Mayakoba, a luxury resort located in Mexico's Riviera Maya, hosted the first-annual American Express Mayakoba Masters of Food, Wine & Golf from June 2-5.
Throughout the four-day celebration, 300 guests including several well-known international chefs took part in a range of dining events, tastings and spa experiences across the resort. Additionally, 136 participants played in a two-day golf tournament on the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon golf course, home to the only PGA TOUR event in Mexico: The OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
The festivities kicked off with a clinic led by master golf instructor Jim McLean, followed by an opening party presented by Aeromexico and Delta Air Lines. A four-course menu included meals created by several guest chefs, winemakers, sommeliers, tequila masters and artisanal brewers. Dishes included duck breast topped with yucca puree with yellow aji and paired with green beans and radish sprouts from Felipe Donnelly, executive chef and owner of Cόmodo in New York City.
Friday and Saturday’s guest lunch and dinner programs highlighted multiple internationally-acclaimed chefs, such as Richard Sandoval (40 restaurants worldwide; three at Fairmont Mayakoba), Abraham Salum (Komali Restaurant, Dallas); Fernando Trocca (Sucre, Buenos Aires); Andrew Ormsby (The Tower at Cityplace, Dallas); Felipe Donnelly (Comodo, New York City); Diane DiMeo (barRachos, New York City); and Antonio De Livier (Mexico City), among many others.
Also on Friday, Banyan Tree Mayakoba’s chef Wayu “Light” Wattanakamin and Argentina’s chef Maru Botana led cooking classes where students learned to create dishes like Tom Yum Goong soup and classic Pad Thai, while on Saturday a baking session highlighted several Argentinian desserts. Later, the Masters of Mayakoba Grand Tasting was hosted at Fairmont, with wines from around the world including Beringer, Adobe Guadalupe, and Santos Brujos.
The Mayakoba Golf Cup, sponsored by Tequila Patron took place on Friday and Saturday as well. During the awards ceremony, golfers Armando Calvo and Alberto Chico were named the winners of the men’s division with a score of 121; Ashley Ruben Gonzales and Ashley López were the winners of the mixed division with a score of 129, and Karla Schiavani and Martha Espíritu Santo were crowned the champions of the women’s division with a score of 150.
Evening festivities continued throughout the night with a closing dinner and party presented by Gourmet Awards by Travel & Leisure Mexico. Guests mingled with chefs at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba’s Sands Beach Club and MK Blue and sampled small plates such as grilled strip loins with criolla tomato, onions, cilantro and lime created by Chef David Andrews. Chef Fernando Trocca also served up beef empanadas with tomato mojito; savory desserts, craft cocktails and wine. The event concluded with a fireworks display over the water.
Money raised during the event went towards Mexican former professional golfer Lorena Ochoa’s foundation, which helps underprivileged children reach a balanced life through educational programs, sports, healthy living, and self-esteem seminars. In addition, the online chapter of the auction is running through June in an effort to raise additional funds.
This year’s event sponsors included American Express, Aeromexico, Delta, Tequila Patrón, Vueve Clicquot, Vinoteca, Heineken, Beringer and Casa Noble Tequila, among others.
The Mayakoba Masters of Food, Wine & Golf will returns to the Riviera Maya April 20-23, 2017.