It was “lights, camera, action” at the Old Town Farmers’ Market-Tianguis Cultural this past Saturday as the culinary students from Centro Universitario de la Costa (CUC, Guadalajara State University’s local branch) and Spain’s celebrity chef, Paco Morales, visited with vendors and market goers. All eyes were on the team who brought the University of Guadalajara’s brand new culinary project, Estación Gourmet, to Puerto Vallarta.

Estación Gourmet is designed to establish a back-to-roots connection among local farmers, markets, restaurants, and consumers. Because Puerto Vallarta has long been recognized as a top gastronomical city for its produce, restaurants, and year-round culinary events, it is the ideal location for the project. Throughout the week, Estación Gourmet introduced their project at various events around town including the Old Town Farmers’ Market-Tianguis Cultural.

The buzz started early on Saturday morning as 90 Market vendors set up booths. All were eager to meet Chef Morales, the recipient of many international culinary awards and the face of Estación Gourmet. When he arrived, Chef Morales was welcomed by Charlotte Semple, Market Founder & Director, and Daniela Sanchez, Market Coordinator. Together, they escorted him through the many “make it, bake it, grow it” stands. He was especially interested in those which offered locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as value-added products. Chef Morales sampled their products and showed a great interest in the finer details of their production processes.

With cameras flashing, Chef Morales tells Semple and Sanchez, “The work you are doing in Vallarta is very important, and I encourage you to continue with the same line of enthusiasm for local producers. I plan to return in September to continue working to make Puerto Vallarta the number one gastronomic city in Mexico.”

The students of Tourism joined in the excitement as they served Vallarta-style ceviche from silver platters. Market goers were treated to Estación Gourmet aprons as well as information regarding the culinary project. The Old Town Farmers’ Market-Tianguis Cultural looks forward to hosting Estación Gourmet in the next season as well as restaurants and culinary institutes who wish to showcase the bounty of Puerto Vallarta

To get your own fresh produce and value-added products, stop by the Old Town Farmers’ Market – Tianguis Cultural this Saturday. Located along Basilio Badillo between Olas Altas and Ignacio Vallarta, the Market is open 9:30 am to 2:00 pm from the first Saturday in November to the last Saturday in May. For more information, visit www.oldtownfm.com.

Source: Erin Stanley