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!