Krug’s Road trip to Cabos!

#CALITOCABO

fullsizeoutput_758c

In my last Krug post I mentioned that we had plan for getting Krug to Cabos, but unfortunately this plan fell though, so we needed a QUICK new plan.  Our new plan was for Xavier and I to drive Krug to Cabos in my car.  I would drive from San Francisco to San Diego (Part 1) and Xavier would drive from San Diego to Los Cabos (Part 2).  Fortunately for us Krug LOVES car rides!!   When I say LOVE….seriously, I mean it.  Sometimes he won’t come out of the car.

It’s actually very easy to bring pets (however, I can only speak about dogs) to Cabos.  Here is what is required to bring your dog into Mexico:

  1.   Proof of current vaccinations at least 15 days prior to travel.
  2.   Proof of current rabies vaccination
  3.   Tick and worms treatment within 6 months of entering Mexico
  4.   Health certificate within 10 days of travel
  5.   MircoChip is recommended

Since I was pretty much at the vet on a regular basis, and was in communication with my vet about all the requirements Krug would need, I was able to get all this accomplished quickly and easily.  It actually was pretty sad leaving our vet and all the great pet caregivers.  They all came out to say goodbye to Krug – who was definitely a regular there.

The plan was for me to drive to San Diego in my car, and there I would meet Xavier who would take over driving from there.   I would fly back to SFO from San Diego.  I had a co-pilot, and we left around 10am with a car packed with Krug’s things and headed South.  We have friends that live in Laguna, so we stopped there for the night (and a party, which was so much fun and great timing), and left the next morning around 10am to meet Xavier in San Diego for the transition.

fullsizeoutput_758e

I had Part 1, the easy part.  Part 2 – was a bit more of an adventure for sure.  I still get bits and pieces of this part of the trip to this day.  The drive is about 22 hours from the Mexican boarder to Los Cabos.  We have a friend, who has done the drive several times and told Xavier where to stop for food, lodging and gas, and what hotels (I should say motels) take large breed dogs.

Here are some photos from Part 2.  Xavier said there are some great parts of the drive and some not so great parts.  There are parts of the road that are not paved and if you happen to be French and drive too fast (LOL) you might just end up with a few flat tires from the out-of-no-where pot holes…..The last count I heard was that there were 3 flat tires!  My big question was….where do you find tires when you are in the middle of nowhere?  I guess there are tire stands at various points on the drive since so many people get flat tires.  Now, the tires are not new tires, they are all used and not necessarily the proper fit.  Oh well….at least they made it to Cabos!

Here are a few other photos from the Part 2 portion of the trip down.  Krug did great ,and everyone along the way wanted their photo taken with him – even the police.  Speaking of police….Xavier was stopped by the Mexican Federali and military about 10 times.  They asked a lot of questions, and at times made them get out of the car to search it.  And, of course wanted a photo taken with Krug HAHA!!

One of the sites to stop and see along the way is the Eiffel Church of Santa Rosalia.  Alexander Gustave Eiffel (famous for Eiffel Tower in Paris) had designed a pre-fabricated metal church in 1884 as a prototype for missionary churches in France’s tropical colonies. Built in 1887 to be strong enough to withstand severe tropical weather, the church is made from galvanized iron, and stands today in the Baja in the town of Santa Rosalia.

I think there are a lot more road trip stories to tell – too bad Krug can’t talk because I think Xavier is still hiding some things (maybe they ran out of gas ??? ) Anyways, in the end they all made it here safe and sound and Krug loves his new home.   One last thing…The tire story didn’t end with the road trip.  This is another forthcoming post – The 25 day tires….Coming soon!

IMG_1139
Mountain Dog in the Desert

How to get Krug to Cabos?

Oh boy….Krug!!!

fullsizeoutput_74c4

Talk about a challenge!  Krug was definitely my biggest challenge of the move.  When we decided that Xavier was going to take the position with Montage my immediate thoughts were:  “How are we going to get Krug there”?, and,  “A Bernese Mountain Dog in the desert”?

