We found this clever guide to making calls from Mexico and thought we would share it with our readers. Enjoy!
Please block this Wednesday evening, February 22, for a wonderful show filled with joy and excitement that will benefit two children in desperate need of surgery. Belleza con Causa—Beauty with a Purpose, holds this annual event, a beauty pageant for the Drag Queen of Carnavál. I am very pleased to be judging for the second year in a row, along with other expat representatives Susie Morgan Lellero, Luis Ramírez, Ginger Borman and Shilo Downie.
The pageant will take place at Castillo de LuLu, Aquiles Serdán 60 (the same street Immigration is on, the salón is just farther down the street, off Carnavál) in Playa Sur, starting after 8pm. The event is BYOB, bring your own drink, though a lady there will be selling soft drinks. Entrance usually costs about 50 pesos, and all proceeds go to support the two children.
There will be loads of singing and dancing, flirting, whooting and hollering. The event usually includes a couple of star performances, and the pageant includes the queen aspirants modeling both cocktail and evening dresses, and answering a question. Three queens will be crowned: Miss Universo, Señorita, and Rostro Carnavál/Face of Carnaval.
Get your party on and come on out! Below are a few pics from last year; click on any photo to enlarge or view a slideshow.
Farm to Table events are a worldwide trend, often related to the slow food movement, and the desire for organic, local-grown, farm-fresh and free-range ingredients. Mazatlán is blessed to have had three major Farm to Table events, with the latest one being held this past Sunday, February 12, 2017, on Chuy Lizárraga’s organic farm (Chuy’s Organics) just north of town.
What makes our Mazatlán event so unique? First, it’s held out in the middle of a pepper field, next to the green houses; we are surrounded by bird song, green crops, fresh air and sunshine. The chefs have to plan and prepare ahead, as in the middle of a farm field they have limited access to what a professional kitchen might have. They work out of tents, on a propane stove and open fires. Second, rather than having just one main chef, as is usually the case at such events, our FTT is a collaboration of some of the best chefs in Sinaloa. Greg and I have been fortunate to have attended all three Mazatlán FTT, and I have the double chin to prove it.
Let me get right to the food and drink, which is our main reason for traveling north of town about 20 minutes. Click on any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow. This year’s menu included:
- Welcome Cocktail: Cucumber margarita with fresh mint, Chef Alistair Porteous, Water’s Edge Bistro
- Ceviche FISH: Shrimp and pocked mahi, pineapple and red onion marinated in chipotle and garnished with avocado. VERY tasty with a nice smoky flavor complemented by the freshness of the pineapple. Gabriel Ocampo and Luis Vargas, Fresh International Seafood House
- Mazatlán Pilsner: Specially brewed for this event and not available at the brewery, this beer is infused with German hops, giving it an aroma of white wine, herbs and citrus. We loved it! A bit champagne-like, especially with the glass. Brewmaster Edvin Jonsson, Cervecería Tres Islas
- Organic Salad: Green beans, trio of tomatoes, ricotta and mussels with a red mustard and honey dressing. Chef Elmo Ruffo, Fiera
This dish completely rocked! OMG! That ricotta sauce brought everything together and made it to die for. And, of course, I’m a sucker for mussels. Having met the charming owner of Fiera, Yamil González, and now knowing Elmo, you can bet we’ll be visiting Fiera again soon and regularly!
- Grilled Seafood Salad: Grilled shrimp with chimichurri, octopus with heirloom tomato marmalade, roasted sweet peppers with cranberry vinaigrette, and ash-roasted sweet potatoes and greens, goat cheese, and an apple and honey dressing. Chef Daniel Soto, El Caprichito Mio
Another dish that was unbelievably delicious! Danny Soto is two for two; his cold salad last year was such a standout that we drove all the way to Culiacán to dine in his restaurant. His hot salad this year hit it out of the park as well. He loves gorgeous fresh vegetables just like we do! First a video with Daniel, followed by pics of his dish and the preparation.
- Jicama Tagliatelle: The menu said turnips, but they were past their prime in the fields. The chefs then used grated jicama as the pasta, in a sauce of shrimp bisque, mustard greens and green garlic vinaigrette. Chefs Francis Regio and Karl Gregg, guests from Vancouver BC
- Asian Duck Confit Tamales: What a wonderful twist on a traditional Mexican dish. Star anise, a mix of spices, orange, carrot and green onions with a garnish of crispy duck, accompanied by caramelized vegetables. Chef Alistair Porteous, Water’s Edge Bistro
Alistair and his wife Tracey of course organized this whole event, though it is a collaboration, with everyone involved taking on major roles. Thank goodness they tell me we will have another FTT next year!
