This past week, Anson and I were invited to a fun little gathering of food bloggers and journalists at Red O Restaurant in Los Angeles to promote the upcoming Food & Wine Festival in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo. The event was hosted by celebrity chef Rick Bayless (who will also host the Food & Wine event) and the Mexico Board of Tourism. If you would like to get a feel for Ixtapa's beauty, check out my blogs from Food Blog Camp at Club Med last January. Ixtapa really is that tropical paradise you've been dreaming of on these dreary winter days.
Chef Rick Bayless from Red O, and Chef Victor Torres from Hotel Las Brisas in Ixtapa spoke about the cuisine of Mexico, which is as varied as regional cuisine is across America. It's not just rice and beans, despite what Taco Bell would lead you to believe! We snacked on some fresh mahi ceviché, corn and goat cheese tamales, and really good margaritas. We sat down later and shared duck taquitos, which were my favorite bite of the night.
We got a very sweet gift bag which contained these two items. Do you know what they are? It took me a second, but then my brain started spinning like a rolodex and I remembered a show where the host made hot chocolate in the authentic Mexican style using a molinillo, a whisk-like device that froths the hot chocolate. Simply heat some milk in a pan, add Abuelita hot chocolate mix and spin the molinillo between your hands in the pan to create a froth. Authentic Mexican hot chocolate and you don't even have to grind your own cacao beans!