Close-up Smoked Salmon Tartare by Chef Roland Menetrey for Festival Gourmet International Master Class in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Festival Gourmet International, Puerto Vallarta’s Annual Culinary Festival

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The Festival Gourmet International in Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s longest-running culinary festivals, celebrating the world of cuisine in one of the country’s best foodie destinations.

It was my first time not just in Puerto Vallarta but in Mexico as well so I was ecstatic to check out the International Gourmet Festival. This annual event takes place every November since 1995 with culinary events, activities and curated dinners created by invited guest chefs from all over the world.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Sign on the Wall

I love how the the dishes you get to taste are made only for the festival which makes the experience all the more unique. And like BC Seafood Festival and Montreal en Lumiere, it’s quite special that the festival bring overseas chefs, which is also a great opportunity to learn of more chefs and restaurants around the world.

Chef Angel Vazquez torching the ribeye for Festival Gourmet International Grand Gourmet Village

According to Javier Aranda, Director of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, “The Festival Gourmet International is a great example of how the city’s natural beauty and source of fresh ingredients can inspire for chefs from Mexico and around the world, to create an exciting amalgam of flavors that blend traditional Mexican ingredients with contemporary tastes from across the globe.”

Here you’ll learn about some of events and activities you can expect during the Festival Gourmet International.


Festival Gourmet International in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Travelling Foodie

The 25th Festival Gourmet International

The 25th anniversary of the International Gourmet Festival took place on November 19-24, 2019 in Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Tepic with 19 participating restaurants and 11 participating hotels.

I was there from November 19-23, and here’s a recap of the events and dinners I attended in some of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta that participated in the Festival Gourmet International!

Travelling Foodie Raymond Cua with food and wine at Trio Restaurant for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International

As a warning, COME HUNGRY AND THIRSTY! There is a lot to eat and drink during the festival, and you will want to try everything.

Also Read: Toronto Taste, Premiere Culinary Event in Toronto

Grand Gourmet Village

Festival Gourmet International kicked off its 25th anniversary with a bang with the Grand Gourmet Village!

Stilt Walkers at Festival Gourmet International in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

This opening celebration held at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta brought all the invited guest chefs, local chefs and celebrities for a night of food, drinks and entertainment.

Two Dancers with Sparklers at Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International

Participating restaurants, hotels and drink purveyors setup food and drink stations throughout the night for people to enjoy.

Two Chefs at the Grand Gourmet Village for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International
Torched Ribeye from La Cochina del Chef Angel Vazquez in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Torched Ribeye from La Cochina del Chef Angel Vazquez

My most favourite dish that night was the Montadito de Pulpo by Chef Hector Leyva of Hector’s Kitchen: Peruvian style octopus cooked with garlic and aji rocoto (a Peruvian chile). I had five of these delicious bites.

There over 30 food and drinks stations to try so you have to be strategic on how you’ll be trying them. I was on a mission to try everything but, in the end, I tried 80% of the stations.

Pouring Jose Cuervo Tequila during Grand Gourmet Village at Vidanta for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International
Jose Cuervo Tequila
Agave Worms at Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International Grand Gourmet Village
Agave Worms
Quail Egg with Pesto at Festival Gourmet International in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Quail Egg with Pesto
Red Snapper Ceviche Tostada at Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International Grand Gourmet Village
Red Snapper Ceviche Tostada
Octopus Taco during Grand Gourmet Village in Puerto Vallarta
Octopus Taco
Pork with Squid Ink Chip at Puerto Vallarta International Gourmet Festival
Torched Ribeye on Bread at Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International Grand Gourmet Village
Torched Ribeye on Bread from La Cocina del Chef Angel Vazquez
Tuna Wellington at Grand Gourmet Village at Vidanta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Tuna Wellington

Grand Gourmet Village at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta
Price: MXN1,500
Hour: 8:00PM
Address: Blvrd Riviera Nayarit #254, 63735 Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico


Master Class

The Master Class event was a day of cooking demonstration, delicious luncheon and wine tasting with The Three Musketeers: Chefs Thierry Blouet, Heinz Reize and Roland Menetrey.