For those of you that have met Krug know….He is crazy!  He is a lover, but he really is nuts at times, and he does not adapt well to knew surroundings.  Yes, I know, I know….he is just a dog, but we just love Krug to pieces, and he has such a big presence in our home and in our lives.

Krug is turning 7 this month and has had so many health problems over the years.  This added to my stress of brining him to Mexico.  I was so worried about finding a good vet and what happens if there is a late night problem or if something happens on a weekend?   They do not have 24 animal hospitals here which is still a concern. (I will do another post on this topic at a later time)

I will tackle the first obstacle – Getting Krug to Cabos.  Back in May when we made our decision to make the move, some friends of ours said that they were going to drive Krug from San Francisco to Cabo.  I thought they were just kidding and actually a little nuts, but they really, really wanted to do this.  So, this was the plan for months, until they were not able to take the time off of work.  The drive is from SF to Cabo is a minimum 3 day drive (29 hours).  So, fast forward to late August when we found this out I needed a new plan to get Krug to his new home.   A Krug recap – Krug is a 90 pound Bernese Mountain Dog.

So many people bring their dogs to Cabos.  I was so shocked one day to see all these crates coming out of the airport.  I did notice that none of the crates were as large as what Krug would need.   I never even wanted to consider the option of putting Krug in cargo, but I was desperate.  I started making calls to companies that could help me get Krug to Cabos.  I first was checking to see if a company would drive Krug.  I thought I found a company that would do it – they were quoting minimum $10,000.  OMG – but then they told me that they would not allow their drivers to drive in Mexico. Ugh….so, I was back to checking into the Krug as Cargo option.   What I found out is that even though there are a lot of direct flights from SFO to Cabos, the planes that fly down here have a smaller cargo hold and cargo entry door – Krug’s crate would not fit in the cargo hold area.  Apparently, my only flying option was to custom build a crate for Krug, and fly him on Delta from SFO to Mexico City, and then on to Cabos.  Well, this was a quick “NO”, and I was back to square one!  How will we get Krug to Cabos?!?!?!

 

 

 

 

Our Mexican Casa

At the time I am writing this, we are pretty much settled into our new home.  This was a bit of a process for several reasons…the main two things being the rental house availability, and our dog Krug (separate post on this forthcoming).  We were able to stay at the Montage while waiting for our house to become available.  If you aren’t familiar with Cabo, there are basically three different areas in which to live….Cabo San Lucas (South), San Jose del Cabo (North) or in between (the corridor).  We were both immediately drawn towards the San Jose area.  We liked the convenience of being near many things such as the airport, Old Town San Jose, grocery stores and coffee shops etc…The downtown area is less than 10 minutes from our house and is really is charming.

When we decided to make the move to Cabos we opted to rent a furnished house.  I was surprised about what type of houses were available here.  Since a main segment of visitors/renters here are Americans or Canadians the houses available are very nice, and similar to what you would find in the states.  There are many different price ranges for homes here.  Many are priced quite moderately, and then there is a whole other level which is off the charts expensive.  Cabos draws a very high end customer and the prices, which being in Mexico tend to be on the higher side.  My comparison is The Wild Wild West meets Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Our rental house  (a three bedroom-3 bathroom) came fully furnished and with some bedding.  It’s interesting because we know other friends who chose to rent a furnished house, and it came with absolutely everything.  In the beginning we were going to ship down some boxes of our things, but were told to avoid having to pay taxes on goods brought into the country, it was easiest to bring everything in suitcases.   We brought down all of our own bed linens (we have three king size beds), bath linens, dish and glassware, pots/pans, kitchen utensils (don’t forget – I am married to a chef) There are just so many things to try and bring down that a Chef would need.  In the end, I think I did pretty good.

