Pan American Food Festival

Pan American Festival (16 of 29)

I won’t bog you down with all the fine details of my adventures at the Pan American Food Festival.  Let’s say I spent 8 hours there and it seems like time just blew by.

Instead I just want to mention some great highlights and then overload your senses with all the amazing pictures.

Some of the best moments from the event?

Well first off the smell.  Even as I was pulling into the parking garage I could already feel my mouth watering from the smells coming from the vendors area.  Such variety and taste in one little area.

Pan American Festival (14 of 29)

Next  were the free food demos.  With heavy weight chefs like Key West’s Norman Van Aken, Roger Arakaki from Peru and Toronto’s own paella master Luis Valenzuela from Carmen good food was bound to happen. What I loved best about these demos though was instead of step by step directions on what they where making ( there was some) it was all about the storytelling.  About their histories and about the food itself.  Which is why 4 hours went by and I hardly noticed I was so engrossed in these chefs.

Chef Luis Valenzuela

Chef Luis Valenzuela

Of course their was the Totalement Tamales competition.  Pure unadulterated tamale bliss.

Totalmente Tamales

Totalmente Tamales

And finally the biggest highlight for me was the people.  I’ve been fortunate enough in this industry to met some incredible people.  But you know what? It isn’t about who I am. It’s about who these people are.  Hard working and incredibly humble individuals who take the time to talk to you, joke around, and answer any question you might have whether you are a food blogger or an investment banker.  Take the time and chat with them.  They are wonderful people to know.

Totalmente Tamales Competiters

Totalmente Tamales Competiters

Enjoy my pictures below or grab your keys and hurry out the door because you still have a couple hours to enjoy everything the festival has to offer.  And if you can’t make it then watch my blog for details for next years event.  You will not want to miss it.

Pan American Festival (15 of 29)

Chef Luis Valenzuela

Chef Luis Valenzuela

Duck Confit Mole

Duck Confit Mole

Pan American Festival (3 of 29)

Chef Paola Solorzano

Chef Paola Solorzano

Pork Chimichanga from Santo Pecado

Pork Chimichanga from Santo Pecado

Chef Norman van Aken

Chef Norman van Aken

Conch Ceviche and Black Eyed Peas Bollo

Conch Ceviche and Black Eyed Peas Bollo

Chef Roger Arakaki

Chef Roger Arakaki

Quinoa and Tofu Salad

Quinoa and Tofu Salad

Quinoa coated shrimp

Quinoa coated shrimp

Chef Roger Arakaki

Chef Roger Arakaki

Chef Claudia Gaviria

Chef Claudia Gaviria

Raw Vegan Ceviche

Raw Vegan Ceviche

Pan American Festival (14 of 29) Pan American Festival (16 of 29)

Tamales Competitors Chef Christian Heise and Rossy Earle

Tamales Competitors Chef Christian Heise and Rossy Earle

Pan American Festival (18 of 29) Pan American Festival (19 of 29)

Totalmente Tamales

Totalmente Tamales

Pan American Festival (22 of 29)

Pisco

Pisco

Pan American Festival (24 of 29) Pan American Festival (25 of 29)

Chef Carlos Fuenmayor and Chef Rossy Earle

Chef Carlos Fuenmayor and Chef Rossy Earle

Totalmente Tamales Competiters

Totalmente Tamales Competiters

Totalmente Tamales Competiters Chefs Claudia Gaviria, Rossy Earle and Carlos Fuenmayor

Totalmente Tamales Competiters Chefs Claudia Gaviria, Rossy Earle and Carlos Fuenmayor

Totalmente Tamales Competiters Chef's Cristian Heise, Paola Solorzano, Cookie Martinez with Festival Director Daniel Garcia-Herreros

Totalmente Tamales Competiters Chef’s Cristian Heise, Paola Solorzano, Cookie Martinez with Festival Director Daniel Garcia-Herreros

I want to give a special shout out to Mary Luz Mejia the Culinary Curator of this event.  Over the past year and a half, thanks to this wonderful lady I have been exposed in multiple facets to this most amazing cuisine and the people behind it.  In turn it has allowed me to share it with you.  I can not even begin to imagine the magnitude of pulling off this enormous feat, bringing in first class talent and executing it robustly.  I hope she is on tap for next year as well because I will proudly wear a volunteer t-shirt along side her !!!  Usted ha hecho un trabajo increible. Gracias.

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