Get to Know the Chefs: 2019’s Cuisine of the Sun Festival

Get to Know the Chefs: 2019’s Cuisine of the Sun Festival

The 4th annual Cuisine of the Sun International Food and Wine Festival is just around the corner on April 23rd to 27th, and this is a not to miss event at the Villa La Estancia in Riviera Nayarit. The Villa Group is pleased to introduce this year’s invited chefs that will be sharing their culinary expertise and delighting event attendees with their mouth watering dishes and charismatic presence. Read below to learn more about the incredible chefs who will be showcased at this year’s 2019 Cuisine of the Sun International Food and Wine Festival.

Festival Curator and Chef Penny Davidi

Since the inaugural event at Villa La Estancia 4 years ago, Celebrity Chef and Sysco Foods Culinary Sales Consultant, Penny Davidi has been the Cuisine of the Sun Festival’s curator. As in previous years, she has once again coordinated and oversaw the event’s scheduling and development. She has been the driving force to invite celebrity chefs and has provided the overall structure for this successful annual event. David is of Iranian-American decent and was raised in California where she began her culinary career. Today, Davidi is a creative and contemporary chef who brings her own creativity and personality to each and every dish. You may have seen her on various cooking shows where she has made appearances including Season 7 of the Food Network Star, Chopped All Stars Season 2, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Kitchen Inferno. In addition, she served as Executive Chef and Menu Curator in 2014 for the hugely successful PUMP Lounge in West Hollywood.

Chef Michelle Ragussis
Chef Michelle Ragussis is a long time favorite at The Cuisine of the Sun International Culinary Festival at Villa La Estancia. This year, we welcome her back and we are excited to see what surprises she plans to bring to the table. Chef Ragussis is best known for her appearances as a finalist on the eighth season of the Food Network series Food Network Star. She has also appeared on NBC Food Fighters, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped, and Midnight Feast. She currently works as the Executive chef at Central House at the Crown in Provincetown, Massachusetts and is delighted to bring her culinary expertise to the Cuisine of the Sun Festival this year.

Chef Jamika Pessoa

Chef Jamika Pessoa is well known among celebrities as a nutrition and wellness expert. She is also a TV star who has appeared on TLC’s Home Made Simple, the Today Show, the Rachael Ray Show, and ABC’s The Chew. Her Caribbean and Southern inspired creations have impressed her clients and her charismatic personality lights up the room. Today, Chef Pessoa is a well respected business owner in addition to a world class chef and she will certainly impress guests who attend this year’s Cuisine of the Sun Festival.

Chef Plum

Chef Plum is the newest celebrity chef to join the lineup at the Cuisine of the Sun International Food & Wine Festival at Villa La Estancia this year. He has also made several appearances on the Food Network where he was featured in cooking shows including Random Acts of Cooking on OnlyGoodTV, Restaurant Road Trip on ABC, and On the Road with Edible Magazine. Chef Plum’s also operates a live podcast called “Plumluvfoods” that has a large fan base. Chef Plum brings extensive experience and passion for cooking and is destined to be a welcome addition to the celebrity chef team as this year’s festival.

Chef Katsuji Tanabe

Chef Katsuji Tanabe is of Top Chef Boston and Top Chef Mexico fame and is guaranteed to heat up the kitchen at this year’s Cuisine of the Sun International Culinary Festival. Chef Tanabe has worked in many well known restaurants including the four-star Bastide Restaurant and Beverly Hills’ Mastro’s Steakhouse. Currently, Tanabe is the owner of MexiKosher Restaurant which is the first authentic Kosher Mexican restaurant in the United States. In addition to his passion for cooking, he also gives back to his community working as a personal mentor doing volunteer work with a focus on healthy eating and cooking methods.

Chef David Fuerte

Our last celebrity chef is David Fuerte who serves as the CEO and Co-Founder of Made for Chefs, Artisan Street Kitchen Catering and Artisan Chef Creations. Based out of Whittier, Los Angeles, CA, Chef Fuerte’s products can be shipped anywhere in the world making it an internationally powerful brand. His inspiration for his business was to centralize the food industry and bring together chef tools and products into one centralized company. With an emphasis on functionality and streamlined chef approved products, Chef Fuerte offers a modern and intelligent way to help you be the best chef you can.

This year’s Cuisine of the Sun International Food and Wine Festival at Villa La Estancia is guaranteed to be the best yet. Make sure to purchase your tickets soon as space is limited and you don’t want to miss out. Mark your calendars now for April 23-27, 2019. See you at Villa La Estancia in Riviera Nayarit!

Check out the 2019 Cuisine of the Sun Festival Schedule

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