Flavorful, pork-inspired surprises delighted food enthusiasts at this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival, a star-studded event featuring the world’s renowned chefs and culinary personalities.
“Pork was king at this year’s Florida festival, which brought together a diverse, multicultural audience,” said Jose de Jesus, director of multicultural marketing for the Pork Checkoff. “This provided the perfect setting to showcase the wide variety of healthy, pork-inspired recipes and introduce more consumers to the joy of cooking with pork.”
Celebrity chefs, including Doreen Colondres of the popular website The Kitchen Doesn’t Bite and Jose Mendin of The Pubbelly Restaurant Group in Miami Beach served as pork ambassadors. Thousands of people attended the nation’s largest food festival, where the Pork Checkoff participated in three signature events:
- Swine & Wine, with exceptional pork dishes prepared by more than 20 acclaimed chefs – The popular event at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables also included the first-ever “National Pork Board Critics’ Choice Award,” with first, second and third-place awards presented to the best pork dishes. Judges included Colondres and Mendin, along with acclaimed Chef Juan Mari Arzak, Goya Foods’ Executive Chef Fernando Desa, Chef James Tahhan of Telemundo “Un Nuevo Dia,” Marc Forgione, restaurateur and Food Network Iron Chef, and Raul De Molina, host of Univision’s “El Gordo y La Flaca.”
- Meatopia: The Q Revolution, a meat lover’s dream hosted by Guy Fieri and sponsored by the National Pork Board.
- Fun and Fit as a Family, a live, interactive food demonstration where nearly 100 kids prepared Pork Pita Pizza and Orange Honey Pork Meatballs alongside Chef Colondres – This fun opportunity for “Little Pork Gurus” (or “Pequenos Sabios del Sabor” in Spanish) was an extension of the Pork Checkoff’s ongoing Sabios del Sabor Hispanic campaign. The campaign promotes the versatility and nutritional benefits of pork, as well as inspirational and delicious recipes options, at the Pork Checkoff’s Spanish-language site PorkTeInspira.com/recetas. In conjunction with the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, Chef Mendin developed a Braised Pork Pastelon recipe for PorkTeInspira.com, an information-rich site where consumers can also find information on the nutritional content of pork, choice cuts, health and safety information and cooking tips.
“The South Beach Wine and Food Festival offers a fun venue to showcase what pork is all about and inspire culinary creativity,” said de Jesus, who noted that Beeler Pork and Hormel Foods provided pork for the Pork Checkoff-sponsored events at the 2015 festival. “We were thrilled to be part of this great event and look forward to more opportunities like this to promote healthy, flavorful, pork.”