What follows is a magazine article produced for the beautiful regional interest magazines Highlites and AlterEgo. We welcome Highlights and AlterEgo as the newest Executive Chef Sponsors for Taste of Playa and thank them for their support. Look for this article to appear in the next publication, late August/early September.
Coming to the Riviera Maya during the slow season? Looking for something special to make your vacation truly memorable? A new festival planned for early September will certainly fit the bill. This fall, a committee of dedicated volunteers will launch the first large scale international culinary celebration ever proposed in the Riviera Maya. The Taste of Playa story goes back several months to an idea, a vision of Steering Committee Co-chair Nicola Inwood. “Playa Del Carmen is a first class tourist destination that deserves a first class international event that celebrates the international influences that have built this city. Taste of Playa and the committee that is organizing it, will be just the ticket to boost the global image of Playa Del Carmen and Mexico.”
Having previously participated in similar international food festivals in Canada, Nicola knew the scope of the project she was about to propose. She enlisted friends and fellow business owners, gathering a team of like-minded but diverse Playa del Carmen residents to contribute their time, skills and enthusiasm to this challenging new initiative. Not surprisingly, her proposal was met with an overwhelmingly positive response and the all volunteer Taste of Playa Steering Committee was formed.
Since then, this dedicated group of women has spent countless hours conceiving and organizing a cohesive event plan for a community food festival that will not only draw tourists to this beautiful area but also appeal to the residents of the Riviera Maya. Taste of Playa will celebrate the creativity and diverse cultural influences of chefs throughout the Riviera Maya and promote the unique culinary perspectives that have contributed to the cosmopolitan reputation of Playa Del Carmen. Widely recognized as one of the top vacation destinations in the world, Playa has gained this distinction by not only celebrating and maintaining the integrity of the Mexican heritage but also by embracing and incorporating the cultural influences brought by visitors from all over the world.
The success of this event will require a collaborative effort on the part of local government, business leaders and countless volunteers. Dozens of local Playa del Carmen business owners have thrown their support behind this exciting event. Buy Playa Real Estate Advisors and Bric International are supporting Taste of Playa at the Platinum Sponsorship level with LocoGringo.com, Luna Blue Hotel, One Stop Real Estate and North American Standards stepping up the plate as Executive Chef Sponsors.
Every year, funds raised by the Taste of Playa event will go to support a regional feeding or clean water program. This year, a portion of the proceeds will be awarded to Ak Lu’um International School, a non-profit private learning institution in Playa del Carmen that integrates young students with physically and developmentally challenged children in a safe and inclusive learning environment with 36% of the student population awarded full scholarships. Funds raised by Taste of Playa 2009 will provide the school with clean, safe drinking water for students, teachers and volunteers.
The first annual Taste of Playa will be held on September 5, 2009 from 3pm to 9pm in the newly renovated Parque Fundadores in Playa del Carmen. Entrance to the event is open to the public and completely free of charge. Individual samples from the participating restaurants and beverages may be purchased with Taste of Playa Pesos available for sale online, at the event or after August 15th from Hotel Cielo, Hotel Tropical Casablanca and Luna Blue Hotel.