¡Latin Food Fest!

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San Diego Hosts the Largest Latin Food, Wine & Spirits Event in the U.S.

By Wendy Lemlin

    It has passion, it has flavor, and it has sass. You could say it’s downright sexy. Latin cuisine is super hot in the culinary world these days, and we’re not just talking about the chiles that give heat to so many of the dishes.

Here in San Diego, we tend to think of Latin food as “Mexican”. The Latin world, however, is a big one, and the food of Spain is very different from the food of Peru, while Puerto Rican cuisine differs markedly from Argentinean.

To showcase the full diversity of flavors from Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America, on September 11-13, the 2nd annual ¡LATIN FOOD FEST!’s culinary extravaganza will take place in downtown San Diego, featuring some of the world’s best chefs, distillers and vintners, as well as the region’s top Latin restaurants. ¡LATIN FOOD FEST!  will once again educate palates and entertain patrons in high style at six events, including an Opening Party, Educational Seminars, Cocktail Parties, Chef Dinner, Chef Demonstrations on the Celebrity Cooking Stage, Silent Auctions, Culinary Grand Tasting Event, and Wine Reception. Continue reading

Maui is For Lovers

by Wendy Lemlin

(Published in San Antonio Express-News, 8/24/14)

At the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, couples enjoy a blissful massage together Credit: Fairmont Kea Lani

To be perfectly honest, it’s darn near impossible not to feel romantic on Maui.  Maybe it’s the soft kisses of the tropical tradewinds on your cheeks, enticing with a subtle moistness, languid and energizing at the same time.  Maybe it’s the gentle perfume of plumeria, orchids, frangipani and other island flora, wafting on the breezes from gardens, arrangements on hotel tables, and leis around your neck.   It most definitely has to do with the constant views of multihued blue ocean waters—here a sheltered cove of the quintessential clear turquoise, there a deep indigo, and out there, maybe a few whitecaps on sapphire waves. The humpback whales cavorting between the shore and the horizon are that much more of an added benefit, spouting great sprays of vapor, fluking their enormous tails, and raising massive heads above the surface.  Even they feel the romance—they come to these waters from December to May to reproduce and bear their young, singing their plaintive songs which, if you’re really lucky, might circle around your ears from a distance as you and your honey snorkel hand in hand in the warm waters closer to shore. Continue reading

Vessel Restaurant at Kona Kai Resort and Marina Reopens After Makeover

By Wendy Lemlin

Vessel, the flagship restaurant at Kona Kai Resort and Marina on Shelter Island, has set sail with a new look, a new chef, and soon, a new menu.

vessel full bar

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The Colors Beyond the Border

By Wendy Lemlin


When I think of Baja, I think in vivid Technicolor.

COMRosarito stairssm

Vibrant cobalt on glassware rims … intense greens, yellows, blues, and oranges on pottery and tiles …the kaleidoscopic floral designs of textiles adorning pillows and table linens…staircases of geometric tiles…vivid stucco walls…








Ropes of crimson chile peppers and white garlic drying in the sun…gardens of red, violet, and pink bougainvillea cascading over ochre courtyard walls… … leafy vines heavy with purple grapes…. The colors of Mexico whirl around my brain like a fiesta of folk dancers.

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