Here are a few photos of our house.  Actually the photo shown is not actually our home, but ours looks just like it.   It is located within a golf and beach club community.  Our house is on a golf course and we can walk to the beach/club.  We love it and use the beach club almost every day.  Many of our neighbors (who are mainly from the US or Canada), have built in kitchens on their patios and on their rooftops.  Ours just has a grill, but the chef can still grill up some pretty tasty things.

 

Next Stop Cabos!

Big changes are here!  After living in the SF bay area for 17 years, I would never have guessed our next move would be to Mexico, but guess what???  It is!  Xavier was offered a fantastic opportunity to open the new Montage hotel in Los Cabos, Mexico as their Executive Chef.  We sure didn’t see this coming, but with so many different connections to this property all roads seemed to lead us to our final decision.  The new hotel is located within the 39 acre Twin Dolphin masterplanned community situated overlooking the Santa Maria Bay.  For more information on this stunning property check “Montage Cabos”

We arrived just before the soft opening, which was in May 2018.  The hotel was still under construction and 1000’s of worker were literally working night and day to make the date for the official soft opening date – Here are some “before” photos of when we went to check out Los Cabos and the new project.  The grand opening is scheduled for May.   More posts coming on our new life in Mexico….stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two “full” days in Mexico City

IMG_4929

Hola Mexico City!

IMG_5225

We have heard so many great things about Mexico City, and were so excited to finally check it out.  We figured that since we were already in Mexico for the MFC Conference,  why not stop for a few days on our way home?  We did a lot of reading and research to find out what hotel we wanted to stay at and (unfortunately there is no Ritz-Carlton – at this time Xavier worked for the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA) decided on the Four Seasons.  We were originally considering either the Four Seasons or the Hotel Condesa DF.  We had a chance to see the Hotel Condesa DF during our trip, and we were so happy we chose the Four Seasons.  Not that there was anything wrong with the Hotel Condesa DF, but we found it a bit too trendy for us….however, many people might find this to be exactly what they are looking for, it just wasn’t the match for us.

Obviously Xavier and I stay at many hotels around the world, both for work and pleasure, and I have to say The Four Seasons Mexico City is now on the list of one of our favorite hotels.  The hotel is located quite close to the hot Condesa and Polanco neighborhoods, and off the Boulevard of Paseo de la Reforma.

We immediately loved the design – which is hacienda with a modern twist.  You would never know that the hotel is over 21 years old.  It looks new and fresh, and is definitely a place where you feel comfortable, and want to come back to at the end of a long day.  We loved the inner courtyard that all the rooms look into which creates the hacienda feel.

 

We enjoyed drinks each evening at their courtyard bar – they make a great Spritz!  How cute it this little “secret” spot?

fullsizeoutput_63d4.jpeg

Cleary I am gushing about the design of the hotel, but probably even more impressive was the first class service we received.  Everyone from the front and concierge desks, to the director of public relations who we met while getting a coffee, was friendly, engaging and hospitable.  The hotel’s website:  “here”

Here are a few photos I took of the hotel

fullsizeoutput_63f1

Front Desk/Lobby Check in (above)

fullsizeoutput_63ed.jpeg

Corridor to courtyard and guest room elevators (above)

fullsizeoutput_63f0.jpeg

One of the lounge areas off corridor (above)

IMG_5238.JPG

Coffee shop (above)

We arrived late in the afternoon, and after we got checked in headed for the courtyard bar for a “drink and think” about our plans for the next day.  Xavier had of course already made our dinner arrangements for the evening at one of Mexico City’s top restaurants, Quintonil.    I think Xavier was considering Quintonil or Pujol as our more high end meal option and decided on Quintonil.   Ouintonil is number 22 on the World’s Best List, and is known for contemporary Mexican cuisine.  Jorge Vallejo is the Chef, and is actually a protege of Pujol’s Chef Enrique Olvera.   Our dinner was great, and we tried so many “different” and unexpected things.  It was definitely an elevated dining experience and we were happy with our choice.

fullsizeoutput_63e6.jpeg

DAY 1

As I am sitting here writing, which is long, long after this trip, I am glad I took some good notes and photos to recall our trip highlights.  As you will see there were many.  I really can’t believe we squeezed in as many things as we did in 2 1/2 days.  There is so much to see and do in Mexico City and we wanted to absorb as much of it as we could.  Here is our first day and some of our favorite moments.

