Isla Bonita and Esencial Costa Rica celebrated the end of their IV Gastronomic Contest

"Consumption of Costa Rican agricultural products in Spain increases steadily every year"

Isla Bonita and Esencial Costa Rica celebrated the grand finale of their IV Gastronomic Contest at the Zaperoco restaurant in Madrid. The contest is held every year with the aim of promoting knowledge and promoting the consumption of different varieties of tropical fruits. In this edition, the intense flavors, exoticism and quality of Costa Rican products have been promoted through the country brand Esencial Costa Rica.

Ramon Rey, the director of the international area and Marketing of Isla Bonita, said that "there is a growing interest in tropical fruits in our country and therefore, we at Isla Bonita feel responsible for promoting the knowledge their benefits and properties. This contest is the perfect occasion to, through gastronomy, help people get closer and more familiar with the exotic fruits and rich culture of Costa Rica."

Jorge Zamora, the director of the Commercial Promotion Office of PROCOMER in Spain, said that "the consumption of Costa Rican agricultural products in Spain is increasing steadily every year. It is clear that many Spanish consumers already appreciate the freshness, high quality, and intense flavor of our products. This gastronomic contest allows us to promote the quality and freshness of Costa Rican agricultural products in Spain. This products come from a fertile land and this event allows us to promote their benefits, strengthen foreign trade and boost exports."

To decide the winner of this edition, Jorge Zamora and Ramon Rey had the collaboration of a luxury jury made up of Patsy Montiel, CEO of the Madrid Seduce content platform and expert in gastronomic trends; and Andrea Carucci, a journalist that is the president of the Gastroblogger and Media Association, as well as a Gastronomic Expert by the UAX, naturopath and expert in nutrition, and Luis Guillermo Castro, international gastronomic judge and chef from Costa Rica.

Fusion cuisine and a single winner
During the day, the six finalists presented creations that harmoniously fused the tropical flavors in iconic Spanish cuisine dishes, such as gazpacho or croquettes. The event, led by the presenter and writer Patricia Perez, put the culinary talent of the finalists to the test in three challenges.

In the first challenge, the participants had to make cassava croquettes in record time. The Red team, made up by Esther Garcia, David Luengo Portero, and Sofia Martin de Nicolas, was chosen to go to the final phase.

A Costa Rican pineapple and a professional knife awaited for the three finalists in the second test. A fundamental part of the work of a chef is to take advantage of optimal raw materials, so the aspiring tropical cooks faced the challenge of peeling and cutting this fruit correctly. Luis Guillermo Castro, an expert, gave a thorough assessment of the work of the contestants.

In the last challenge, fusion cuisine was key again. The finalists prepared a squash gazpacho, which combined the typical Spanish recipe with one of the most popular tropical fruits in Costa Rica, under the watchful eye of the jury and public.

Finally, after the deliberations of the professional jury, which valued the taste, texture and careful presentation of the recipes, Esther Garcia, the author of the blog 'Mamá Qué Hay', won the title of Tropical Cook. Ramon Rey and Jorge Zamora gave her the well-deserved prize: a check with a trip for two people to Costa Rica.

In addition, the fusion cuisine restaurant with Costa Rican essence, Baco & Beto, will incorporate into its menu the recipe with which Esther García competed in the online phase of the contest and with which she got to the final. Those who love the taste of the tropics will be able to taste their mango lasagna throughout the winter season.

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