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Partner Press Release from Taste of Vail

The Taste of Vail, one of the nation’s top food and wine festivals, today announced it will host four world-class guest chefs at its signature events from April 5-8, 2023. Each chef will showcase a signature dish at events including The Debut of Rosé, The Niman Ranch Iberian Duroc Pork Challenge & Après Tasting, The Niman Ranch Mountain Top Tasting and The Grand Tasting. Three chefs hail from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and one is a former Vail Valley chef who recently started his own business in Denver. Also as part of a new collaboration with Taste of Vail, select Vail chefs will also be participating at the Festival Gourmet in Puerto Vallarta November 9-19, 2023.

“After seeing first-hand the quality and passion from these amazing chefs, we wanted to find a way to showcase their talent at the Taste of Vail,” said Angela Mueller, executive director of Taste of Vail. “The collaboration between chefs gives participants and attendees alike a fresh take on culinary offerings and brings an exciting new element to the event. We are thrilled to welcome Chef Leal, Chef Leyva, Chef Meraz and Chef Benavidez to Taste of Vail this year.”

Participating guest chefs in the 2023 Taste of Vail include:

Chef Héctor Leyva, Hector’s Kitchen, Punta Mita, Mexico

Hector’s Kitchen serves masterfully prepared dishes made from local ingredients in a contemporary setting that feels new, familiar, chic and modern all at once. A staple of the Punta Mita community and culinary scene, Chef Leyva brings flavors from different regions to Mexican cuisine, including fresh fish and locally sourced produce from the Pacific coast. High-quality ingredients make for effortless combinations, with flavorful touches of creativity inspired by his travels.

Chef Mauricio Leal, ICÚ, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

ICÚ means corn in the language of the Huichols, and Leal incorporates the restaurant’s name by using it in many of his dishes. ICÚ takes traditional dishes of Mexican cuisine and adds an innovative touch. In

October 2019 ICÚ was named the best new restaurant in Mexico by the readers of Food and Travel Magazine. In 2021 and 2022 it is included in the Mexican Culinary Guide, and rated among the top 250 Restaurants of Mexico.

Chef Fabiola Meraz, Los Tonales Restaurant and MUXA Cocina del Alma, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Fabiola Meraz is executive chef and co-owner of MUXA Cocina del Alma and Los Toneles Restaurant. She is also the founder of the ËLLAS SE JUNTAN¨ Initiative, created to help achieve greater recognition for Puerto Vallarta Women Chefs, Mixologists and Sommeliers. On top of her successful career as a chef and restaurateur, Chef Meraz has been invited to participate in celebrity chef events, cooking shows and cookbooks.

Chef Orlando Benavidez, Bits and Pieces, Denver, Colorado

Chef, CEO and owner of wholesale company Bits and Pieces, a favorite from the Vail Valley, Chef Benavidez previously worked at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek and under venerable Denver chefs Kevin Taylor and Richard Sandoval. He will make his return to Vail to highlight his talents at the Taste of Vail.

Taste of Vail tickets are on sale now at See a full schedule here.

About the Taste of Vail Food and Wine Festival

Rated among the top food and wine festivals by Forbes, Travel+Leisure and USA Today, Taste of Vail will celebrate Vail’s world class dining scene and participating wineries’ finest wines, at several different venues throughout North America’s most popular mountain resort from April 5-8, 2023. The Taste of Vail is one of the nation’s only events that invites dozens of winemakers and owners from all over the world to pour wine and interact with participants. For more information and to purchase tickets visit

Media Contacts:

Kate Lessman, Think Big Media PR, [email protected], 970-333-3395 or Alexandra Chiafery, Think Big Media PR, [email protected] 585-329-9670

For Taste of Vail images  see here