This year’s event promises to be even better than others as it celebrates its 10th year anniversary
Over the past 10 years, Saborea Puerto Rico: A Culinary Extravaganza has grown from the best annual culinary festival in the Caribbean to one of the best in the world. Every spring, the magic unfolds beside the azure tropical Atlantic in the heart of San Juan— a flavor-packed weekend of food, drink, music, culture, and a whole lotta fun. The fabulous scenery, which includes a Spanish-colonial embattlement that rises above the festival grounds at San Juan’s Escambron Beach, mixes awesome food with positive vibrations for a fiesta of glorious proportions.
Dozens of Puerto Rico’s best restaurants serve up sumptuous menu renditions in festival kiosks, while craft mixologists and tropical drink wizards are also on hand to create incredible libations, which also include fine wine, beer and coffee. The Puerto Rican rum bar is always a center of attention. Local culinary stars as well as international food personalities are on hand, often giving demonstrations from an on-site kitchen. There is also music and other entertainment.
Saborea is Puerto Rico’s most significant culinary festival and possibly in the Caribbean, which draws thousands of local fans and spectators from stateside and other international destinations. It also features some of the biggest culinary stars in the world, as well as the island’s own sizzling celebrity chefs.
Since its founding in 2009, Saborea has also cemented Puerto Rico’s reputation as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. The festival charts the expanding culinary horizons of the island’s cuisine, and the great foods of its major influences, from place like the U.S. mainland and Spain. So the festival will empower you to savor the soulful and exceptional flavors of local cuisine, as well as the world cuisines that most greatly influenced it. That flavorful experience is imbued with the unique party ambiance and idyllic surroundings that will substantially enhance your pleasure of the event, and extend the duration of your memories of the gastronomic extravaganza.
In 2014, Saborea received the “Tourism Excellence Award” by Spain’s Excellence Group, for making a difference to Puerto Rico’s tourism industry, in its social responsibility component, and for showcasing the island’s local gastronomy globally.
Saborea has been marked over its past 10 years by its ability to bring renowned international culinary stars of the moment to the island and foster collaboration between them and island kitchen artists in a festive, tropical ambiance that translates into fabulous flavors for guests.
From the start, Puerto Rico’s hottest chefs – masters including Alfredo Ayala, Giovanna Huyke, Raul Correa, Wilo Benet, Mario Pagan, and Roberto Treviño, as well as gifted executive chefs from the island’s hotels and resorts – have been an integral part of the food fest. Indeed, it’s been their interaction with the internationally renowned culinary stars that come to Puerto Rico for Saborea that gives this beachside food festival its distinctive, superlative flavor.
From the beginning, Saborea has shined with stars. Food Network Latin Flavor sensation Ingrid Hoffman kicked off the festival in 2009. The Simply Delicioso star that was raised in Colombia was perhaps the perfect choice to host the new festival, as the Miami-based flavor maven spent her career introducing Latin cuisine to a broad U.S. audience in delightful fashion. That’s basically been Saborea’s mission in spreading the word on Puerto Rico as a culinary destination, a place with its own extraordinary cuisine (comida criolla) but also a great host for international cuisine, and the glorious intermingling of island, regional, and world influences.
The festival has also drawn the likes of Iron Chefs Cat Cora (a cofounder of Chefs for Humanity) and Marc Forgione (whose love affair with Puerto Rico continues with his American Cut Bar & Grill at The Mall of San Juan).
Simon Majumdar, the world-renowned food critic and TV personality, gave Saborea a solid “thumbs up” during his visit, despite the reputation as a tough, no-nonsense judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen. “Saborea is incredible,” Majumdar said. “The setting, the food, the people – everything!”
The witty and hard to please Chopped Host Ted Allen also gushed about his Saborea experience when he traveled here. The festival has also attracted Next Food Network Star Susie Jimenez, who called Saborea “so much fun” and a “revelation,” as well as Nuevo Latino cuisine godfather Douglas Rodriguez and southern cooking guru Ben Vaughn.
Saborea 2017, like other years, takes place at the gorgeous Escambron Beach outside Old San Juan from May 18 – 21. A fabulous new oceanside bicycle and pedestrian path now connects the festival grounds in Puerta de Tierra with both the gorgeous historic seaside gem Old San Juan and the vibrant Condado beach district.
This year’s event, which promises to be even better than others since it marks its 10th anniversary, continues the flavorful mix of local and international cooking stars, and offers guests a delightful culinary festival by the beach. Beyond the food, there is live music, cooking exhibitions, and much more.