Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – Chefs, Award-Winning Wine Makers and Mixologists Come Together For The "Taste Of Capella Food & Wine Festival" July 9th - 13th -This year’s line-up includes Kent Rathbun of Abacus, Jasper’s and Blue Plate Kitchen in Dallas; Ricardo Zarate of Picca, Mo-chica, Paichẽ, and Blue Tavern in Southern California; Chef Frank Brunacci of Truffle & Co.; Kevin Sbraga of Sbraga of Fat Ham in Philadelphia and Ulysses Vidal of Employees Only in New York City
Award-winning chefs, noted wine makers and innovative mixologists converge in a secluded, tucked-away corner of Cabo’s paradise from July 9th to 13th. Over these few days, gastro travelers will be treated to a riveting series of cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, creative cocktail tutorials, a tequila tasting and special events that range from an elaborate beach barbeque to an intimate gourmet five-course dinner. The “Taste of Capella Food & Wine Festival” at Capella Pedregal has become one of the most sought-after culinary fests in the Baja Peninsula and this year’s installment will feature Kent Rathbun of Abacus, Jasper’s and Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen in Texas; Ricardo Zarate of Picca, Mo-chica, Paichẽ, and Blue Tavern in Southern California; Curtis Duffy of Grace’s in Chicago; Kevin Sbraga of Philadelphia as well as talented mixologist, Ulysses Vidal from Employees Only in New York City.The festival is limited to 120 participants to ensure that guests receive an immersive experience of interacting with all the chefs, wine makers and mixologists. Curated by Capella Pedregal’s Food and Beverage Director, Marco Bustamante and Executive Chef Yvan Mucharraz (both worked under legendary chef Thomas Keller), the Food & Wine Festival will showcase innovative American and international culinary creations as well as gourmet Baja cuisine. Juan Carlos Flores, Capella Pedregal’s award-winning Wine Director, is working closely with wine vineyards and wine makers throughout Mexico to create a select collection for the festival.
This year’s festival will feature the following trailblazers in their respective culinary fields:
- Chef Kent Rathbun: Award-winning Dallas-based chef who runs the highly acclaimed Abacus, Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen and Jasper’s, which boasts three locations in Texas - Plano, The Woodlands, and Austin. Rathbun’s restaurants are focused on delivering high-quality cuisine and his third restaurant concept, Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen, has created buzz as the new Mecca of casual, affordable dining in Dallas. Jasper’s has been named one of Esquire Magazine’s “Top 20 Best New Restaurants in America” while Rathbun himself was nominated as the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Southwest in 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2004. He has appeared on numerous TV shows, including the Food Network’s "Chef du Jour", “Cooking Live with Sara Moulton,” "Ready Set Cook", the CBS Early Show, the Rosie O’Donnell Show and NBC’s Today Show. In 2008, Rathbun competed on Food Network’s hit series “Iron Chef America” and defeated grill master Bobby Flay in a frenetic culinary battle. www.kentrathbun.com.
- Chef Ricardo Zarate: Often credited with introducing American palates to the vibrant cuisine of his home country, Food & Wine Best New Chef Ricardo Zarate has succeeded in making Peruvian food the next “it” cuisine across the country. Since opening his first restaurant Mo-chica, an ode to the traditional Lima dishes of his youth, he has further explored the intricacies of the Japanese influence on his native country with his restaurants Picca (a GQ Restaurant of the Year and Condé Nast Traveler Hot Table in 2011) and Paichẽ (one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants for 2013) which honors the Amazon. At his latest restaurant, Blue Tavern in Santa Barbara, he reimagines traditional Californian cuisine by imbuing it with the multitude of influences in the Peruvian larder. By showcasing the essence of Peruvian cuisine as seen through his unique culinary scope, Zarate has created modern fans of a heretofore unexplored cuisine, which is now finding its roots nationwide. www.chefzarate.com
- Chef Frank Brunacci: Frank Brunacci was raised in Australia and trained under culinary greats such as Alain Chapel, Laurent Pillard, and Jacques Reymond. After graduation, he headed to London to cook with Joel Antunes at Les Saveurs, which is consistently ranked as the best fine dining establishment in the U.K. When Antunes left to head to the The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, in Atlanta, he requested Brunacci to follow suit. Brunacci followed and soon after joined Victor’s at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, where his career took off in the U.S. – during his tenure there, the restaurant received a AAA five diamond rating, becoming the only restaurant in the state of Louisiana to garner this award. A proponent of high-end ingredients and fresh truffles in particular, Brunacci is now the Vice President of Sales for North and South America at the Truffle & Wine Co., the largest importer of Périgord truffles from the Southern Hemisphere. http://truffleandwine.com.au/
- Chef Kevin Sbraga: Chef Sbraga takes his no boundaries approach to cuisine to new heights at namesake Philadelphia restaurant Sbraga, and his Southern-inspired spot, The Fat Ham. In October 2011, Chef Sbraga debuted his eponymous restaurant along Center City’s lively Avenue of the Arts. His four-course prix-fixe menus change often and highlight his renowned modern American cuisine. An Esquire magazine “Best New Restaurant 2012” and one of Philadelphia magazine’s “Best Restaurants of 2013,” Sbraga continues to be considered one of the city’s favorite dining destinations. Located in Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood, The Fat Ham is a pork-centric restaurant showcasing Chef Sbraga’s interpretation of Southern ingredients, cuisine, and culinary traditions. In 2010, Chef Sbraga was selected to be part of the cast of the Bravo’s “Top Chef” season seven where he took home the title of “Top Chef” during the finale in Singapore. www.sbragadining.com
- Chef Yvan Mucharraz: Mucharraz has worked in some of the finest kitchens in the U.S. and Mexico. An alumi of The French Laundry, Mucharraz also spent time with Michelin-starred Chef Juan Mari Arzak, one of the great masters of New Basque cuisine, at his flagship restaurant Tezka in Mexico City. At Capella Pedregal, Mucharraz oversees culinary operations for the intimate fine dining hot spot Don Manuel’s, the stunning El Farallon, the Beach Club and Crudo’s. His restaurants feature the freshest local ingredients, homemade condiments, made-to-order baked breads and pastries and even their own in-house cured meats. www.capellapedregal.com.