Before we officially started our day we wanted to stop for an authentic Mexican breakfast at a Restaurante El Cardenal which was recommended to us by our dear friend Rosi.  They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but apparently are well-known for their traditional Mexican breakfast specialities.  Here is their website: “El Cardenal”

We were told that we have to have the Doña Olivia hot chocolate – OMG!  This cup of hot chocolate was silky, rich and simply delicious.  As you can see in the photo below it is prepared table side with a milinillo, a traditional wooden chocolate whisk, with the best Mexican chocolate, Doña Olivia.

IMG_4944

We enjoyed several dishes;  Huevos revueltos a la cazuela (Scrambled eggs covered with a hot red sauce ground in a stone mortar) – below

fullsizeoutput_618c

As well as the Chicken Chilaquiles Verdes with Tomatillo Sauce (below)

fullsizeoutput_6179

Our first stop after breakfast was the Roman Catholic Cathedral Metropolitan which started construction in 1573 and was completed in 1813.  It is situated on the Plaza de la Constitución in Downtown Mexico City, and over the centuries has survived fires as well as sinking structure, and was once one of the world’s most endangered historic sites.   An interesting fact….The cathedral is home to two of the largest 18-century organs in the Americas.

 

While walking to our next stop, we passed these amazing larger than life sculptures by Spanish artist, Xavier Mascaró.  The temporary exhibit was located in the Historic City Center’s Plaza Seminario.  Here is a bit more information about the artist “Xavier”

 

Up next was a stop the prominent cultural center of Mexico City, the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Place of Fine Arts).  It is often referred to as “The Cathedral of Art in Mexico” as it has hosted some of the most notable events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature and has held important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography.

The exterior of the building is primarily Neoclassical and Art Nouveau and the interior is primarily Art Deco. The building is best known for its murals by Diego Rivera, Siqueiros and others, as well as the many exhibitions and theatrical performances its hosts, including the Ballet Folklórico de México.  We had a chance to quickly go inside to see the some of the paintings and famous murals, as well a special Rivera/Picasso exhibit. 

fullsizeoutput_6185fullsizeoutput_7686

 

If you are Catholic  or religious you won’t want to miss the Villa de Guadalupe, a former separate town, now a neighborhood in northern Mexico City which in 1531 was the site of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the most renowned Marian apparition in the Americas.  She can be venerated in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, located in the villa (town).  This town is considered one of the holiest places in Catholicism.   It receives about 40 million pilgrims and tourists a year.

 

Here you will see where the old meets new with the more recent construction of the Basilica, which was designed to accommodate 10,000 worshipers.

 

So….it’s now lunch time and we of course plan to hit one of the many markets here in Mexico City.  Markets are the lifeblood of this city and come in all sizes, and are filled with everything from food to antiques.  Of course, we were on the hunt for good food, and as always, love to immerse ourselves in the local colors, sounds, smells, and, of course, taste!!

 

We decided on the Mercado Coyoacan, which is a classic public market located in the upscale neighborhood of Coyoacan.  I should add that this is also the neighborhood of the DO NOT MISS, Museum Freida Kahlo.  This traditional  two-story market has produce, meat, handicrafts…basically it has it all.   We decided on Tostadas – and had a choice of so many different options.

 

Before heading on, we got tempted by some nearby street food.  Corn is major ingredient in Mexican cooking.  It is used for many, many things such as making tamales, tortillas, and beverages, and soups.  In addition, Esquites and Elotes are also very popular street food snacks.   Esquites is generally made from mature corn, not fresh or dried.  Oftentimes the grains of corn are first boiled in salted water. Then they are sautéed in butter with onions, chopped pequin chiles, epazote and salt. It is served hot in small cups and topped with varying combinations of lime juice, chili powder or hot sauce, salt, and mayonnaise.  Elotes on the other hand is basically grilled corn on the cob, typically served on a stick.  

