Cuisine of the Sun this April

Villa La Estancia is hosting Cuisine of the Sun, an International Food and Wine Festival, from April 23-26, 2019. Featuring a line-up of internationally acclaimed chefs, Cuisine of the Sun will showcase the talents and dishes of celebrity chefs from the United States and Latin America.

This four-day festival offers a variety of entertaining activities such as cooking classes, chef presentations, dinner parties, and more, that are sure to delight your taste buds. All attendees will have the opportunity to attend an elegant dinner alongside famous chefs, learn from these master chefs, and have a chance to show off their new skills in a “Chopped Challenge,” which puts celebrity chefs and their guest partners in a cooking showdown.

This year, our Celebrity Chef’s will be Penny Davidi, Michelle Ragussis, Jamika Pessoa, David Rose, Katsuji Tanabe, and David Fuerte. Read along for more information about each of our special guests.

Penny Davidi: 

Since the beginning, Celebrity Chef and Sysco Foods Culinary Sales Consultant, Penny Davidi has been the Cuisine of the Sun Festival’s curator. Similar to previous years, she has taken on the responsibility for inviting the celebrity chefs participating in this year’s event and is providing direction with the overall structure of the festival.

Born of Iranian-American decent and raised in California, Davidi is an innovative chef who has used the experiences in her family’s kitchen as a launching pad to create recipes that fuse creativity with unique personality. Since the beginning of her career, this talented chef has made numerous appearances on different cooking shows, including Season 7 of the Food Network Star, Chopped All Stars Season 2, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Kitchen Inferno. In 2014, she helped open PUMP Lounge in West Hollywood as Executive Chef and Menu Curator.


Michelle Ragussis: 

The Cuisine of the Sun International Culinary Festival is thrilled to welcome back Michele Ragussis.  Most well known for her appearances as a finalist on the eighth season of the Food Network series Food Network Star, Ragussis brings a wealth of knowledge and culinary expertise to the table. Her role as Executive chef at Central House at the Crown in Provincetown, Massachusetts is just icing on the cake, as she has appeared on such shows as NBC Food Fighters, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped, and Midnight Feast.

Jamika Pessoa: 

As a savvy business owner and certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Chef Jamika has made a name for herself impressing celebrities and other VIPs with her Caribbean and Southern inspired creations. She is most well known for her television appearances on TLC’s Home Made Simple, the Today Show, the Rachael Ray Show, and ABC’s The Chew, however she first gained recognition in the culinary world for her bold flavors and “life of the party” personality. Her contributions to this year’s Cuisine of the Sun International Food and Wine Festival is sure to one of the event’s highlights.

Katsuji Tanabe: 

The star of Top Chef Boston and Top Chef Mexico will light up the kitchens at The Cuisine of the Sun International Culinary Festival 2018. Katsuji Tanabe has worked in acclaimed kitchens, from the four-star Bastide Restaurant to Beverly Hills’ Mastro’s Steakhouse. Tanabe owns MexiKosher Restaurant, the first authentic Kosher Mexican restaurant in the United States, and he also serves his community as a personal mentor and celebrity representative, where he happily offers his time and expertise for fundraising and volunteer work, as well as regularly teaching healthy eating and cooking alternatives. We welcome Tanabe with arms wide open.

Chef Plum:

Chef Plum has created original recipes, which compliment the highlighted wine and movie. Watch him for fun, easy to recreate recipes – that you will enjoy making at home for yourself, family and friends. Dishes that take ‘dinner and a movie’ to the next level. TCM Wine Club has teamed up with culinary veteran, Chef Plum to showcase great nights in with a movie and wine!

David Fuerte:

David Fuerte is the CEO and Co-Founder of Made for Chefs, Artisan Street Kitchen Catering and Artisan Chef Creations. The companies are based out of Whitter, Los Angeles, CA. Products can be shipping anywhere in the world.

We look forward to sharing this delectable experience with you!To make your room reservation at Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta, Villa del Palmar Flamingos or Villa La Estancia Riviera Nayarit, please call Member Services at 800-852-4755. More information will be announced as it becomes available.

Space is limited. The resort reserves the right to change, alter or terminate the event schedule at any time with or without notice.

Upon arrival, please see staff at the resort for additional details.

Upcoming Events at Villa del Palmar Flamingos & Villa La Estancia:

  • June 25-28, 2019: Beyond the Border
  • July 12: Wine Makers
  • August 6-9, 2019: Masters of the Kitchen
  • October 2019 (Dates Pending): Wine Makers
  • November 2019 (Dates Pending): International Culinary Fest
  • December 2019 (Dates Pending): Wine Makers

One Comment

  • I’m a home chef born and raised in New Orleans, and I attended college in the world Cajun capital of Lafayette, Louisiana. You can’t come out of Louisiana not knowing how to cook. I now live near Richmond, Virginia. I’ll be at Flamingos 4/20/19 to 5/4/19, and would love to pair with Chef Jamika in the “Chopped Challenge”.

    I was at the Cuisine Of The Sun in 2017, and got to assist a team when the chef’s partner temporarily dropped out to receive first aid for an injury. Just that little bit of exposure has me anxious to return.

    The event is a whole lot of fun for foodies. Don’t miss it if you’re there.


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