- Marco Bustamante: Bustamante brings his fine dining expertise in five diamond and Michelin-rated establishments to Capella Pedregal. Bustamante’s previous experience includes working at The Russian Tea Room in New York as well as Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York. In 2004, he began his tenure with the West Paces Hotel Group, parent company of Capella Hotels and Resorts and joined Capella Pedregal as Executive Chef upon its opening in 2009. Marco was appointed Director of Food and Beverage in 2012 with responsibilities for overseeing both the culinary and front of house operations including the organization of the resort’s popular Food and Wine Festival. www.capellapedregal.com.
- Ulysses Vidal: This Dallas native makes his debut at the Capella Food & Wine Festival. As the Principal Bartender at Employees Only in New York, Vidal is part of the team that has made this chic speakeasy one of the most acclaimed the world. Regularly featured in epicurean and luxury travel publications, in 2011, the establishment was named “The World’s Best Cocktail Bar” and possessing the “World’s Best Drinks Selection” at the Fifth Annual Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. Vidal will bring Employees Only’s special brand of creative cocktails to Cabo as well as feature beverages specially made for Capella Pedregal’s guests.
For more information on the Festival visit: http://www.capellahotels.com/cabosanlucas/foodandwine/default-en.html
Guests can also reserve the “Taste of Capella Food & Wine Festival” package which includes accommodations as well as various perks (space is limited so book to avoid disappointment):
- Four nights and five days of pure indulgence in the ocean view room or suite category of your choice, with flexible check-in and check-out time and an around-the-clock Personal Assistant (from July 9th to 13th)
- Complimentary full breakfast each morning in signature restaurant, Don Manuel’s
- Welcome wine reception under the stars with the Festival’s featured chefs at the El Farallon Terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean
- Interactive cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend by each chef
- Wine tasting with extraordinary wines
- Organic farm tour and lunch
- Crafted Cocktail Demonstration
- Tequila seminar with a Maestro Tequilero
- Cocktail Reception
- Gourmet five-course dinner with each course prepared by featured chefs
- An exquisite dinner on the Pedregal Pool Deck showcasing the remarkable skills of each chef, bartender and spirit artisan. Guests will be treated to crafted cocktails, sip tequila right from the barrel, savor refreshing craft beers and dine on innovative gourmet dishes that our guest chefs have been fine-tuning for months
- After party with the chefs including live entertainment
- Round trip airport transfer in a private sedan to and from the San Jose de Cabo (SJD) airport
- Welcome bottle of Jose Cuervo Platino Tequila in your guestroom
- Nightly turndown gifts
- Gift Bags
- Daily afternoon amenities
- Fresh fruit in your room upon arrival
- Refreshment center stocked with complimentary soft drinks, juices, coffee and bottled water, replenished daily
- Complimentary wireless Internet on unlimited devices throughout the resort
Rates begin from $4,620 USD excluding tax and service fees. Package is subject to availability.
To learn more or make reservations, please call 877.247.6688 or visit: http://www.capellahotels.com/cabosanlucas/foodandwine/default-en.html.
About Capella Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The majestic Capella Pedregal resort lies on Cabo San Lucas’ most coveted parcel of land – an extraordinary, 24-acre site at the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. The exclusive haven, comprised of 96 rooms and suites, is just minutes from bustling downtown Cabo, yet seemingly worlds apart thanks to its secluded location within the prestigious Pedregal neighborhood, accessible only by the private Dos Mares tunnel. Capella Pedregal offers unprecedented luxury, sophistication and personalized service ably assisted by a team of Personal Assistants who are available around-the-clock to assist guests with their requests. The property features Beachfront Suites located directly on the beach with beautiful ocean front views. Each Beachfront Suite features an infinity edge wraparound plunge pool with a warming fire pit nearby and are available in one, two and three bedroom configurations.
Under the tutelage of French Laundry trained, Executive Chef Yvan Mucharraz, Capella Pedregal’s three distinctive dining establishments feature refined, traditional Mexican dishes which evoke a true Baja feel and unparalleled dining environments. The centerpiece of the resort is the award-winning, 12,000-square foot signature Auriga spa, wellness and fitness facility, which features unparalleled indigenous treatments based on the lunar cycle. For more information visit www.capellapedregal.com.