The Meets NYC concept aims to both entertain and educate a NYC audience on the culinary legacies of destinations around the globe. Working with tourism and culinary partners, Meets NYC invites chefs from the selected Meets NYC destination to pair with local New York City chefs around the five boroughs.  Through dedicated menu pairings, Meets NYC showcases the cuisines of cities and countries around the globe.

Every Meets NYC showcase is different. The first, Baja Meets NYC (2014) focused heavily on the burgeoning wine region, Valle de Guadalupe, just south of Tijuana in Baja California.  A natural marriage between food and wine was created in Mexican kitchens throughout New York City. For Puerto Rico Meets NYC (2015), a natural rum and food pairing plays center stage for a celebration of New York’s favorite Caribbean island. With more chefs arriving onto NYC shores for this festival, dinner events expanded into the outer boroughs including Nuyorican enclaves in Brooklyn and Harlem.

Always anchored by a media cocktail reception and paired New York chef dinners, the format for Meets NYC has evolved to include on-site wine and cocktail tastings, culinary demos, cookbook signings, luncheons, and trade events.  Our team works closely with both chef talent, beverage professionals, and tourism to craft the perfect showcase for destinations around the globe!

If you’re interested in talking to us about being a Meets NYC destination, click here.

Puerto Rico Meets NYC is our second, and upcoming, Meets NYC showcase, taking place from Wednesday, September 30 – Sunday, October 4, 2015. Encompassing a series of multi-day, multi-format events that celebrate the bounty and beauty of this Caribbean island’s culinary legacy, Puerto Rico Meets NYC will shed light on Puerto Rico’s best chefs, rums, and the accompanying food and travel intersection, giving this sunny destination the epicurean respect and exposure it deserves. Tapping into the deep network of Nuyoricans inhabiting New York City and surrounding, as well as food world interest resulting from recent media spotlight in such esteemed publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, this idyllic commonwealth is ready for a turn on New York’s culinary stage.  Early support for Puerto Rico Meets New York comes from Puerto Rico Tourism Company and Rums of Puerto Rico, and partners include El Museo del Barrio and Chef’s Roll.

For more information about Puerto Rico Meets NYC, which is currently being featured on our home page, click here.

The first Meets NYC showcase, Baja Meets NYC took place in winter of 2014. At the time, it seemed that little was known about wine production in Mexico. But slowly, the world seems to be catching on. For good reason: Mexico is one of Latin America’s oldest wine-producing countries and Baja Meets NYC highlighted some of best wines coming out of the region — paired with wonderful food, of course! This region, essentially a diamond in the rough on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, had some enthusiasts calling Valle de Guadalupe the next Napa Valley. With over 50 wineries and some of Mexico’s top chefs populating the region, Valle de Guadalupe has been covered by such esteemed press as the New York Times’ T Magazine, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast and Conde Nast Traveler’s website.

Sponsored by The Latin Kitchen and Wine Enthusiast, together with Mexico Tourism, Baja Tourism, Instituto Cultural de Mexico, and Delta Airlines, Baja Meets NYC was a series of Mexican wine and food events that brought five winemakers and three chefs to New York for a weekend of decadent paired dinners and wine tastings.  An astounding success that led to the development of the Meets NYC brand, you can learn more about Baja Meets NYC here.


Marie Elena Martinez spent ten years in book publishing, leaving an Associate Director of Publicity position at HarperCollins (2005) to indulge her wanderlust in a solo trip around the world that spanned six continents and fifty+ countries.

Upon returning to the United States in 2009, Marie Elena began contributing to print publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, and websites like The Huffington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, and Men’s Fitness. A writer for Fodor’s Guide books and Wallpaper City Guides, Marie Elena was subsequently tapped as Founding Editor of The Latin Kitchen, owned by Latina magazine, in 2012. This two-year tenure gave her the confidence and ambition to pursue her own projects within the media and event spaces.

In 2014, Marie Elena began to focus on the development of her own food and travel brands. Meets NYC fused her publicity and marketing background with her love of food, wine, and travel. Her first festival, Baja Meets NYC, was set against the background of her hometown of New York City and saw Mexican chefs and winemakers inhabit the kitchens of beloved NYC restaurants. When the concept took off, she quickly signed up her second festival, showcasing her father’s heritage: Puerto Rico. Dovetailing with Meets NYC, her second project is a Latin American culinary travel website focused on long form journalism and photography called New Worlder which launches in Fall 2015.  She can be reached through her website: www.marieelenamartinez.com or on Twitter at @mariesworlds.

Gaeleen is a passionate food professional who has been working in the industry for over 15 years. Her love for food has taken her around the world working for high-end restaurants and top food producers, on a diverse range of strategic and operational duties. Gaeleen holds an Industrial Engineering degree and an MBA from SDA Bocconi, in Milan.

In 2009, Gaeleen created the Bogota Wine and Food Festival in Colombia with the objective of improving the Colombian food scene and connecting the country with the larger gastronomic world community. Working with top chefs like, Joan, Jordi and Joseph Roca, Enrique Olvera, Inaki Aizpitarte and Virgilio Martinez, amongst others, the festival gives 100% of ticket sales to Escuela Taller de Bogota, a school that teaches cooking to underprivileged young adults that were part of the Colombian civil war. BWFF also appeals to a wide range of international journalists including the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler and Eater.com. The positive press support has been instrumental in growing Colombia’s appeal as a global food destination. The festival is currently developing its fifth version with the support of the Colombian Tourism Board and private companies in the finance and hospitality arena.

In 2013, Gaeleen’s strong beliefs about the relationship between health and food drove her to co-found healthy New York City café feelfood, while in 2014, Gaeleen created Refineria, an agency that creates branding experiences, on and offline, to communicate messages through gastronomy both in South America and NYC. Author of a bi-weekly culinary column for Colombian newspaper La Republica, and teacher of Food Business for the Food Studies Program at the New School in NYC, Gaeleen most recently partnered with Marie Elena Martinez and Meets NYC in order to continue pursuing the world’s best epicurean talent and creating unique experiences, this time for New Yorkers.

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