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COCHON555’s Heritage Fuego Presented by Goya Foods

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Flames, Feasts, and Finery: COCHON555’s Heritage Fuego by Goya Foods Sets Foodies’ Hearts Ablaze.

November 12th, 2023

For the 13th year, this time concluding a 12-city Heritage Fire tour and taking place at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, COCHON555’s Heritage Fuego presented by Goya Foods was straight fire! For foodies chasing the best barbecue and fresh-off-the-grill live-fire taste, Heritage Fuego was the place to be.

Before getting to the mouthwatering dishes from the award-winning chefs, we have to talk about the ambiance. Away from the likes of South Beach, Brickell, and Wynwood, The Biltmore offered elegance that you just don’t find at other culinary events – but that didn’t stop the party. From blocks away, you could hear the live music and DJ spinning, keeping the spacious open-air terrace moving.

Entry was seamless, and those who sprung for VIP access ($175) had 45 minutes of early access to enjoy all the premium bites and sips before general admission entry ($125). Although there was a solid crowd, the vendors were well prepared and well stocked. When there were lines, they moved quickly, and it gave me a chance to finish a prior bite, compare notes with other attendees, or catch my breath.

Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

Not to be outdone by the venue, Heritage Fuego’s lineup of 20 notable South Florida chefs and the dishes they prepared, inspired by global food cultures, were the real stars! To mention a few highlights along my journey, the Cafecito Rubbed Spare Rib from Jeff Budd at Apocalypse BBQ was near emblematic of the event, and the perfect place to start. As the rib fell off the bone, that hint of sweet coffee perked up my appetite. Next, noticing a few vendors offering chicken wings, I figured I’d flock to those spots so I could best compare. Of the multiple chicken wing offerings, the Guayaba y Queso Chicken Wings from Darien Borges and Ismael Llano of Pin Pan Pollo were the best – crispy and creamy, with a hint of sweet.

Continuing on the culinary journey, Josh Elliot of QT Tapas gave me my first opportunity to try Charred Lamb Belly. And wow, am I glad I did. The flavor of the lamb belly was incredible, so tender, and seasoned with the umami flare of fish sauce and coriander. The accompanying Koji Manhattan opened the door to an impromptu cocktail hour staring some botanical Gin offerings from Whitley Neill Gin, a St-Remy Mint Julep from The Botanist, a whisky cocktail from Uncle Nearest, some unique concoctions, like Salty Watermelon Whisky, from Ole Smoky Moonshine, and Baileys Chocolate and Espresso Martinis that almost convinced me it was dessert time and I should stop eating. Then, I saw the Mojo Roasted Porchetta and the feast was back on. From Eric Benitez at Amelia’s 1931, the flavor was incredible – salty and crispy, with a daikon twang.

For the best traditional barbecue taste, the Short Rib Burnt Ends from Rick Mace and Tropical Smokehouse were so smoky, perfectly sweet, a meat candy dream – I had thirds. Other artistic and unique highlights included the exceptional Artichoke & Baby Back Ribs Paella from Carlos Garcia at Leku Miami, the delectable Wood Grilled American Bison Striploin with an egg yolk chimichurri from Eating House & Luca Osteria, the Smoked Duck Chorizo Tlayuda, Ayocote Morado Bean Puree, Pasilla De Oaxaca from The Tides – gamy, creamy, earthy, with a little crisp, and the visually striking Smoked Spare Rib Korokke with a black truffle aioli from Fernando Desa of Goya Foods.

In addition to wine and cordials, to close out the evening, a couple sweet options included the OG Sticky Roll from Rolled and the perfect bite to say goodnight, the Chocolate S’mores Cookie from Night Owl Cookies (both by Andrew Gonzalez).

Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

COCHON555’s Heritage Fuego was an elevated barbecue fan’s dreamland. The fresh, live-fire cooking of heritage-bred proteins grilling al fresco would have been enough, but lucky for the attendees, Heritage Fuego also delivered so much flavor. If you have the opportunity to attend a Heritage Fire or Heritage Fuego event in the future, make sure you pack your appetite. For future event information visit: https://heritagefiretour.com/.

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Cary Levinson

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

  • Heritage Fuego Tour. Photo by Anthony Nader

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