Chef Rey Guerrero delights Florida with unique Colombian cuisine
By Emilio J. Lopez
The ancestral and varied cuisine of the Colombian Pacific Coast, with its clear African influence, begins Friday to delight Doral, Florida, thanks to one of its leading exponents, chef Rey Guerrero, seen here, star of the first gastronomic festival offered by that city bordering Miami. EFE/Jose Arturo Lopez/Nevarez PR
By Emilio J. Lopez
Miami, Nov 4 (EFE).- The ancestral and varied cuisine of the Colombian Pacific Coast, with its clear African influence, begins Friday to delight Doral, Florida, thanks to one of its leading exponents, chef Rey Guerrero, star of the first gastronomic festival offered by that city bordering Miami.
This festival of Colombian Pacific flavors, being served up at the Patacon Pisao restaurant in Doral, is a unique occasion in Miami to savor the "strong tastes, exotic products and traditions passed down through generations of matrons," Guerrero told EFE.
The rise and professional achievements of this master chef from Cali, owner of the Pescaderia Gourmet restaurant in Bogota, are exclusively the result of his determination and boundless dreams - he went to the Colombian capital, he says, with no money and without knowing anyone there, and started working as a waiter in a restaurant, earning "only his food."
Today his establishment sets the standard in his country for Pacific Coast cuisine, whose dishes preserve "black gastronomy, the traditions handed down from generation to generation by women of the Colombian Pacific who guard their ancestral recipes like treasures."
Today, the 1st Doral Food and Wine Festival offers this weekend not only exquisite Colombian gastronomy, as magnificent as other, better known cuisines of Latin America, but also the presence in Downtown Doral Park of a score of restaurants, cooking contests and live music.
Famed chefs from Doral and Miami like Dustin Ward (BLT Prime), Brian Aaron (Aaron's Catering), Antonio Brodziak (Bonsai 8th Tai + Sushi), Miguel Aguilar (Wynwood Kitchen & Bar), Justin Sherrer (Cine Bistro) and Javier Florez (Aromas del Peru) have joined the festivities that include entertainment acts and wine tastings.
Guerrero is ever enthusiastic about this excellent moment for Colombian gastronomy, though he wishes Bogota authorities would do more to promote Colombia as a first-rate culinary destination.
"If there were a ministry with a big budget and with the mission to position Colombian gastronomy as a tourist attraction, we would outdo the cuisines of countries like Mexico and Peru," said Guerrero, who has a particular passion for Pacific Coast fish and seafood.
As for the wealth of this cuisine of African origin enriched by the pantries of Spain, France and Italy, Guerrero noted its "varied, multiple and exotic" ingredients that especially delight those who have never tasted these dishes before.