruch of Barcelona’s famed El Cingle restaurant served her famous paella.
For the closing night party, the Four Seasons’ pool area was converted into a sprawling outdoor event space, with signature cocktails, free-flowing Mexican wines, and more than a dozen culinary options prepared by both the resorts’ chefs as well as those invited for the festival.
Four Seasons chef Hector Leyva served plantain gorditas stuffed with braised duck, topped with his family-recipe mole sauce.
Leyva also served a mezcal-marinated mahi-mahi ceviche with pineapple and gusano sea salt.
Chef Ramon Bramasco served a lamb short rib taco, topped with diced onions and cilantro.
Chef Jose Salas served a grilled adobo yellowfin tuna, with edamame, purslane, grapefruit, and avocado foam.
No Mexican party is complete without mezcal, and beverage manager Alfredo Sanchez was on hand to pour samples of many varieties from all throughout Mexico, most of which are unavailable in the U.S. Mezcal can be produced just about anywhere in Mexico, from any type of agave, whereas tequila can only be produced in a specific region from the blue agave, so there’s plenty of room for experimentation and creativity. More than 80 varieties are available for sampling at the Four Seasons.