|The 2010 Puerto Vallarta Culinary Jam Session Rocked!|
Polly G. Vicars - PVNN
October 29, 2010
The Casa Magna Marriott in Marina Vallarta was the scene of 300 (or more) Vallartenses dressed in their finest, living it up, greeting old friends and making new. AGAPE, Arturo and Los Hijos de Dios, Asilo San Juan Diego and Becas Vallarta were the recipients of the largesse of the sponsors of the event: Café des Artistes, Casa Magna Marriott, Kaiser Maximilian, La Palapa, Le Kliff, Los Xitomates, Trio, Vista Grill and Vitea.
The Palamazo, Culinary Jam Session, began with a cocktail hour featuring delicious hors d'oeuvres prepared and artistically served by the chefs and staff of three of the sponsoring restaurants. Le Kliff offered tasty satay of chicken and of salmon as well as crisp won ton shrimp.
Chef Thierry Blouet of Café des Artistes presided over a beautiful display of brochettes of duck with dried fruits and mango chutney, rolls with salmon and a colorful and delectable bouillabaisse. Chef Luis Fitch of Los Xitomates offered pork tacos and brochettes of various cheeses with mushrooms and tomatoes. Delicious botanas, animated conversations, hugs and besos of greeting all accompanied by the strains of Napoleon’s guitar, sum up the fun-filled cocktail hour.
During the cocktail hour, U.S. Consular Agent, Kelly Trainor, and Marriott Public Relations and Marketing Manager, Lourdes Bizarro, were everywhere tending to the last minute details making the event the huge success it was.
Among the supporters of the four charities were many folks from the business community as well as prominent residents. A few of the generous supporters I saw meeting and mixing were Ana Hernandez, Bob and Carolyn Lamb, Carl Timothy, Caty Huet, Coco Ińiguez, Cuquita and Enrique Huerta, d’Rachel, Felipe Suberville, Irene and Carl Johnson, Jane Peabody, Joanie and Tony, Kai Doyle, Kathy Van Rohr, Linda and Terry Wirth, Lupe Covarrubias, Marcelo Mico, Mary and Alfredo Franco, Melchor and Martha Cortes, Mike Holland, Pat and Richard Bendix, Rocco Troyani, Rosalba Ceveńo, Socorro Macias Marquez, Ted Pentecost, and of course Husband and Becas Presidents Mariel and Carlos Fregoso. As you can see from the photos, I just scratched the surface of the supporters of the event.
After the convivial cocktail hour, where all the proceeds from the cash bar also went to the four charities, we entered the dining area where very attractive tables set for ten awaited us and beautiful music was provided by saxophonist Papo and songs by Irving Flores.
Although most had eaten too many of the scrumptious botanas, we hadn’t seen anything yet. Waiters filled our wine glasses, as the first course of scallops with lemon and vinaigrette of ginger prepared by Marriott’s chef Fred Ruiz, was served. We then were presented with a hot corn and potato chowder prepared by La Palapa and Vista Grill that was hot and absolutely delicious!
As we ate each gourmet course, we were shown the fruits of the incredible preparation done by Lourdes and the Marriott staff on large screen TVs. We saw exactly where our donations go and the work done in AGAPE, Arturo & Los Hijos de Dios, Asilo San Juan Diego and Becas Vallarta.
We heard from recipients of our donations and saw the Asilo San Juan Diego coming to life before our eyes. I am sure many were amazed to see first hand what these awe-inspiring charities are accomplishing for the people of Puerto Vallarta.
Lourdes and her group did not stop there. They went to each restaurant to film the chefs preparing each course. So not only did we relish the dishes we were eating, we were treated by the Chefs to a cooking class as they explained each step of the preparation to us. What an imaginative idea!
While watching the preparation, we were served plates of rib eye steak with potatoes au gratin, green beans with Gorgonzola & Chimichurri sauces prepared by Andreas Rupprechter of Kaiser Maximilian. How that wait staff was able to serve everything hot and delectable I can’t imagine, but they did.
And then, Trio and Vitea produced the dessert of the year - a strawberry and almond tart with white chocolate ice cream! Those who know me also know I never eat dessert, but that dessert could not be resisted!
Kelly and Lourdes, along with Mariel, Caty, Socorro and Rosalba conducted a raffle that brought out lots of squeals of delight as party goers won prizes donated by the generous Vallarta business community. I was lucky enough to win the gorgeous floral arrangement donated by Maripepa Gonzalez of Floart.
Certificates of appreciation were presented to each of the participating chefs and they in turn presented an award to Dennis Whitelaw, the manger of Casa Magna Marriott who, in my opinion, is the number one supporter of Vallarta’s charities. There were many hugs and a few tears as we saluted these busy men and women who give so selflessly of their time and money.
The evening ended with Los Unos Band playing for dancing, but regrettably most of us had eaten just too darn much to do anything more than head home to bed.
Salutes to Casa Magna Marriott and their amazing staff, the chefs and owners of Café des Artistes, Casa Magna Marriott, Kaiser Maximilian, La Palapa, Le Kliff, Los Xitomates, Trio, Vista Grill and Vitea, US Consular Agent Kelly Trainor and all of you who support AGAPE, Arturo & Los Hijos de Dios, Asilo San Juan Diego and Becas Vallarta - and showed it by attending this grand event.
Polly G. Vicars and her husband of almost 60 years, Hubert (a.k.a. "Husband") retired to Puerto Vallarta in 1988 and soon became active members of several charitable organizations. Polly is the author of "Tales of Retirement in Paradise: Life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico" [a sell-out!] and "More Tales of Retirement in Puerto Vallarta and Around the World." Proceeds from the sale of her books go to the America-Mexico Foundation, a scholarship foundation that is their passion.
Click HERE for more articles by Polly Vicars, or click HERE to learn more about Becas Vallarta and the America-Mexico Foundation.