The San Miguel de Allende Food Festival (SMAFF) is this celebrated colonial town’s biggest annual festival, as well as one of the most anticipated and exciting culinary events in Mexico. And the 2016 edition, July 15-17, will be the biggest festival yet with some 50 national and international chefs, performances by four musical groups, more than 100 exhibitors including hotels, restaurants, caterers, artisans, local food producers and wineries, and more than 30 food writers and other media. About 2,000 food lovers from Mexico and around the world will converge on San Miguel to enjoy tasting menus, wine tastings, entertainment, product exhibits, and the festival’s main event, the ‘Chefs Table.’
On Thursday, July 14, the gala gourmet gathering will get underway with a ‘Kick-Off Dinner’ at Hotel Matilda’s Moxi restaurant featuring two of the country’s top chefs: Enrique Olvera, Mexico’s most recognized chef who operates Moxi, and Matteo Salas, executive chef at acclaimed Áperi and Jacinto 1930 in San Miguel and a rising-star exponent of contemporary Mexican cuisine. The dinner will be followed with an “Unplugged Concert” at Hotel Matilda by Los Rumberos de Massachusetts, the popular Mexican trio that has made its mark on the music scene of North America with its trademark blend of flamenco, rumba, reggae and Latin rock. Seating is limited to 120 people. The cost is 2,500 pesos, or about $141, not including service. For reservations: email@example.com or Tel. +52(415) 152 10 15. www.hotelmatilda.com
The festival will run from 2:00 to 10:00 pm on Friday, July 14; from 12:00 to 7:00 pm on Saturday, and from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm on Sunday. Each day will feature a variety of events and activities including:
For the first time, SMAFF will have a special Tasting Table offering fine wines, mescals and beers along with cooking demonstrations and culinary exhibitions.
Festival-goers will be able to sample a wide range of gourmet dishes whipped up by the Mexican and international chefs. The chefs will be divided into teams to prepare unique recipes for a series of meals, while also spending time eating and talking with the attendees. The Chef’s Table is being designed by Casa Armida, one of the most recognized design houses in the country based in San Miguel. The state of Tabasco will bring a special presentation to the Chef’s Table: “The Dinner of Eden” featuring a huge bed of smoked oysters. One of the featured teams will be four chefs from the Rosewood San Miguel. Monin, a top brand internationally for beverage mixers, syrups and flavorings, will be serving cocktails at the Chef’s Table. Among the participating chefs will be Najat Kaanache Amghiraf, one of the world’s leading female chefs. The Moroccan native trained at Ferran Adria’s renowned El Bulli in Spain and then honed her skills at prestigious Noma in Copenhagen, French Laundry in Yountville, California, Per Se in New York City and Alinea in Chicago, working alongside such culinary giants as Rene Redzepi, Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz and Martin Berasetegui. She went on to instruct chefs worldwide on the latest culinary techniques and lecture at major universities and festivals on the science of cooking with White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses. The Chef’s Table meals range between 1,200 pesos (about $63) and 2000 pesos (about $105).
- Friday, July 15, 6:00 pm: Elliot The Furniture, a popular Guadalajara band.
- Saturday, July 16, 4:00 pm: Makupa, the innovative Mexican Cello artist.
- Saturday, July 16: Los Rumberos de Massachusetts, 6:00 pm.
- Sunday, July 17, 2:00 pm: Guacamole, the Mexican rap band.
Exhibitions at a Colonial Hacienda:
More than 100 hotels, restaurants, caterers, artisans, local food producers and wineries Will be exhibiting their products and services at the upscale event site of Hacienda los Picachos, a former riding club and colonial hacienda in San Miguel. Among the exhibitors will be Hotel Matilda, Rosewood San Miguel, Bocanegra brewery, Monin, Wine Gurus, Vinos + Tapas, Tequila Don Ramon, wine distributor Ferrer y Asociados, Nomada restaurant in San Miguel and beer brewer Chela Libre.