Puerto Rican Chef Edgardo Noel Rivera has diversified his talent in the kitchen into manufacturing, with the launching of a new condiment line for which he has invested nearly $50,000.
Inspired by his grandmother Rosangélica’s cooking and seasoning, Rivera embarked on this venture that includes a variety of refrigerated “sofrito,” and minced garlic products under the Chef Edgardo Noel brand that are manufactured locally at Marvel International Inc. and distributed by B. Fernández & Hnos.
“Sofrito is the base par excellence of our dishes,” said Rivera, who has 18 years of experience in the gastronomy sector. “It’s a creole seasoning used to coax the flavor out of natural vegetables and herbs that are combined to make it.”
“We use essential ingredients from the local cuisine to guarantee the best flavor, such as cubanelle peppers, onion, garlic, coriander, ‘recao’ and chili peppers, oregano and cumin to spice up dishes. Everything tastes better with ‘sofrito’,” he said.
Through the agreement with B. Fernández, the goal is to reach some 300 points of sale in Puerto Rico, and expand to a total of 500 by 2021, he said, noting that the flavor profile of his “sofrito” products can be integrated into different types of cuisines, such as Italian, Mexican or Spanish.
“We want to be in all of the main and regional retail chains, like Econo, Walmart, Selectos and Pueblo, where we already sell our products,” said the chef who is known for his nine-year participation as a talent on Telemundo’s “Día a Día” show.
The Camuy native is known for combining his passion for cooking with his love of music, which have garnered him a significant following on social media, where he has more than 500,000 active supporters.
He also has supporters outside Puerto Rico, to which he plans to respond by exporting. Talks are underway with business partners to “be able to reach them with our flavor, even if they’re not in Puerto Rico,” Rivera said.