 

Of course there were Churros!  We could’t miss out on this sweet treat.  Churros are a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux—based snack. They are traditional in Spain and Portugal, from where they originate, as well as in Mexico.  You can find Churro stands, stalls and store fronts all over Mexico City.  We hit one of the top recommended Churro locations; Churreria General de la Republica (Website Churro)

 

So….The DO NOT MISS Museum Freida Kahlo was our next stop.  This was definitely a trip highlight – actually we still often reflect back on visiting this special museum.  Located in Coyoacán the 1950s house La Casa Azul (The Blue House) is where Freida spent most of her life, living there until her death. The house was donated by her husband, Diego Rivera, with the intention of making it a museum in her honor, the Museum of Frida Kahlo. Here, Khalo’s, Rivera’s and some other artists’ work is on display, as well as photographs, artifacts and personal items, opening the doors on the life and history of the celebrated Mexican artist.

 

As the day is nearing it’s end we decided one last stop before heading back to the hotel before dinner.  Having had heard about the neighborhood of San Angel, we decided to stop for a drink at the San Angel Inn.   Unfortunately we did not have time to explore this lovely area (next time for sure), as we could tell driving to the Inn it was a very nice.  It is considered one of the best neighborhoods in Mexico City brimming with beautiful architecture, grand homes and historical buildings.  Many have been converted into galleries, high-end shops and restaurants.

The San Angel Inn  “INN” was an old Monastery and is now home to a stunning restaurant, decorated Colonial Mexican style.  Sitting in a flower-crowded garden, I ordered a margarita and was so surprised at the beautiful presentation.  Like I said earlier, we definitely want to return to explore this area a bit more on our next visit.

fullsizeoutput_616b

Dinner this evening was at a restaurant called Huset Cocina de Campo “Huset”   It was a nice evening, with country style cooking in the heart of this vibrant city.  Chef Maycoll Calderón, who has quite the resume, is considered one of Mexico’s most talented chefs, cooking simple seasonal dishes cooked over fire and smoke.  We enjoyed our meal sitting in their outdoor terrace.  The cuisine and menu matched the description;  rustic, casual and approachable food paired with  great service and nice dining ambiance.  Here is menu:

fullsizeoutput_61a0

Our last stop of the day was to a Mexican Speak Easy called Hanky-Panky.  Who would have guessed that Speak-Easys are a big thing in Mexico right now.   Hanky-Panky is situated in La Juarez, one of the Mexico City’s most emblematic neighborhoods that is currently experiencing a renewal of business and culture.  It’s not the easiest to find, but Xavier has determination and is fluent in Spanish, so this really helped us find this hidden location. Hanky Panky is sure to take you by surprise even though you’ll be expecting it. Reservations are a must in order to receive directions to the bar. You’ll be led from the empty taqueria through what appears to be a storage closet with a coded keypad before emerging into the lively and glamorous cocktail bar on the other side. Inside it’s dark and glittering.  Cheers!

DAY 2 

fullsizeoutput_6224

Good Morning Mexico City – Day 2!   Today we decided to start off our second day at another great Mexican market.  Mercado Medellín is a public market located in the Colonia Roma district of the city.  It is known as the market in the city where one can find produce and goods from other countries in Latin America such as Colombia and Cuba, whose flags hang from many stalls, as well as from Yucatán in Mexico.   We really loved this market and enjoyed sampling many local items, such as nopales (cactus) Mexican coffee, moles (traditional Mexican sauce), salsas (all degrees of hotness), and much, much more .  I especially loved the fresh juices available with all the wonderful fruits.

