Christy Kuplic, right, MD of TFest and other World Wide Events’ super-luxury gatherings, led a team of 29 at TFest this week, at FAIRMONT MAYAKOBA. One of these essential colleagues, seen with Christy, is Emma Ridges, who oversees all the food. This is not only snacks and beverages during business breaks but main meals.
Fortunately The Fairmont is well equipped to cope. It seems to have a jolly lot of restaurants, including Hix, the lobby lounge and terrace (no, it is not named for English chef Mark Hix but for the Spanish word for ‘jaguar’, and there are two 150% lifesize jaguar sculptures, painted china, dominating the lounge). There was continental breakfast in Hix but fuller-than-usual full buffets in two poolside restaurants and also down by the beach – that place, Brisas, had best yoghurts, but Laguna won for scope of fruits and breads.
Lunches depended on your choice of afternoon self-enlightenment Pathway. Some sessions started after lunch, some had packed lunches included. Girlahead’s two Pathway lunches were truly memorable for sharing plates, generally best eaten from bowls, of composed salads, the kinds of diving mixed tastes of which today’s ‘chopped salads’ can merely at best be travesties.
And then there were dinners, all cases of feeding the five thousand with much more than the proverbial couple of loaves and a pair of fish. The opening party, around the multi-angled Laguna pool, was highlighted by mega margarita supplies, and buffets galore featuring foods from all the 13 regions of Mexico currently identified by Netflix’s The Last Magnificent, Merida-based Jeremiah Tower, as being instrumental to the country’s culinary heritage (he’s currently researching them all for a series, sponsored by The Aspen Institute). Obviously there was guacamole, of which one never seems to tire. It went deliciously well with squares of barbequed steak popped into a flatbread sandwich.
There was oodles more beef at the closing party, on the Fairmont’s beach – a barbeque station was blazing so confidently it’s amazing none of the attendees’ garments, particularly the Isadora Duncan floating white robes, caught fire. TFest loves floating,by the way. The hotel’s extensive pool area is entered through a heritage-look stone arch some three metres high. During TFest hundreds of pastel fabric streamers, secured at the arch, waved around as a wind-inspired ballet. Who cared if there was a wind at the closing party? A DJ on an illuminated podium some three metres high seemed like an Aztec god as he turned the tables, on and on, dance in the sand, for hours and hours. Of course, being such a responsible and professional crowd, the 520 attendees somehow were ready for their 1-2-1 meetings at 8.45 a.m, though some might have skipped breakfast …