Chefs Roland Menetrey, Heinz Reize and Thierry Blouet for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International Master Class
The Three Musketeers (left to right): Chefs Roland Menetrey, Heinz Reize and Thierry Blouet

Why The Three Musketeers? The first Festival Gourmet International was started by Chefs Thierry Blouet and Heinz Reize in 1995 to promote and improve the gourmet standards at international level.

In 2000, Chef Roland Menetrey joined the celebration. Since then, they have been called as Puerto Vallarta’s “culinary Three Musketeers”!

With more than 150 years of cooking experience combined, each chef demonstrated how to make well-tried recipes in their career. The event was held at Cafe des Artistes which is owned by Chef Thierry Blouet.

Glass Chandelier at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Chef Thierry Blouet in the kitchen at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Chef Roland Menetrey demonstrated how to make Smoked Salmon Tartare with Roasted Avocado Salad using 2/3 fresh salmon and 1/2 smoked salmon.

Chef Roland Menetrey slicing carrots in the Master Class kitchen for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International

According to Chef Roland, sockeye salmon from Alaska is the best for smoked salmon.

Chef Roland Menetrey presenting the Smoke Salmon Tartare at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Chef Heinz Reize demonstrated how to cook Risotto with Dry Porcini in Red Wine Sauce. The risotto itself is cooked in white wine.

According to Chef Heinz, for the best flavours, use bean or beef for the demi-glace sauce instead of pork and chicken, and shallots instead of white onion for the rice.

Chef Heinz Reize cooking at the Festival Gourmet International Master Class in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Chef Thierry Blouet demonstrated how to cook Coffee and Spice-crusted Picanha with Oxtail Ravioli.

Chef Thierry Blouet cooking demonstration at Cafe des Artistes for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International

Chef Thierry also demonstrated making a dessert called Fantastic Strawberries, which has almond meringue, vanilla shortcake, champagne sabayon and strawberry infusion.

Chef Thierry Blouet presents Strawberry Dessert at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Following the cooking demonstration was a wine tasting presented by professional sommeliers.

Pouring White Wine at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Raising the glass with white wine at Cafe des Artistes for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International
Pierre Jean Merlot 2017 Wine Tasting at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Pouring red wine from swoon carafe in Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The wine tasting was followed by a luncheon with wine pairing where we got to enjoy the dishes from cooking demonstration.

Smoked Salmon Tartare by Chef Roland Menetrey for Festival Gourmet International Master Class in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Smoked Salmon Tartare (Tartare de Salmon Ahumado) – with Roasted Avocado Salad

I enjoyed all four dishes, but my most favourite was the risotto by Chef Heinz Reize because, aside from my love for risotto, this one was quite unique from the usual risotto you’ll find in restaurants.

In fact, Chef Heinz said there are only three restaurants in the world serves this particular risotto.

Porcini Mushroom Risotto by Chef Heinz Reize for Festival Gourmet International Master Class in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Risotto with Dry Porcini in Red Wine Sauce (Risotto Con Salsa Porcini)
Coffee Crusted Picanha by Chef Thierry Boulet for Festival Gourmet International Master Class in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Picanha with Coffee and Spices Crust (Picana en Costra de Cafe Y Especias) – oxtail ravioli, mashed sweet potato, balsamic sauce, picanha
Fantastic Strawberries Dessert by Chef Thierry Blouet for Festival Gourmet International Master Class in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Fantastic Strawberries (Fresas Fantasticas) – almond meringue, vanilla shortcake, champagne sabayon, strawberry and pink pepper infusion

Master Class at Cafe des Artistes
Price: MXN1,700
Hour: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Address: Calle Guadalupe Sánchez 740, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Also Read: Iron Kettle Cooking Series at Lee & Maria’s in Kingsville, Ontario


Gourmet Safari

You know how much I love to do food trips when exploring a destination’s food scene so I was quite excited to learn about the Gourmet Safari during the Festival Gourmet International.

Globe Art Installation at Night in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The Gourmet Safari is a gastronomic tour at night where you do restaurant hopping to four different restaurants in the old town of Puerto Vallarta. In the end, it’s like having a four course meal as you enjoy appetizer, two mains (seafood and meat) and dessert paired with wines.

These dishes are prepared by the invited guest chefs at each participating restaurant. Here were the stops we did that delicious night!

