More than 20 food and beverage businesses will convene this Friday to showcase Puerto Rico’s vast gastronomy offer at this year’s Saborea Endless Summer Bash.
Guests can kick off the weekend in this culinary extravaganza which will provide mouthwatering dishes, desserts and cocktails from multiple restaurants, pastry shops, and alcohol suppliers from different points of the island as they listen to live music at the Sheraton Puerto Rico in San Juan.
This yearly event is organized by Saborea Puerto Rico, which in turn is managed by the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association (PRHTA).
The PRHTA’s president and CEO, Clarisa Jiménez, explained to THE WEEKLY JOURNAL that Saborea Puerto Rico is committed to highlighting the island’s tourism potential beyond beaches so that guests can connect with Puerto Rico’s culture through its food.
“The reality is that Puerto Rico has an incredible talent of chefs and youth who are doing very interesting things in gastronomy. We want the world to have no doubt that coming to Puerto Rico is about more than enjoying tourist destinations, we also offer an amazing culinary experience,” Jiménez said.
Moreover, Saborea Endless Summer Bash will feature a variety of new dishes for an array of palettes, not just the so-called classics.
Some of the restaurants showcased at the event include AlCor Foods Inc., Chef Campis, la Asociación Gastronómica y Culinaria de Puerto Rico, Eclipse, Fantasy Cake Factory and Coffee Shop, Food Freaks, La Guarida de Don Elías, Jugo de Caña El Torito, Lola Eclectic Cuisine, Sheraton Puerto Rico, Kaela’s Grandpa Desserts, Altamar Condado and Cuatro Velas, among others.
As for liquors and refreshments, Saborea Endless Summer Bash will boast products by Rums of Puerto Rico, Destilería Serrallés, Coca-Cola Puerto Rico Bottlers, Cerveza Modelo, Anna de Codorníu, Cervecera de Puerto Rico and El Hórreo de V. Suárez.
Jiménez noted that each of the event's participants brings its own unique culinary style to the table, providing for a diverse and culturally enriching selection.
“There is a lot of diversity and they come from different parts of the island as well, so I think it is a tremendous example of the gastronomy of Puerto Rico in general,” she said.
Given that some of these restaurants are located outside San Juan and the metropolitan area, the participants are encouraged to give out their address information and other promotional materials. Additionally, some of these restaurants extend a special offer to the event’s attendees, so that when they visit the actual locale they receive a treat for having attended Saborea Puerto Rico.
As guests revel in succulent dishes and sip on their drink of choice, they will be entertained with live music, sponsored by the hotel’s Casino Metro. The lively atmosphere will be set by the band 12AM, which interprets popular music from the 1980s and 1990s, as well as Latin and contemporary music.
“What can be better than to have some fun and forget everything that we have been enduring recently? It is an event both for locals and visitors,” she said, adding that, although guests of all ages are welcome, this event is geared more toward adults because of the alcohol selections.
Jiménez also stressed that all events by Saborea Puerto Rico are “a great promotional vehicle” for participants.
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“The reality is that the restaurant business has been an uphill battle because of the situation that the island has been going through, and this is a great opportunity to showcase what they offer to people who have a genuine interest in gastronomy,” she asserted.
She added, “we have accomplished many success stories over the years, not only of restaurants, but of companies that—for example—specialize in desserts and got some exposure through Saborea and nowadays are not only selling to their consumers, but are also engaging in businesses with hotels, other restaurants and more.”
The PRHTA official affirmed that these cases fulfill Saborea Puerto Rico’s raisons d’être, which are, first and foremost, to establish Puerto Rico as “the best culinary destiny,” and to create business opportunities for the association’s partners and the event’s participants.
“The great thing about this tourism segment, gastronomy, is that it impacts every other tourism sector and market. Regardless of why people come to Puerto Rico—be it to visit a family member, be it because of groups or conventions, be it for corporate or business reasons—everybody always aims to have an amazing culinary experience, so I daresay it is one of the most important segments,” Jiménez said.
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If a visitor were to miss out on the event, they can take comfort in the fact that Saborea Puerto Rico offers three events annually: the Endless Summer Bash between late July and early August, the Winter edition on early December—featuring the best of Puerto Rican holidays—and the Bubbles & Bitted edition in April.
Saborea Endless Summer Bash will kick off on August 16, starting 6:30 p.m., at the Sheraton Puerto Rico, which is located in the Convention District in San Juan.
To purchase tickets, visit www.fangig.com or the event’s page, at www.saboreapuertorico.com. Jiménez informed that tickets will also be sold directly in the hotel at the time of the event. Tickets cost $50 each, but people who use VISA debit or credit get a 20 percent discount.
Editor's note: This story was published on the August 14 print edition of The Weekly Journal.