Club Med Ixtapa: A Week of Gluttony

For more photos of Club Med Ixtapa – click on the photo above. I have about 10 more photos in the slideshow.

If I had to choose between driving or being driven, I will always choose being a passenger. But with steering rights and final decision on the destination. Oh and exclusive access to the horn, radio, air conditioner, GPS and windows.

Okay, I admit that I’m a control freak who doesn’t like people to think I’m a control freak, but it’s pretty obvious to anyone within ear-shot, eye-shot or email-shot of me. It’s the reason I’ve never been on an all-inclusive resorts before. The thought of my environment, activities and food choices already planned out and decided for me is just too much for me to handle without some sort of divine intervention or straight jacket.

Club Med Ixtapa: Sunset and thunderstorms in the horizon…see the rain pouring down?

But an entire summer of writing deadlines really did a number on my stress level and I began looking more and more like Cruella every day, which does absolutely nothing for my sex life and which is why that photo of me right up there is an old one from last year.

It wasn’t a minute after Scott said to me, “honey, you need a vacation,” when (ding!) an email came though, inviting me to Club Med for their Food and Wine Festival in Ixtapa, Mexico. I relented only after being fitted for a straight jacket disguised as a really long, stiff apron and Scott and the kids kissed me good bye.

Within 10 seconds of arriving on the property, I was handed a cool lime spritzer, my luggage was teased out of my white-knuckled hands (That little plane we flew in on? My espresso machine had more horsepower.) and a plastic bracelet was snapped on my left wrist.


It got me all the rum mojitos I could possibly drink, as much food at any time of the day that I wanted, and activities like sailing, kayaking, archery and hammocking. Yes, hammocking is a sporting activity – especially getting in, adjusting and getting out. Have you ever had a hammock wedgie?

Club Med Ixtapa: Take a boat to the island and have a private lobster dinner on the beach

Six days of relaxing, laughing, wining and dining totally converted me into letting go of control. Anytime I felt that stress meter inch up, I just had to flash my magic bracelet and bam! Pina Coladas! Chips and salsa! Pork tacos! Fluffy towels! Another chocolate eclair?

Twelve award-winning chefs were flown in to conduct cooking demos and mixology classes at Club Med Ixtapa. Each evening, we indulged in a 4-course tasting menu prepared by the visiting chefs.

The food and wine weeks at Club Med Ixtapa continue through next May at different resorts, and the best part is that participation in the demos and dinners are no additional charge, it’s all part of your stay at the resort. And yes, even though I’ve been back for several days, I’m still wearing my magic bracelet, though when I waved it at the bartender at Carrabba’s, he thought I escaped from the hospital.

Not quite the same effect I was hoping for.


Club Med Ixtapa: Chefs On The Beach…sounds sexy, eh? Would make a great movie I think.

Here they are, in order of appearance:
Chef Jason Zuka, Club Med Ixtapa
Chef Johnny Vinczencz, Johnny V’s Las Olas, Ft. Lauderdale
Chef Russel Cunningham, Agraria, Washington D.C.
Chef Erik Peters, Corporate Chef Club Med
Chef Stefano La Cava, Barton G, Miami
Chef Sean Bernal, Oceanaire Seafood Room, Miami
Chef Tim Grandinetti, Twin City Quarter, Winston/Salem
Chef Fabian Di Paolo, Trump International, Miami
Chef Kurtis Jantz, Trump International, Miami
Chef Matthew Zubrod, Dish Aspen, Aspen
Chef Frank Jeannetti, Jeannetti Catering, Miami
Chef John Black, Club Med Ixtapa
Chef Brian Morales, Fratelli Lyon, Miami

Chef Erik Peters (in chef’s jacket with blue collar) was an amazing host. He’s the corporate chef of 8 Club Med properties and put this entire food and wine event together.

One of the most impressive things about Club Med is their kids program. I cannot wait to bring Nathan and Andrew back to Club Med – they will have a blast.

Club Med Ixtapa: Massage cabanas overlooking the water

Club Med Ixtapa: A beautiful sunset

Diane of White on Rice Couple has more photos of the trip (I brought her along with me) and we filmed a bunch of footage that I’ll put together for a video. I’ve got lots more to tell you about the trip, as well as fabulous recipes from these super-star chefs and my new friends, Kim Sunee and Kate of

Here are more 10 more photos in the slideshow, including one of the lovely Diane!

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Comments 32

  1. Syd

    Me too, Kitt!

    Jaden, I’ve never been to an all-inclusive for the same controlling reasons. I think you’ve just adjusted my attitude.

  2. David

    How awesome! I want a magic bracelet, that will bring me video games and cookies… set up on the beach…

    Great picture of the horizon-storm-set. I would have been absolutely memorized. Glad you had fun.

  3. Chez US - Denise

    Poor you! Poor Diane! πŸ˜‰ Sounds like a fantastic trip!! Got to love being pampered!! Can’t wait to hear more about it.

    By the way … your photo are fantastic!

  4. Madeline

    How fabulous! What a great way to reward yourself for all of the hard work you’ve been doing. You have given me a great idea with the magic bracelet. I’m going to make one for myself and flash it at my boyfriend every time I need a refill. Wonder if that would fly? It’s certainly worth a try πŸ˜‰

  5. PetiteKitchen

    In this hectic, fast paced world, we all need to take get away every now–even if it’s a day retreat to your favorite place, every now and then. Seems you had a fabulous time, I’m so happy for you. Thanks for sharing about it, the pictures are gorgeous.

  6. Lynn

    I’m so glad you had a chance to decompress. You needed it! What a wonderful vacation. Your photos make me wish I could pick up and go. (Well, I must admit, my kids are making me wish that, too.)

  7. Cakebrain

    What a fantastic vacation! It’s been too long since I’ve been at an all-inclusive. Come to think of it, I haven’t had a vacation since I had my kids…Those bracelets are indeed the key to gluttony and surfeited happiness. I have a feeling that when I finally can go on a vacation, it’ll be with the kids and it’ll be to something like Disneyland. They don’t have cabana boys, margaritas, massage tables and magical bracelets there, do they?

  8. Big Boys Oven

    Gosh I am sitting here envy looking at your break wondering when will I get such a treat of a life time . . . . but on the other hand love to see you having such a great time after such a lot of hard work done! hard work does pay off at the end! πŸ™‚

  9. Kurtis

    Hey Jaden…you spelled Zihuatanejo wrong..just playin! I only know that because i am wearing my shirt (as i am drinking a beer with Chad) that i bought in that airport we were stuck in for hours! Great writing, thanks for giving us chefs the props! We had a blast cooking it up! Take care! and can’t wait for the book, i will be expecting you to sign my copy!

  10. Carrie Hasson

    Awesome! I think you’re officially the first person to declare hammocking as a sport lol. Love all the pics, they’re enticing me to Mexico for sure…

  11. Davidsrecipesite

    Perhaps I did not read well enough or just missed it. Where can someone find more information about such events? I know about inclusive resorts, I am talking about foodie ones like you visited?

  12. Cindy

    I loved Kim Sunee’s book and I like to follow her blog along with yours! I’m glad you’re new friends.

  13. rita

    you make gluttony sound like it’s a bad thing. HAHAHA! good to hear that you guys had an awesome time.

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