Streets at Night in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Cafe des Artistes

The first stop was appetizer at Cafe des Artistes by invited guest Hungarian chefs Gergely Futó and Prónik Balázs of Michelin star Platan Restaurant.

Here we had a deliciously creamy foie gras with some garnishes to play around with flavours. Luckily, one person in the table was vegetarian so I got to enjoy this dish twice.

Foie Gras at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Foie Gras by Guest Chefs Gergely Futo and Pronik Balazs

Website / Address: Calle Guadalupe Sánchez 740, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Azafran Restaurante Bar

Azafran Restaurante Bar was the second stop for the seafood course. Here, invited guest Mexican chef Karina Castro of El Mezquite and Kumiai Inn Restaurant prepared us two tuna items, an amuse and the main.

Marinated Raw Tuna at Azafran in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Marinated Raw Tuna by Guest Chef Karina Castro

I loved that the Tuna in Citrus Ponzu was nicely seared on the sides and still raw at the centre. The spices were so flavourful!

Seared Tuna Medallion in Citrus Ponzu at Azafran for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International
Seared Tuna Medallion with orange, lemon, chili ash, black sesame, peppers and red onion by Guest Chef Karina Castro

Website / Address: Olas Altas 507, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Kaiser Maximilian

For the third stop, we walked to Austrian restaurant, Kaiser Maximilian, where invited guest Austrian chef Patrick Gfrerer prepared the meat course.

They started us with an amuse of polenta with black truffles. I typically am not big on polenta, but I LOVED this one!

Polenta with Black Truffles at Kaiser Maximilian in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Creamy Polenta with Roasted Portabello, Shaved Black Truffles and Truffle Foam by Guest Chef Patrick Gfrerer

I also really enjoyed the Rinderfiletsteak & Short Rib aus dem Smoker. Both beef tenderloin and short rib were perfectly cooked and tender.

Beef Tenderloin topped with Short Rib at Kaiser Maximilian in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Beef Short Rib and Tenderloin with Potato Gratin, Green Beans with Bacon on Port Wine Sauce by Guest Chef Patrick Gfrerer

Website / Address: Olas Altas 380-B, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

El Dorado Restaurant

The last stop was a bit further to walk as we went to El Dorado Restaurant, along the Playa Los Muertos (Deadman’s Beach).

Here we had some very creative trio of desserts. I loved the Pinata the most because of the mix of chewy from the bread and crispy from the meringue.

Pinata Dessert at El Dorado Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Piñata – banana bread covered with meringue
Chocolate Cigar at El Dorado Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Chocolate Cigar – chocolate and hazelnut mousse with toasted tortilla poweder
Gourmet Safari Dessert at El Dorado Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Corn Flan with Mexican cajeta and toasted coconut

That concludes the Safari Gourmet! What a way to end the night as we were sitting on the Los Muertos Beach with the view of the pier.

Playa Los Muertos Pier in Puerto Vallarta during Festival Gourmet International

Website / Address: Púlpito 102, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

FGI Gourmet Safari
Price: MXN2,850
Hour: 7:30 p.m

Also Read: Best Restaurants in Seattle, Washington


Xocodiva’s Cult of Chocolate

Chocolate lovers rejoice! The Xocodiva’s Cult of Chocolate is the event for you at the Festival Gourmet International!

Xocodiva makes Belgian chocolates using a blend of cacao sourced all over the world. Held at Roberto’s Original Puerto Nuevo, this chocolate tasting event was unlike any other.

Handcrafted truffles from Xocodiva Artisan Chocolate in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

During the event, we got to try various chocolates paired with wines and tequila, and learned from both Xocodiva Owner Todd Atkins and Chef Roland Menetrey.

Chef Roland Menetrey and Red Wine at Roberto's Super Seafood for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International
Chef Roland Menetrey explaning about chocolate and wine pairing

Ron taught us all about chocolates from how they are made to how to taste them. Chef Roland explained the wines and tequila from its background to how to drink and why it made a great pairing.

Cocoa beans, cocoa butter and ground cocoa from Xocodiva Artisan Chocolate

Did you know? A big difference between artisan chocolates and mass produced chocolates is the coating. Cocoa butter is usually coated on artisan chocolates, but mass produced chocolates will replace this with something like vegetable oil because the shelf life needs to be longer.