- Braised Pork Breast Ribs: In a miltomate sauce with barbecued duck and mushroom risotto. Chef Luis Osuna, Cayenna
Another UNBELIEVABLY incredible taste combination! Two dishes in this course, and they were, indeed, heavenly. Another trip to Culiacán is definitely in order. We should be getting a Cayenna here in Mazatlán soon, thank goodness.
- Pumpkin Flan: with a crispy crumble topping. Hector Peniche, Hector’s Bistro
- Dessert Coffee: Organic expresso over vanilla ice cream, puré of coconut and spices, with a sweet expresso-coffee reduction. Marianne Biasotti and Enrique Ochoa, Rico’s Cafe
- Wines: All we could possibly drink of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, thanks to Javier Ramírez of Vinoteca and Oscar Gámez of Cava del Duero. There was iced hibiscus tea for those who didn’t want alcohol.
- Trio of fresh breads
As always, we were seated at long tables, which enabled us to make new friends as dining is family-style. There were nearly 300 people attending this year, including two reporters from Gourmet Magazine. This time we were lucky enough to sit with a gentleman who brought wine from his own cellar, just in case they didn’t serve enough. As if! His was great, though—thank you!
The chefs looked nearly as happy as we did when the day was finished. Glasses in hand, they happily accepted our accolades.
Our dear Gail Blackburn, from La Rosa de las Barras Farm, provided garlic snaps and other wholesome, flavorful goodies. As always, there was a raffle at the end, this year in benefit of Refugio San Pablo, a new home downtown for teenage boys—for which we raised $24,000 pesos! Our table was very fortunate, with several winners including Greg!
Music was provided by a strings duo, and they provided wonderful accompaniment to the birdsong and the buzzing of the fields.
The 25 wait staff were led by Andrés, as in prior years, and they did an outstanding job.
Thanks to my friend Martha Parra for a few of the photos! I will admit that sometimes I was too busy eating to get a good shot of a dish, so I appreciate her helping me. We were blessed with a most incredible day, capped off with a gorgeous sunset.
Claudia Lavista from Mazatlán’s Escuela Municipal de Danza tells me she’s heartbroken she won’t be in town for our Mazatlán Women’s March on Saturday evening. We do hope you will join us, and bring your whole family, all your friends and colleagues. If you are coming with a group from the same workplace, school or club, please wear your uniforms to show your group pride. Otherwise, there is no clothing recommendation. Do, however, bring the sign you would like to carry. “Defending Dignity,” “Women’s Rights are Human Rights,” “Diversity and Inclusion,” etc. Get out a piece of cardboard and a marker, and exercise your voice. The march is NOT political, please, and is peaceful and respectful. We will meet at 4 pm on the malecón where Alemán intersects it, in front of the Hotel Freeman, and walk to the Cliff Divers/Glorieta Sanchez Taboada.
This post, however, is about an event AFTER our march, at 8 pm. Claudia tells me, “It’s our first cultural action against the Trump wall idea!” And does it look beautiful! (BTW, Colin, kudos on the pics!) The performance is a collaboration between Vermont’s Middlebury College and our own EPMD (professional dance school). Click on any photo to enlarge or view a slideshow.
Here is the full event description:
EPDM and Dance Company of Midleburry Present Border | Zone… entre nosotros
Please join us for this evening of new contemporary dance performance, Border | Zones… entre nosotros on Saturday 21st of January at the Angela Peralta Theatre, 8:00 pm. Tickets are 200 pesos and can be purchased at the box office 9am-3pm and 5-7pm or Saturday 9am-2pm.
Centering on themes of the boundaries and borders between nations, people, and ideas, this performance was produced as part of an international collaboration between Middlebury College (Vermont, USA) and the Mazatlán Professional School of Contemporary Dance (EPDM). The project features an exchange between the students of the Dance Company of Middlebury (directed by Scotty Hardwig) and choreographers Omar Carrum and Claudia Lavista, who have created choreography with the company.
During the last two weeks, the Dance Company of Middlebury has had the opportunity to study in Mazatlán and integrate with the classes, teachers and students of the EPDM — this provides them both with a new cultural lens and introduction into the training methods and high-level of artistic creation at the school, as well as an opportunity to work with internationally renowned choreographers like Carrum and Lavista. This exchange also allows for the students of both schools to experience different processes of studying and training in dance, the different approaches of the two schools, as well as connect to other international student dancers and perform together.
