The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival takes the streets of South Beach by storm every year, bringing out thousands of people who share one thing in common: Their love of fab food and fine wine. This year’s event took place this weekend, February 23-26, with more than 50 individual events covering everything from tequila tastings to a food truck rally.
Goya Foods participated in the festival this year for the first time, serving as the Official Hispanic Foods of the event. Goya’s chef/R&D associate Carey Yorio says that Goya’s status as an important brand for the South Florida multicultural community makes the festival the perfect time to extend their influence to a larger consumer audience.
The brand was featured at the American Express Grand Tasting, where an endless array of wines and spirits from some of the world’s finest producers went hand-in-hand with delicious appetizers and dishes served up by some of South Florida’s best restaurants. Groups had a chance to sample these savory snack-sized culinary marvels and learn about new culinary trends.
Goya also participated in the Brunch at Sea hosted by Douglas Rodriguez & Aarón Sanchez, aboard The Biscayne Lady. The morning event allowed groups a chance to enjoy brunch-style foods, Diplomatico Rum and Montecristo Cigars. Host Aarón Sanchez also hosts many shows on Food Network including: Heat Seekers and Chef vs. City, and serves as a guest judge on Chopped.
Goya’s chefs were also at hand at the Fun and Fit as a Family event, which took place inside Jungle Island on Saturday and Sunday.
We spoke to Chef Yorio a few days before the festival about a few fun dishes groups could enjoy at the festival and what’s next for Goya.
Prevue: What does it mean for you as a chef and for Goya as a company to be the first Hispanic food brand sponsored at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival?
Carey Yorio: Taking part in the festival is a really exciting opportunity for us. In 2011 we celebrated our 75 anniversary and it was a really special year for us because we were really able to look back. Our company started in 1936 and it’s great to look back and see how far we’ve come, starting with one immigrant who came over from Spain and developed this brand that now has more than 1,600 unique products from every region of Latin America.
2012 has really given us a running start and the SoBeWFF is a really exciting opportunity for us to look forward to. It’ll help us expose ourselves, not only to our core base—which is authentic, aesthetic cooking—but also to expand our base into more exciting Latin fusion and healthy cooking. It’s a great way to watch the company evolve.
What events at the SoBeWFF will Goya be featured in?
Goya will be at the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village, which is in South Beach, on Ocean Drive. We’ll also be at Fun and Fit as a Family in Jungle Island. That one is really geared toward healthy eating. We’re going to be featuring a lot of our low sodium beans that have been flying off the shelf lately. They’re a really fast moving product and people seem to love them. That just goes to show you that our consumers are really interested in healthy cooking.
We’re also going to be at the Brunch at Sea, hosted by Douglas Rodriguez and Aaron Sanchez. Our executive chef Fernando Desa is going to be there. So we’re pretty much going to be all over the place.