Aztec Chocolate with Gold Glitter from Xocodiva in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Before tasting the chocolate, take a look at the chocolate and admire the creation and artwork, smell the chocolate and get a feel as you crack it. When you taste it, really taste the chocolate and all the other flavours with it.

This is similar to wine tasting where you look at the color, swirl to check for legs and consistency, and smell the flavours before drinking. When you drink, swish the wine around your mouth and tongue to get the feel of the flavours.

Raspberry Hazelnut Truffle and glass of Rose
Raspberry Hazelnut Truffle paired with Rose

Xocodiva Chocolate Tasting with Wine and Tequila Pairings

We did tasted a total of of 11 chocolates and 6 wine and tequila pairings.

Sauvignon Blanc was paired with the White Chocolate Passion Fruit and Milk Chocolate Truffle.

The White Chocolate Passion Fruit is made of white chocolate, hand painted with cocoa butter filled with fresh heavy cream and passion fruit.

The Milk Chocolate Truffle is made of 33% milk chocolate and fresh heavy cream, hand rolled then double dipped to finish.

Milk Chocolate Truffle Ball and Heart-Shaped White Chocolate Passion Fruit from Xocodiva Artisan Chocolate in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Milk Chocolate Truffle (left) and White Chocolate Passion Fruit (right) paired with Sauvignon Blanc

Rose was paired with the Raspberry Hazelnut Truffle and White Chocolate Bites.

The Raspberry Hazelnut Truffle is made with 73% dark chocolate, 33% milk chocolate, butter, fresh heavy cream and fresh raspberries and hazelnut paste, then hand painted with cocoa butter.

The White Chocolate Bites are made of solid white chocolate shaped into bite-sized beans.

Raspberry Hazelnut Truffle and White Chocolate Bites from Xocodiva in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Raspberry Hazelnut Truffle and White Chocolate Bites paired with Rose

Malbec was paired with the Salted Caramel Truffle and Dark Chocolate 73% Bite.

The Salted Caramel Truffle is made with 73% dark chocolate, white sugar, cream, butter and sea salt.

Salted Caramel Truffle and Dark Chocolate 73% Bite paired with Malbec

The next chocolate pairings were with tequila. Tequila Blanco (Silver) was paired with the Key Lime Truffle and Limoncello.

The Key Lime Truffle is made with 73% dark chocolate, fresh cream, white chocolate, lime zest and lime juice.

Similarly, the Limoncello is made of the same things except the lime juice is replaced with limoncello liquor. I remember having the Limoncello during Grand Gourmet Village and was happy to have it here again!

Limoncello and Key Lime Truffle with Shot of Tequilla Blanco from Xocodiva Cult of Chocolates
Limoncello (left) and Key Lime Truffle (right) paired with Tequilla Blanco (Silver)

Reposado is tequila aged for 6 months in oak wood. This was paired with Mint Bark Bite.

Mint Bark Bite from Xocodiva Artisan Chocolate in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Tequila Reserva 1800 Reposado at Roberto's Super Seafood in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

And the last pairing is with Anejo, which is tequila aged in oak wood for a minimum of 1 year. This was paired with the Chili Truffle and Espresso Truffle.

The Chili Truffle is made with fresh cream, and chili mortia and ancho. The Espress Truffle is made with 73% dark chocolate, fresh cream and double strength espresso.

Chocolate Brownie ala Mode, Chili Truffle, Espresso Truffle and Candied Orange dipped in Chocolate paired with Anejo (Extra Aged Tequila)

I loved how unique the Xocodiva chocolates were, and the pairing went so well. My favourite chocolates were the Salted Caramel Truffle and Limoncello.

The best wine pairing for me was the Malbec with Salted Caramel Truffle because that pairing neutralized everything into a good middle. Malbec is typically quite bitter with the tannins but was neutralized with the sweetness of the caramel. Similarly, the full body texture of Malbec was neutralized with the creaminess of the truffle.

Chocolate Truffle Reflections from Xocodiva in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

As a lover of whiskey, I really loved the Anejo as well as it was my first time trying this aged tequila and it felt like I was having whiskey.