For this performance, Hardwig has created a new work, “Sun Breaks Down,” in collaboration with the student company, and the evening will also feature a repertory work by Carrum and Lavista entitled, “Dulce, Disonante, Entorno,” alongside works from the students of the EPDM. This performance will be followed by a tour of these works in the United States by DCM, as well as by EPDM student dancer Paola Reyes Guzman who will be performing a new original work by Xitlali Piña Poujol.
Formed in 1980, the Dance Company of Middlebury includes student dancers, selected by audition, who create new work annually under the direction of professional faculty choreographers and designers at the Middlebury Dance Program. This model creates a pre-professional environment for students to engage in intensive dance training, experiencing the inner workings of the choreographic process from varied perspectives. Each year, DCM premieres a new piece in Vermont in conjunction with a national or international tour. This year’s company, directed by Scotty Hardwig, includes dancers Miguel A. Castillo, Mandy Kimm, Deborah Leedy, Amanda Lorena Neira, Andrew Pester, Otto Pierce, Liv Reuss, and Emily Schreffler.
AC/DC is easily one of the most recognized names in Rock & Roll. Their music can be heard all over the world, all over the radio and all over Mazatlán, streaming out of bars, nightclubs, pulmonías, aurígas and cars. To many they are Rock & Roll, with an appeal from today’s youth (like my 21-year-old son) to those who rocked to the band’s first album in 1975. After the original lead singer, Bon Scott, died in 1980, Brian Johnson stepped in and became the “voice” and “sound” of the band until his sudden retirement last year. Axl Rose stepped up to finish the tour, but the future of the band is now in doubt. One thing seems to be for sure: the days of hearing Brian Johnson belt out You Shook Me All Night Long are gone. But wait….
What if I told you that you could see a group called Highway to Hell, with a lead singer who can hit high notes like a young Brian Johnson? What if I told you that group will be playing in Mazatlán at the International Convention Center on Saturday, January 28? Would it help to know that this group not only sounds like AC/DC, but looks like them, right down to Angus Young’s schoolboy outfit and Brian’s hair? They have performed all over the world and are respected enough by the real AC/DC to have shared a stage with Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams (bass player, soon to be retired). They rocked Hermosillo in November (https://youtu.be/2fcxqdQeLNg) and recently played to over 10,000 in Mexico City. This is the closest you can get to seeing AC/DC and it is coming to you real soon.
How does something like this come to happen? The commitment and energy of a local expat and longtime music fan, Ray Wright of El Sol La Vida, is making this happen. He has partnered with Tecate, the Mazatlán International Center and TV Azteca. If it’s a success, and I’m sure it will be, he promises to bring more acts to Mazatlán. I had a chance to catch up with Ray recently, and here’s what he had to say. Pay special attention towards the middle for a special promise from the band if the event is a success:
To see AC/DC on their last tour was price prohibitive. Even back in the 80’s, I’m sure I paid over $20 US (plus parking) to see a concert. Call it flashback pricing or whatever you like, but Ray is able to bring us this amazing outdoor open-air event with multiple bands and a DJ, encompassing six hours of music, for only 200 pesos. If you are a VIP rocker these days, 600 pesos gets you a seat at a table. The tables are for eight people, so why not invite some friends to come along as well? Either way you can’t go wrong with affordable food and beverages easily available. Here are the quick facts:
Saturday, January 28, 7:00 pm
Mazatlán International Center
Tickets 200 pesos (VIP 600) – available all over Mazatlán:
Gran Plaza (beginning Friday, January 13) – look for a special kiosk
Mazatlán International Center
Bikinis Bar in the Golden Zone (Thursday – Sunday 6 pm – 4 am)
Athina Spa – Calla Bellisario Dominguez 1600 in El Centro
Reason’s Hair Salon in the Marina
Surf’s Up Cafe
TBM Offices in Marina next to Dock 7
or by calling Ray Wright 669-146-1626
Schedule is more or less as follows:
Doors open at 6:00 with DJ Nhas starting at 6:30
Opening Act: Local band, Beggars Banquet 7:30 – 9:00
Highway to Hell takes the stage around 9:30 and plays until around 11:30 or midnight
DJ Nhas returns and will play music as long as people are buying beer!
Let’s face it, living in Mazatlán rocks (pun intended). But it means that to see an international performer or band, you have to travel to Monterrey, D.F., or even the United States. Tribute bands are a way to fill the void without traveling. And if you’re going to see a tribute band, you should see the best of breed, which Highway to Hell certainly is.