Taste Of Playa 2011 – A fresh & delicious food festival in paradise


Dear friends,

I recently had the pleasure of attending a wonderful and delicious event in one of my favorite cities in the world: I’m talking about Taste of Playa 2011, which was held on November 20, 2011 in Playa del Carmen, a laid-back, multicultural city just a 30-40 minute car drive away from Cancun. You can take a bus from Cancun’s Bus terminal (ADO) and it will take you to “Playa” (as it is locally known) in approx. 1 hour.

taste of playa 2011

Taste Of Playa

Photo: Taste Of Playa

So, what exactly is “Taste of Playa”?

From their website:

“Taste of Playa is a community based culinary festival set in the heart of the Riviera Maya. With inspiration drawn from the dreams of several local business owners, this event was conceived as a way to celebrate the extraordinary talents of chefs and restaurateurs who have chosen Playa del Carmen as their home and establish the Riviera Maya as a world class culinary destination.

In my opinion, Taste of Playa is a great opportunity to have a good time tasting many different (and delicious!) food options among friends, for very little cash (most dishes cost 1 “taste of playa peso” which is approx. 1 USD) in a beautiful setting: the laid-back, relaxing and multicultural city of Playa del Carmen, with the beautiful Caribbean Sea in the background. Sounds good? It’s better.

Taste Of Playa 2011

Taste Of Playa 2011 - Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Photo by Michele Kinnon

I was personally invited by the organizers (Thanks, Tyra!) and this was my first time attending. Long story short? I’ll be coming back again, and again, and again… There were so many different and delicious options to try! As a “member of the press”, I did had some nice courtesy “taste of playa pesos” included along with my invitation, which I happily used for my first round. I walked around the whole area, looking (and drooling) at the different options, trying new flavors.

taste of playa 2011

Chez Celine - French desserts, yum!

Photo by Michele Kinnon

taste of playa 2011

Los Aguachiles - Fresh tuna crispy tacos

taste of playa 2011

Shrimp Coconut - Delicious

Photo by Michele Kinnon

taste of playa 2011

Tiramisú - My favorite stand!

Photo by Michele Kinnon

After my pesos were done, I bought some more for round 2. This time I went back to the specific stands that I liked the most. My favorite stand was easily Tiramisú, warmly attended by Donna Carey. Tiramisú is actually located in Puerto Aventuras, a resort community approx 15-20minutes away from Playa. Donna was very nice and eager to explain how the food was prepared; I had a pasty filled with seafood and melted cheese to start my food tour – yum!

taste of playa 2011

Tiramisú - Everything on this table was absolutely delicious!

I’m a lover of raw seafood (sushi, etc), so I was happy to see the “Los Aguachiles” stand. Los Aguachiles is one of my favorite seafood restaurants in Cancun, and they also have a restaurant in playa. There, I had a delicious piece of raw tuna wrapped in a lettuce leaf, with some spice and onions to top it. They’re called “Figurín de atún fresco” (Fresh tuna figurín)

taste of playa 2011

Los Aguachiles - Figurín de atún fresco

Photo by Michele Kinnon

Right next to Los Aguachiles was the stand of “Diablito Cha Cha Cha”, which I already knew as a nightclub in Playa, but never before had I tried their food: very good! Here, I tried the “Tuna Tataki”, which was raw tuna rolled with lettuce and flavored with a special sauce. Can you see the pattern? Yes, I am a raw tuna fan.

taste of playa 2011

Diablito Cha Cha Cha - Tuna Tataki

But not everything was seafood, I also had the chance to try Duck Tacos. Yep, Duck Tacos! They were offered at the stand of “La Lunita”, a restaurant located in Akumal (another beach community close to Playa) which I had never heard of before, but plan on visiting next time I’m around Akumal. The dish was called “Tacos de pato laqueado” and the duck meat literally melted in my mouth as I chewed. I loved the idea of throwing together a taco, which isn’t normally considered a “Gourmet” dish, with Duck meat. The result? Awesomeness.

Okay, I did ate some more seafood here as well… I had the Coconut Shrimp too, which –not surprisingly- was also delicious.

taste of playa 2011

La Lunita - Duck tacos and shrimp coconut

And so, as I was almost ready to burst, I saved some space for dessert of course. I went back to my favorite stand, Tiramisú, and had a sweet, tasty and delicious assorted fruit pie.

After staying for a while more and taking time to enjoy the beach at Playa and of course, walking down “La Quinta” (Playa’s 5th Avenue), it was time for me to get back to Cancun.

taste of playa 2011

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Overall, I highly recommend Taste of Playa to anyone that enjoys eating and discovering new flavors, and would advise everyone not to miss it next year. Special thanks to Michele Kinnon and Tyra Hamilton for inviting me, I had a great time and ended up with a full belly, good memories and some wonderful new flavors in my mouth.

Thanks, and (hopefully) see you next year!

Camilo Olea


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    • Pleasure to meet you as well, Tyra! Thanks for all your attentions, I had a great time and plan tu return. Cheers from Cancun 🙂

    • Pleasure to meet you as well, Tyra! Thanks for all your attentions, I had a great time and plan tu return. Cheers from Cancun 🙂

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