Entertainment | Restaurants & Dining | December 2005
|The "Grand Familia" of Café des Artistes|
Kathy Taylor - PVNN
"There is no Café des Artistes, no Thierry Blouet, without you. Thank you!" said Café des Artistes Chef/Proprietor Thierry Blouet to the packed salon in the Sheraton Buganvilias on Friday afternoon. His landmark Puerto Vallarta restaurant is a gastronomic superstar in Mexico, and one of the most highly regarded restaurants in the world.
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Café des Artistes, its employees and their families were recognized by a distinguished panel of dignitaries, and of course, Thierry Blouet.
Carolina Barrera, Director General of Café des Artistes, led off the afternoon with a heartfelt emotional message to both Thierry and Artiste's capable staff. The audience in turn laughed, applauded and became teary-eyed during the rest of the afternoon's proceedings. Next at the podium was Thierry Blouet, who spoke with affection to the crowd.
Thierry recounted his Vallarta story, from the legendary La Perla at Camino Real, to the celebration of 15 years of Café des Artiste. He expressed his gratitude to his cherished wife, family and friends, and referred to the team at Artiste as "una grand familia, who work together like a family, in the grand profession of gastronomy." He thanked the families of his staff, for their understanding of the demands of the profession, and the sometimes unexpected late hours their loved ones are required to give.
"This working family has not only made Café des Artiste, but Puerto Vallarta, and Mexico, known for gastronomic excellence throughout the world," he declared. He said that he was most proud of the fact that his staff has been entirely Mexicano, with the recent exception of two employees in the recently opened Constantini Wine Bar.
Café des Artistes' contributions to Puerto Vallarta's reputation as a first class lifestyle and holiday destination was recognized by a representation of some of Vallarta's most well regarded citizens.
Luis Brambila, the publisher of Vallarta Opinion, called Café des Artistes not only a restaurant, but a symbol of Puerto Vallarta. He told the audience that over the years Thierry Blouet had been extraordinary in promoting the city, and in that regard, the employees represented him well; Thierry has succeeded in training world class people in the all important tourism industry, and put Puerto Vallarta on the international gastronomy map.
Next, Director of Avalos and Associates, C.P. Francisco Avalos Mungia, saluted Thierry as a "patron" of Puerto Vallarta and applauded the team for their dedication and excellence.
One of Thierry Blouet's fellow Festival Gourmet committee members, Heinz Reize, who is also the owner of another top restaurant, Coco Tropical, said that "there are many excellent restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, but only ONE Café des Artistes."
He saluted Thierry's enthusiasm, energy and innovations, citing his introduction of a new concept in dining, the private meal in the chef's "cocina," with the establishment of Thierry Blouet Cocina de Autor. His friendship and affection were evident when he wished "Thierry and the entire Café des Artiste family many years of success."
The National Association of the Restaurant Industry, CANIRAC, was represented by Puerto Vallarta president, Sr. Hector Perez Garcia. He expressed appreciation for Café des Artistes' professionalism, and for Thierry's inspiration to the industry.
The tremendous positive economic impact on Puerto Vallarta due to the influence of Café des Artiste on the restaurant industry was emphasized by Ing. Jorge Garcia de Alba, President of COPARMEX. He said that "Artistes' overall success and high standards has led to job opportunities for skilled professionals in the local industry."
Lic. Gustavo Gonzales Villasenor, Mayor of Puerto Vallarta, congratulated Thierry and the Café des Artiste team on the occasion of their 15th Anniversary, saying that their "attention to detail" was outstanding. Then, with smiling enthusiasm, he handed out the awards recognizing the employees with 10 or more years of service. [see list below]
A 15th Anniversary Commemorative DVD was then shown, which incorporated stills of Thierry's early chef days, and segued into a video and still montage of the building of Café des Artistes, the crews and celebrations over the years, and action sequences from the gardens to the kitchens. It was greeted with enthusiastic applause by the same smiling faces that were on the screen, along with their friends and families.
The presentation of awards continued. Each month, Café des Artistes features an employee of the month, and annually, an employee of the year is chosen from this group. There were five etched glass awards handed out in various categories of recognition. The recipient of the Employee of the Year award was Juan Pablo Robles Villagrana.
In a gesture of celebration and solidarity, Octavio Araiza invited everyone to don the 15th anniversary shirts that they received when they arrived. A gigantic cake was cut by Mr and Mrs Thierry Blouet and the buffet lunch was served to the guests of honor, the Café des Artistes employees - their turn to be waited on!
The "Grand Familia" of Café des Artistes Click HERE for the Event photo galleries
Name - Position - Years
Efren Castillo Hernandez - Enc. Cocina Fria CDA - 15
Abelardo Arreola Zuniga - Gte. Servicio CDA - 14
Octavio Araiza Vazquez - Mesero - 12
Juan Pablo Robles Villagrana - Asistente de almacen - 11
Ramon Alvarez Uribe - Chef Ejecutivo TB - 11
Jose Manuel Urrutia Verde - Ayudante de Mesero - 11
Nicasio Cruz Sanchez - Jardinero - 11
Leopoldo Cortes Cortes - Chef Ejecutivo TB - 11
Rafael Duenas Fregoso - Mesero - 10
Luis Alberto Arreola Zuniga - Mesero - 10
Jose Apolo Tovar Hernandez - Gte. Servicio TB - 10
Premiacion a colaboradores del Ano 2005
Colaborador con Mejor Participacion de Trabajo de Equipo:
Hugo Cesar Ahumado Dominguez, Souschef de Café de Artistes
Colaborador don Mayor Amabilidad y Companerismo:
Leticia Bibbins Valdez, Afanadora de limpieza
Colaborador con Mejor Actitud de Sevicio:
Francisco Antinio Lepe Fischer, Ayudante de mesero de Thierry Blouet Cocina de Autor
Colaborador Mas Creativo:
Maria Angelica Davila Castillon, Asistente de Recursos Humanos
Colaborador del Ańo 2005:
Juan Pablo Robles Villagrana, Asistente de almacen-compras