For the tequila pairing, I loved the Tequila Blanco with Limoncello the most because it tasted like taking a shot of tequila then chasing it with lemon.

Lunch at Roberto’s Superb Seafood

Part of the event was a luncheon by Roberto’s Original Puerto Nuevo. I’m glad the food was mixed as with the chocolate tasting because doing the tasting first would’ve been to much sweets and alcohol before lunch.

For the lunch, we had four courses. The first started with a chocolate puff pastry using Xocodiva chocolates.

Xocodiva Chocolate Pastry Roll at Roberto's Super Seafood in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Xocodiva Chocolate Pastry Roll

The second was a unique fried portabello dish that uses Xocodiva as one of the three sauces.

Shrimp, Mushroom and Cheese Fritter at Roberto's Original Puerto Nuevo in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Portobello stuffed with Shrimp and Goat Cheese, fried in tempura in a mirror of 3 sauces
Opened Fried Portobello stuffed with Shrimp and Goat Cheese at Roberto's Super Seafood in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The third was savoury grilled shrimps with ham and cheese, wrapped in bacon. At this point, one of my tablemates was full already, so I happily had seconds of these yummy creation.

Ham and Cheese Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon at Roberto's Original Puerto Nuevo in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Shrimp Puerto Nuevo – stuffed with ham and cheese, fine herbs, wrapped in bacon on the grill

The dessert was brownie topped with Vanilla ice cream. The plate came with the last round of chocolate tasting as well.

Xocodiva’s Culto al Chocolate at Roberto’s Superb Seafood
Price: MXN1,050
Hour: 11:00AM-3:00PM
Roberto’s: Website / Address: Basilio Badillo 283, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Xocodiva: Website / Address: Aquiles Serdán 368, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico

Also Read: Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory in Daytona Beach, Florida


Festival Gourmet International Theme Nights

Theme Nights have remained constant since the beginning of Festival Gourmet International. Each participating restaurant invites a celebrity from the world of culinary arts and come up with a unique menu that fusion of chef and destination that guests can enjoy.

Grilled Oyster at Trio Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Grilled Oyster with Fennel and Tomato Butter (MXN210) – 4pcs

Theme Night at Trio Restaurant

Located in a multilevel townhouse, Trio Restaurant boasts “Mediterranean cuisine cooked with love” by co-owners German chef Bernhard Güth and Swedish chef Ulf Henriksson.

Chef Bernhard Güth with Travelling Foodie Raymond Cua at Trio Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Chef Bernhard Güth

For Theme Night, Trio Restaurant invited guest Mexican Chef Jorge Avendaño of Bastardo Restaurante in San Miguel de Allende to bring his love for French-Mex cuisine to Puerto Vallarta.

Chef Jorge Avendano with Travelling Foodie Raymond Cua at Trio Restaurant for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International
Chef Jorge Avendano

Since we were a big group chef Bernhard Güth decided to give us a variety of dishes to try from both Theme Night menu and Trio’s regular menu.

House-cured Duck at Trio Restaurant for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International
House-cured duckling with Mexican crudite of fennel and figs on country toast (MXN235)
Red Beets Tartare at Trio Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Tartare of Charred Red Beets Bistro Style with parmesan tossed french fries
Organic garden greens salad at Trio Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Organic garden greens on grainy mustard vinaigrette, egg of quail, pyramide goat cheese of San Miguel and smoked pork jowl croutons (MXN180)
Holding one Grilled Oyster at Trio Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Grilled Oyster with Fennel and Tomato Butter (MXN210) – 4pcs
Shrimp Ravioli at Trio Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Shrimp ravioli on warm salad of wild mushrooms

My most favourite dish that night was the Seafood Bouillabaisse by Chef Jorge Avendaño as it was one of the best bouillabaisse. The broth was so flavourful that it tasted like you were already eating the seafood!

