Want to read about my experience at the event? Click here.
If Puerto Rico had an official food holiday, Saborea Puerto Rico would be it. The sixth edition of Saborea Puerto Rico – A Culinary Extravaganza kicks off tonight, with its flagship event taking place on April 6th and 7th at the Parque del Tercer Milenio (el Escambrón). This event is organized by the Puerto Rico Hotels and Tourism Association and sponsored by the City of San Juan, the Puerto Rico National Parks Company, and MasterCard among other entities. Sixty-two chefs from Puerto Rico and the US will be participating in different activities during these four days of tastings, education, and fun.
The Saborea experience starts today with the Bubbles & Bites reception at the Ritz-Carlton in Isla Verde, followed tomorrow by the Privileged Taste dinner at the Conrad Condado Plaza. The Privileged Taste is a sit down dinner where twenty different chefs will cook a three course meal in front of the diners. Some of the chefs that will participate in this memorable evening include Augusto Schreiner, Mario Pagán, Roberto Treviño and Wilo Benet. The dinner will also feature desserts prepared by renowned pastry chefs from the Ritz-Carlton in Isla Verde and the new Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Dorado.
On Saturday and Sunday, the action moves to the Parque del Tercer Milenio (el Escambrón). Attendees to the Saborea Puerto Rico Culinary extravaganza will have access to tastings from thirty different restaurants at the main pavillion. Additionally, there will be separate pavillions featuring coffee and sweets, beers and spirits, and California wines distributed by Ambrosia Fine Foods & Wines. The highlight for these two afternoons will be the participation of sixty-two local and visiting chefs in the GE Monogram Demo Kitchen. Some of our “expat” chefs visiting the island for Saborea include Giovanna Huyke (Mio – Washington DC), Hector Santiago (Pura Vida – Atlanta), Jimmy Carey (Jimmy’z Kitchen – Miami), Denisse Oller (AARP), Julio César Lazzarini (Orillas Tapas Bar, Wilmington DE), and José Adorno (Sbraga, Philadelphia).
The proceeds from Saborea Puerto Rico benefit the PRHTA’s educational fund for tourism industry employees and other programs that assist the development of the island’s tourism workforce. In addition to funding training and seminars, the Puerto Rico Hotels and Tourism Association grants the Abimael Sémprit scholarship to a promising local culinary school student. Out of all the displays for this weekend, I am most excited about the main tasting Pavillion offerings from the culinary schools. Our next Food & Wine and James Beard caliber talent is there.
If you are in Puerto Rico and will be attending the event, I would love to hear from you. Send me a message through Twitter or Facebook with your impressions about Saborea Puerto Rico or use hashtag #SaboreaPR. If you are not in Puerto Rico but wish to attend next year, mark your calendar for April 2014 and plan a trip here! This event is just the tip of the iceberg of all the wonderful culinary experiences the island offers its visitors.
* GreatFood360˚ was granted a press pass to attend the Culinary Extravaganza on April 6 and 7. All opinions here are 100% my own.