The fifth edition of the “Saborea Puerto Rico” premier culinary event is gearing up to take center stage at the Escambrón Beach once again this year to bring together the best of food and wine from Puerto Rico and the world on April 21-22.
Details of the event, which generated more than 2,500 room nights and pumped about $1.6 million into the island’s economy last year, were unveiled Tuesday. Saborea has put Puerto Rico on the map of the Caribbean’s top culinary tourism destinations.
This year brings a slew of new, flavorful events such as the “Libations Station,” which will offer tastings of local and international beers and spirits. Guest vintners from Napa Valley will regale visitors with tastings of that region’s best and favorite harvests, while local treats and homegrown coffees will be the main event at “Sweets & Brews.”
In addition, there will be an area dubbed “Mercado Boricua” for local vendors to present both agricultural and artisanal products.
“These additions have been designed to enhance Saborea’s local and international flavors while providing visitors with even more variety,” said Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association President Clarisa Jiménez. “Like the world of flavors it explores each year, Saborea Puerto Rico will continue to adapt to welcome new trends and ideas in the culinary landscape.”
The PRHTA organized this year’s event, investing some $900,000 in the production.
The event’s main attraction, the roster of top local and international culinary personalities, is also undergoing changes this year, with the inclusion of more of the island’s talent. Students from local culinary schools and universities will have the opportunity to show off their skills, styles and creativity at The Next Culinary Wave.
This year, however, event-goers may notice a significant decrease in the number of Food Network chefs that will be on hand, as News is my Business learned that budget considerations are still on the table to determine how many will be invited.
For the 2011 edition, the network’s invited personalities included Iron Chefs José Garcés and Marc Forgione; Ted Allen, host of Chopped, Keegan Gerhard, of Food Network Challenge, Anne Burrell, of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, and Robert Irvine, of Restaurant Impossible.
Still, the event will have its share of celebrity chefs from the Caribbean — Chef Dean Samuel, of the Cap Juluca resort in Anguilla; Chef Peter Edy, from Barbados; Chef Patrick Woied, from Suriname; and Chef Dino Jagtiani, from St. Martin — who will take their place at the demo kitchens to whip up their signature dishes and interact with the public.
After-hours events will also play a big part in this year’s gastronomic fest. There will be an opening reception on April 20, featuring 19 renowned chefs hosting individual 12-14 person tables and preparing dishes that will be paired with wine. The “Sabor Puertorriqueño” sunset beach party will bring together local flavors, live music and varied entertainment with tapas-style fare in a casual ambiance on April 21st.