Saborea Puerto Rico… it gets better every time!
Today we arrived at the Parque del Escambrón close to noon. The day was beautiful! On the Thursday press conference, it POURED and Friday was very rainy but there was nothing but blue skies today. It was breezy at the Parque del Escambrón – the perfect weather to enjoy this culinary extravaganza.
After passing through the welcome center, our first stop was the “Puerto Rico Da Gusto” tent. This space, sponsored by the PR Tourism Company, was decked out with cool furniture and all around it, there were displays of different ‘Hecho in Puerto Rico” goods. From the delicious and thankfully ubiquitous Setas de Puerto Rico, to sangrias, hot sauces, condiments, honey, cheeses… there were plenty of ways to sample all these goods. We returned to this spot to rest our feet and relax during the day.
After bumping into some friends and checking out our first demo, we went into the Tasting Pavillion to see the chefs and their teams preparing to serve the crowd. Here are some of the our favorite bites from the participating restaurants and culinary schools.
In addition to the food in the main pavillion, we were invited to step into the tent for El Vocero, a local newspaper. They brought in “Apá” from Lechonera La Ranchera in Guaynabo. I had the chance to visit his restaurant in one of the activities of the Asociacion Gastronómica Puertorriqueña. The lechón was just as succulent as I remembered it, but the arroz con longaniza was the showstopper this time. I hope they are back tomorrow, so I can show you.
As for the GE Monogram Demo Kitchen, the cream of the local food scene presented recipes, some as simple as stuffed piquillo peppers, and others using modern gastronomy tools.
As last year, I was lucky to be invited to taste one of the demos in the GE Monogram Demo Kitchen. My partners in crime for this tasting were Gustavo Antonetti of Spoon Food Tours and Puerto Rico Restaurant Week and fellow food blogger Nelson Torres of Buendiente.com. We sampled two amazing dishes from Chef Giovanna Huyke, who has been working in kitchens and in food related programming for over thirty years (this fact blows my mind) and by Chef Pedro Torres from En Boga. Giovanna worked with Chef Edwin Robles to presents us a mofongo wedge, served with a snapper crudo with a micro mango salad and onions in an ají sauce.
Pedro presented two mango cannelloni stuffed with rope vieja. The mango pasta was made by dehydrating and then confiting the mango in olive oil – kind of like a homemade fruit rollup. If this doesn’t sound delicious enough, the cannelloni were nestled on top of the velvetiest pana soup and garnished with chicharron (pork rind) dust. My eyes went to the back of my head.
Planning on going to Saborea Puerto Rico on Sunday? Here are some extra details.
These are the participating restaurants for Sunday, April 6th
- Made in Puerto Rico
- Casa de Campo
- Escuela Hotelera
- Instituto de Banca
- MBTI Bayamon
- Antojitos Cristy
- Sofrito by Chef Campis
- Market Place
- Plena High Cuisine
- C Bar Kitchen
- Central Steakhouse
- Passion Sekua
- Soleil Beach Club
- La Casa at Royal Isabela
- Meat Market
- Texas de Brazil
- Rosa Mexicano
And here is the schedule for the GE Monogram Demo Kitchen
11:30am Ventura Vivoni
12:00pm Michael Zachman / Johnathan Hernández
1:00pm Javier Menéndez/ José Carles
1:30pm Angel Ruiz/ Chef Chango
2:00pm Juan Peña/ Carlos Guzmán
2:30pm Aneudi García / Henry Baldaguez
3:10pm Lorraine Colón/ Ramón Carrillo
3:40pm Luis Piñero/ Angel Santiago
4:10pm Israel Calderón/ Chef Campis
4:50pm Jannette Berrios/ Pablo Budet/ Victor Rosado
5:10pm Joel Rodríguez/ Steven Mcqueeny
5:40pm Edgardo Noel/ Josué Díaz
You can follow my Saborea Puerto Rico 2014 journey through Twitter and Instagram, and also by searching hashtags #SaboreaPR. But don’t just track the day’s events from a computer, join us at El Escambrón tomorrow from 11:30am. Not in Puerto Rico? Saborea is always the first weekend of April. Mark your calendars!
Great Food 360˚ was granted a press pass to cover the Culinary Extravaganza at El Escambrón on April 5th and 6th. All opinions here are 100% my own. Looking for more Saborea 2014 coverage? Check out Sunday’s liveblog!