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Masters of Food and Wine South America

by San Telmo (03/24/08).
Park Hyatt Buenos Aires' Masters of Food and Wine

This past month I attended the Masters of Food and Wine opening party held at the Palacio Duhau in Buenos Aires. Masters of Food and Wine is an annual conference put on by the Park Hyatt; it had been held in Carmel for close to twenty years. In 2007, it debuted in Mendoza, Argentina. This year’s Masters of Food and Wine made a huge splash in Argentine wine country. The party that kicked off the week of wine, cheese, and culinary delights was held at the Hyatt’s Palacio Duhau, an old mansion-turned restaurant in Buenos Aires’ elegant neighborhood of Recoleta.

For “Malbec, Torrontés & Cheese Tasting,” Maitre Fromager, Mercedes Silva Rodriguez and sommelier, Marcelo Rebole, of Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires selected ten Argentine cheeses and paired them with ten Argentine Malbecs and Torrontés. Representatives were on hand to present each vintage from their respective wineries. The party was definitely a hit and, like most Argentine events, the décor was perfect and the staff was charming. The opening event attracted a great-looking, relaxed crowd of Argentines and visiting guests from New York, California, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Italy.

Inside, an elegant spread of cheeses, fruit and fresh-baked bread greeted visitors upon entering. Four candlelit rooms staffed with wine representatives and chefs in full regalia catered to the whims of guests who made their way through the spread to the back of the Palacio Duhau to the gardens, for further fantastic tastings.

A few foodie stars showed up to the tasting that opened the week’s events in Buenos Aires and Mendoza. There were the general manager and head chef of Nobu; New York City’s premier sushi restaurant famous for its haute fusion cuisine. There were the owners of Paul Bocuse’s Michelin star restaurant in Lyon, France. I spent time with the sommelier of one of Mario Battali’s restaurants in New York’s Greenwich Village.

There were members of the press from Wine Spectator, the New York Times, Time Out and Gourmet Magazine. Members of some of Argentina’s prominent wine families attended the event that is said will help bring Argentina into the forefront of the world’s wine market; where it certainly belongs.

Organized by Hyatt International, Masters of Wine and Food was a conference spanning a week of events in Buenos Aires and Mendoza. For this first event, the Park Hyatt in Recoleta pulled out all the stops with gorgeous décor, hors d’oeuvres and excellent wines in a beautiful setting. The results were a pleasure for the palate and a preview of the week to come.

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