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Vallarta’s 1st ‘Taste of Competition’ Cooking Contest a Success

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – An exciting cooking contest took place on Friday at the Emiliano Zapata municipal market, featuring the first edition of the Sabor en Competencia (‘Taste of Competition’) event. Five chefs from different Puerto Vallarta restaurants prepared delicious dishes using fresh products available daily in this traditional shopping space.

The Mayor, Professor Luis Alberto Michel Rodríguez, attended the event, which was supported by various agencies, including the Municipal Markets Directorate and the Tourism and Economic Development Department. In strategic partnership with local vendors and the National Chamber of the Restaurant Industry and Seasoned Foods (CANIRAC) Puerto Vallarta Riviera Nayarit, the event was a unique success that strengthened local commerce and attracted more visitors to Puerto Vallarta’s municipal markets.

During his speech, Mayor Michel expressed gratitude to all those who made the competition possible, emphasizing the significance of promoting events like these to attract tourists interested in savoring Mexican cuisine. He highlighted the abundance of farm-fresh products available at the Emiliano Zapata market, showcasing the importance and tradition of shopping at local markets.

Cecilio López Fernández, the head of the Municipal Markets, praised the five culinary artists and their assistants who participated in the contest, using locally sourced ingredients from the market. He stressed that promoting public markets supports the internal economy, benefiting national producers and encouraging financial interactions and harmony with local vendors.

Christian Preciado Cázares, the Director of Tourism and Economic Development, expressed gratitude to the restaurants that participated in the inaugural edition and thanked CANIRAC for supporting this groundbreaking event, which he believed would be a turning point for the markets. This sentiment was shared by CANIRAC President Jorge Luis Carbajal Díaz, who applauded the initiative and emphasized the importance of fortifying local gastronomy and expanding it to other regions.

The contest rules allowed participants 10 minutes to acquire their ingredients within the market and 40 minutes to prepare their innovative, colorful, and flavorful dishes. The competing chefs included Alejandra Aisury Delgado García from Masame Restaurant, Antonio Cabrera Saldaña from Tienda Grande Restaurant, Manuel Pedro Vicente from Mariscos Tino’s Restaurant, Javier Cruz Colmenares from Mi Querencia Restaurant, and Rogelio Ramírez Pera from Qué Bolá Restaurant, each supported by their assistant chefs.

The judging panel, consisting of Aarón Castañeda from Tintoque Restaurant, Ilse Ortega Rivera, a gastronomy professor at Universidad Vizcaya, and Joary Rodríguez Razo, a chef from the UVC Gastronomy Program, evaluated the flavor, presentation, and originality of each dish.

The top honor went to Chef Alejandra Aisury Delgado García from Masame Restaurant for her dish titled ‘Tierra, Mar y Sal,’ representing the essence of the port city’s cuisine.

Chef Rogelio Ramírez Pera from Qué Bolá Restaurant secured second place, followed by Restaurant Tienda Grande in third place, and Mariscos Tino’s and Mi Querencia restaurants claimed the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. The participants, agencies, and artists involved in the event received well-deserved recognition from the authorities and market vendors.

The event was graced by the presence of María de Jesús López Delgado, President of the Municipal DIF, as well as local vendors Enrique Gabriel Pedrosa and Marina Urrutia. Ana Teresa Topete Álvarez, in charge of Marketing and the ‘Sabor en Competencia’ event, and Randy Alfredo López Martínez, Executive Director of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Trust, also attended the successful contest.

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