Local, Food Network chefs headline Saborea culinary fest
The 8th edition of the Saborea Puerto Rico culinary event will feature some of the island’s top chefs, along with several Food Network personalities, who will gather in San Juan April 9-12, Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association President Clarisa Jiménez announced Tuesday.
“For the past eight years, Saborea Puerto Rico has been synonymous with world-class cuisine. Year after year we reaffirm that our island is undoubtedly the culinary capital of the Caribbean,” Jiménez said during a news conference at the Caribe Hilton Hotel.
“As part of the celebration of these eight years, we have expanded the portfolio of participating personalities and have prepared a great offer for a weekend full of fun and good food for both locals and visitors,” she said.
Among the Food Network personalities scheduled to cook that weekend are: Brad Farmerie, who participated in the “Next Iron Chef;” Susie Jiménez, a contestant in the “Next Food Network Star” competition; Simon Majumdar, a judge in the “Next Iron Chef” and “Cutthroat Kitchen;” and Ben Vaughn, host of Food Network’s “Health Inspectors.”
They will join Jonathan Grahm, owner of Compartés Chocolatier; Denisse Oller, former reporter and nutrition expert for the AARP; Giovanna Huyke, Puerto Rican chef living stateside; and José Mendin, another Puerto Rican chef established in Miami.
Over the weekend, Saborea will feature the culinary offers of more than 70 local restaurants, as well as wine, beer and distilled spirits tastings. There will also be a variety of dessert creations and coffee, organizers said.
The 2014 edition of Saborea Puerto Rico pumped nearly $1.7 million into the local economy and generated more than 2,700 hotel room nights.
“This market is certainly one of great importance to our industry. Aside from the importance it has for a growing base of followers and its contribution to the economy, it’s a niche in which Puerto Rico stands firmly for the diversity of its offer, the capacity and professionalism of our chefs and, especially, for our cuisine’s fusion of flavors and recipes,” said Luis Daniel Muñiz, executive deputy director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
Saborea Puerto Rico kicks off April 9 with the “Bubbles and Bites” event, followed by a dinner the next evening featuring 20 Puerto Rican chefs. The tasting event at El Escambrón in San Juan will take place April 11-12.