 

fullsizeoutput_61fe

We could have spent much more time here, but as usual we had so many things to see in such a short period of time.  We actually didn’t make it too far….basically, we made it outside of the market where we found this local street vendor who was making fresh Tlacoyos.  I had never seen or hear of these before, but let me tell you, they are delicious!    Tlacoyas are torpedo-shaped, and made of masa.  They are fatter than fresh corn tortillas and stuffed with cooked ground beans, cheese, fava beans, chicharron or other ingredients and fried or toasted.  These were pan fried on a grill and made one-by-one to order.  The woman making them must be well-known because she had a constant line.  They were well worth the wait.

 

 

 

 

 

After we finally made it out of the market – Guess what?  It was time for lunch.  I can’t remember how Xavier selected our lunch spot, (my guess a chef   recommendation), but we went to lunch at Restaurante Nicos “Nicos”

fullsizeoutput_620e

 

I feel badly, that I didn’t write down what we ate, but I do remember that they made table-side Guacamole.  I know we enjoyed it, but sometimes I think that Xavier would rather have street food than sit in a restaurant.  Obviously it’s more local of course, but I am not quite as adventuresome so, he compromises on my behalf.

After lunch we decided to check out a museum we had been hearing so much about called Museo Soumaya.  If you enjoy art and visiting museums, then this is a don’t miss!  From the stunning exterior architecture, to the collections on display inside, makes it  definitely worthy of a visit.

 

The museum has a collection of over 66,000 pieces of art, with the majority consisting of European works from the 15th to the 20th centuries. It also holds a vast Mexican art collection, religious relics, historical documents and coins.  The world’s largest collection of pre-Hispanic and colonial era coins is also housed here. 

 

In addition there is the largest collection of casts of sculptures by Auguste Rodin outside France, and the world’s largest private collection of his art.  A truly specular collection!  

fullsizeoutput_621f

After visiting the museum, we wrapped up our day with some shopping in the Polanco neighborhood.  There are some nice shops and it was fun to see the local neighborhood life with small coffee shops, cafes and restaurants.  Our last night’s dinner was at Guzina Oaxaca.  It wasn’t my favorite of all the restaurants that we went to, but I am mentioning it because some may really enjoy it – “Guzina”

Overall, we would definitely recommend visiting Mexico City.  We felt very safe (however we don’t stray into areas that could be questionable), and enjoyed the different neighborhoods, the local people,  and food and culture the city has to offer.  We hope to return someday, and now that we are living in Mexico, this might happen sooner than later.

 

Perceval Knives

IMG_8284

I don’t know why these knives were on my mind today……maybe it’s because we used them last night (Xavier made a delish duck dish).  We don’t use these knives everyday, but when I pull them out, it sure brings in home dining to another level.

We first saw these knives several years back in Paris.  Many of the 2 and 3 star Michelin restaurants were using them, and we really loved their feel and cutting capabilities.  It was easy to realize why many restaurants were using them.

Being that I never know what to get Xavier gift wise, I thought he would like using these knives with his at home culinary creations.  Yes!  I have heard it is superstitious to buy someone knives as a gift, and that they can bring bad luck, but I figured this old tale wouldn’t apply in the culinary-world.

After doing a bit of research I found out what makes these knives so special and why they are gaining popularity, even though they have been around for ages.   Each knife is hand made in the village of Thiers, in the Auvergne region of France.  Thiers is  the capital of cutlery and this dates back to the 14th century!  Originally, the knives were made as pocket knives, and over time developed to the common table knife.  Not only are the Perceval knives made in Thiers, so is Laguiole which is probably the most well known.

Back when I bought Xavier these knives they were not available for sale here in the US.  I had to do some secret shopping with the help of a friend to get them from Europe.   As great things always do, these knives found their way to American restaurant tables, and the New York Times even featured an article on their gaining popularity and availability in the US.  “Perceval”

The site that I purchased my knives from features the entire collection of Perceval knives, offering different handles, handle materials and colors.  I chose the Mat Black in the 9.47 model, which we love.  This knife has an excellent cutting power and has a nice smooth/sleek feel in the hand.  I find the simplicity to be rather elegant, and I really enjoy when we use them.   In the 9.47 they make a synthetic and Natural handle, and both come in a variety of colors that would be a great look at any place-setting.  From the site that I purchased ours, they are sold in sets of six and are presented in a lovely orange case.  I always love anything in an orange box!! :).  This is the site where I got ours.  “9.47 Mat Black”

