What’s on in Cancún & the Riviera Maya?

url-1Cancun & Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival, March 13 – 16
Foodies are in for a treat this weekend. The Third Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival comes to Cancún. From March 13 to 16, this year’s festival pays homage to French cuisine and the influence that it has had in Mexico and around the world.
The mouthwatering Festival program features 26 events in different Cancún venues, including conferences, wine and spirits tastings hosted by leading sommeliers, a sunset catamaran cruise, interactive cooking challenges for teams of star chefs, VIP gala dinners and a gourmet tasting village. Called Vive la France: French Delights and Sinful Desserts, the closing celebration is a tribute to tempting hors d’oeuvres, French desserts and patisserie with dessert wines, cocktails and gourmet coffees to accompany them.
On March 15 and 16 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Moon Palace Arena, the Gourmet Tasting Village showcases restaurants in Cancún, Puerto Morelos and the Riviera Maya and stands for Mexican and French vineyards, mescal and tequila distilleries, patisserie and gourmet food producers exhibiting their wares, such as coffee, cheeses, sauces and preserves, among others. Students from local universities with catering courses also show off their culinary skills.
Among this year’s personalities at this event are star Chefs Daniel Boulud (France and New York) and Guillermo González Beristain (Mexico, Paris), Canadian Sommelier Veronique Rivest (World’s Best Lady Sommelier in 2013), Elyse Lambert (America’s Top Sommelier in 2009), Juan Carlos Flores Mazón (Mexico’s Top Sommelier in 2004 and a Six Diamonds Award winner from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences in 2010) and Mexican writers Martha Ortiz Chapa and Laura Esquivel, author of the best-selling book Como Agua para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate). More than 50 highly acclaimed chefs from Mexico, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela are attending and festivalgoers will have the chance to meet them and sample their delicious culinary creations.
For the second year running Royal Resorts is participating in the event, this time with Grand Residences, El Faro Grill and French chef Yann Cozic.
The Festival is the brainchild of longtime Royal Resorts member and Montreal resident David Amar who has sought to combine events showcasing exceptional chefs, cuisine, wines and the freshest ingredients, live music and the Mexican Caribbean setting with philanthropy. The Festival supports Cancún community causes such as the Fundación Ciudad de la Alegría and scholarships for catering students at local universities and also makes donations to charities in Mexico and aboard.
Visit www.crmfest.com for tickets and to consult the festival program.

Riviera Maya Film Festival
If you love the magic of the cinema, don’t miss the movies brought to you this week by the Riviera Maya Film Festival until March 15.
Free movie screenings are taking place in Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Puerto Morelos and Cancun and some are even on the beach!
Festivalgoers can see an offering of Mexican films, documentaries, independent productions and movies from Europe, Russia and Japan among others. The latest films by Danish director Lars von Trier and Spike Lee premiere in Latin America at the festival.
This year, special Festival guests included US actors Peter Sarsgaard and Oscar nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart, 2009) and Mexican actor Kuno Becker.

Here is the list of participating movies

Check venues, dates and times of the movies

Cancun Maya Museum
If you haven’t visited the Cancun Maya Museum yet, why not pay a visit this weekend and see the seasonal exhibition on the concept of Mayan Beauty called “Mayas, El Lenguaje de la Belleza.”
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays.

Seventh Hungary Cultural Festival
March 14 to 16, classical piano, folk music, jazz and art come to Cancún as part of the Seventh Hungary Cultural Festival. This event features the participation of local and Hungarian musicians and artists.
On March 14, the JW Marriott Hotel is hosting two concerts by Mexican pianist Gerardo Estrada Gómez and Hungarian pianist Norbert Kael at 6 and 8 p.m. respectively, featuring the music of Bartok, Liszt, Bach, Scriabin, Chopin, Beethoven and Brahms. Admission $200 pesos per person)
The Casa de la Cultura is offering a master class for piano students on March 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with Norbert Kael. Students $1,000 pesos, audience $100 pesos. At 11 p.m. in Muleiro’s Lounge Jazz Venue in Plaza Hong Kong, Norbert Kael will also perform in a Jazz Trio.
On March 16 at 1 p.m. the Ka’yok’ Cancún Planetarium on Palenque Avenue unveils two art exhibitions: Carnival in Europe by Tünde Hegedüs and NIVO World Exposition, featuring the work of Hungarian artists residing in the United States, Switzerland, France, Austria and Slovakia. Admission: $50 pesos
The proceeds from this Festival help support ASTRA, an association for children with autism and learning difficulties.

Opera from the New York Met
As part of its 2013-2014 opera season, the Universidad del Caribe will be screening Jules Massenet’s opera Werther on giant screen, live from the New York Metropolitan Opera House on March 15 at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $150 pesos per person. Information: 881-4400 ext. 1114.
The Universidad del Caribe is located on the outskirts of Cancún en route to Punta Sam. If you wish to go, it is advisable to ask one of the taxi drivers at your resort to take you and collect you after the performance as transport options are limited outside the university.

St. Patrick’s Day
Celebrate all things Irish on March 17 with a St. Patrick’s Day Party in Sidelines Bar at The Royal Sands and La Cabaña. As we are here in Mexico, try a green margarita and of course there is green beer too for those who cannot raise their glass in the traditional toast without it. Slainte!