Seafood Bouillabaisse at Trio Restaurant for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International
Chunk of Red Snapper in stew of clams, mussels, shrimps, vegetables bouillabaisse style with chile chilaca salsa and garlic bread
Trio Restaurant Puerto Vallarta Mexico Theme Night Travelling Foodie
Creme Brulee Lemon Verbena
Apple Tarte Tatin at Trio Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Tarte Tatin from Apples and Ice Cream
French Toast at Trio Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
French toast with lavender ice cream, hazelnut and caramelized bananas

Price: MXN1,480
Hour: 8:00PM
Website / Address: Guerrero 264, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Also Read: Alo Restaurant, Toronto’s Best Tasting Menu Restaurant

Gypsy Night Under the Stars at Cafe des Artistes

Our last dinner was in none other than Cafe des Artistes, recognized as the best restaurant in Mexico by The Gourmand Guide to Restaurant and Good Food on 2011 to 2012.

Hanging Glass Droplets at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The Theme Night at Cafe des Artistes was Traditional Hungarian Cuisine in the 21st Century, a special 6 course dinner under the stars by Hungarian Michelin star Platan Restaurant chefs Gergely Futó and Prónik Balázs along with Chef Lara Castellón and Chef/Founder Thierry Blouet.

Garden Sculpture at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The menu was an interesting one: For each course, you get to choose between a dish from either the Hungarian guest chefs or the Cafe des Artistes’ chefs. The wine pairing was paired according to the courses selected.

Roasted Mezcalita Cocktail at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Roasted Mezcalita (MXN195) – pineapple juice, mezcal, controy, roasted pineapple, lime juice and dry serrano chilli

It was honestly so hard to choose the dishes. Being a foodie, I was hoping there was an option where I get to try everything at a smaller portion instead.

Gulash at Cafe des Artistes for Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International

In the end, I decided to pick the ones from the Hungarian guest chefs since that’s what they were there for. Luckily, I got to try the other dishes from my tablemates so I pretty much got to try everything.

Pork Amuse Bouche at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Amuse: Pork and Tartar Sauce

Similarly, I chose Chefs Thierry and Lara’s first course because I was told the foie gras on the first course is the same as what I had during the Gourmet Safari.

Close-up Inverted Kampachi Tostada at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta Mexico
Inverted Kampachi Tostada – marinated kampachi fish, avocado, habanero, mayonnaise, crudite
A spoon of Gulash at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Gulash – beef stew and vegetables cooked with beef broth
Broiled Octopus at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Marinated Broiled Octopus – grilled polenta and smoked organic beets, pea mousseline, red wine sauce
Catfish Karpaty at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Catfish “Karpaty” – in crab sauce, spinach puree, eringii, prawns, fried buckwheat, dill

My favourite dish was the Veal Cheek “Vadas” Style because it was something I haven’t had before. The veal was perfectly cooked and tender that it just melted in each bite.

Did you know? Vadas, or Hunter’s stew, is a Hungarian dish of slow-cooked meat, typically game meat, braised with vegetables that are pureed after, and served with bread dumplings.

Veal Cheek at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Veal Cheek “Vadas” Style – dumplings, mushroom, green oil
Cheese Selection at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Artisan Cheese Tasting
Chocolate Tart Dessert at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Gianduja Chocolate Tart, Orange and Spices – sacher, milk chocolate, orange essence, tangerine ice cream
Gerbeaud Cake at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Hungarian “Zserbo” Cake – with apricot sorbet
Peach Macarons at Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Peach Macarons

Price: MXN2,300
Hour: 8:30PM
Website / Address: Calle Guadalupe Sánchez 740, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico


The International Gourmet Festival is such a perfect festival for foodies. I can definitely see why it is one of the best culinary festivals in Mexico.

Hope this helps give you an idea on what it’s like during the Festival Gourmet International in Puerto Vallarta and makes you excited for the next one! Bookmark or pin this post to remind yourself to attend the festival.

Puerto Vallarta International Gourmet Festival on Travelling Foodie

You can see the complete list of events and activities for Puerto Vallarta International Gourmet Festival on their website.

Puerto Vallarta Festival Gourmet International on Travelling Foodie

This post was made in partnership with Visit Puerto Vallarta. As usual, reviews and opinions are 100% entirely my own.

You can learn more about Festival Gourmet International here, and about Puerto Vallarta here.

Updated:

2 thoughts on “Festival Gourmet International, Puerto Vallarta’s Annual Culinary Festival”

    • Hi Chef Thierry, it was such a pleasure meeting you during the festival! What a great festival it was. Thank you! Looking forward to next year 🙂

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