 

 

 

 

 

Cayman Cookout/10 Year Anniversary – Grand Cayman

fullsizeoutput_6b67

Once again I had the opportunity to attend yet another amazing Ritz-Carlton event with my husband, Xavier.  As I have mentioned before in previous posts  (and most of you already know), my husband was the Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay situated along the magnificent California Pacific coast.  Xavier had been with the Ritz-Carlton for over 26 years and frequently participated in culinary events world-wide throughout the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

The latest event was in January at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.  This year was the 10 year anniversary and was full of extra special events and activities.  It really is “THE” culinary event of the year!!

Held over four days in January, acclaimed Chef Eric Ripert hosts an unique, interactive culinary celebration with some of the country’s most talented chefs, along with wine and spirit experts.   This years’s  event was packed full of extravagant tastings, demonstrations, beach and pool parties and cook-offs.

What is great about this event is that you are one-on-one with all these amazing Chefs.  They are so approachable and interact with everyone in a relaxed and casual environment (they even offer some great tips!)

460229EF-4EDB-4F23-A44F-FB19AA0E2225

Some of this year’s fantastic Chef lineup (besides host Chef Eric Ripert) were – Yannick Alléno (from Paris!!),  Daniel Boulud, Dominique Crenn, José Andrés, Emeril Lagasse, Anthony Bourdain, Michael Mina, and Dean Max….(there are just too many to name!).   These Chef’s offered classes and demonstrations, as well as  participated in all the group events with delicious food stations or plated meals.

AEE807DF-722F-4D61-B303-F85668AE5B21

Here are some of my favorite highlights of this years event.  I have to admit there were a lot of great moments!

Speaking of Moments…….One of the many fantastic sponsors was Moët & Chandon creating many “Moët Moments” throughout the cookout weekend.  We were so spoiled with champagne the entire time and I loved every second of it!

1C7396D7-0020-43CC-8255-9F8436157919

Now this is what I call a Moët Moment! It doesn’t get much better than this…..except for…..

Maybe THIS – The Moët Grand Vintage Tasting!

5CDEDD61-EA83-4F8E-94B1-435E151FF3BC

Here Moët & Chandon presented their “Grand Vintage “ collection of single vintage champagnes dating back to the 1980s.  What a rare and special treat to get to taste these, especially since they were perfectly paired with small bites presented by Chef Yannick Alleno, the 3 Michelin star chef from Ledoyen Paris

191DD152-DEF8-42AB-A78A-A3CEEA449998.jpeg

 

5748EB89-583E-415B-9856-4E348BAC10BB

Another favorite moment was the Beach Bash at Rum Point which was just a short catamaran sail across the stunning turquoise Caribbean waters.  Such fun in the sun with more great food prepared by all the guest chefs, and of course more Moët & Chandon!!!   Below is Xavier’s station and the dish that he and his team prepared.

 

IMG_7944

IMG_0177 Fiscalini Cheddar Beignets, Porcini Salt – Sooooo light and airy and SO Good!

IMG_0170

Xavier at his station…..

IMG_8014

What a great setting for a beach bash!

IMG_8111

Of course we needed to support our chefs and test their dishes!

Ending the event in Moët style was the gala pool party – I do a lot of events for my job, so it was really nice to be a guest, and not have to check on all the details.   Look at this dance floor over the pool!  Trust me it got used!

IMG_0172

 

IMG_8057

If you are into food, wine and champagne I strongly recommend attending this event if given the chance.  Of course Xavier was working, but we had a blast and hope to have the chance to return again for more Cayman fun!  Here is the website to this years event to see all the fabulous events  “cayman”

If this gives any indication of how much fun the Cayman Cookout is – we ended on this note……..

IMG_8120