MIAMI, FL -- Earlier this summer, USA Rice held professional chef competitions in Bogota, Barranquilla, and Cali, Colombia where hundreds of chefs competed to claim first prize (see USA Rice Daily, July 26, 2017
). The top winners from each city recently traveled here to participate in a hotel, restaurant, and institutional (HRI) tour that included a stop at Florida International University’s Restaurant Management Program where they received an overview of HRI trends in America, with an emphasis on U.S. rice. The group had also planned on exhibiting and cooking with U.S. rice at the 21st Americas Food & Beverage show and conference in Miami but the event was canceled due to Hurricane Irma.
“This HRI tour in Florida has given us the opportunity to see firsthand some of the hottest culinary trends,” said Mauricio Londono, executive director and co-founder of the Colombian Association of Chefs, a tour participant with more than twenty years’ experience in the development of products for the Colombian food sector. “I am sure we will be able to apply some of what we have seen here in our restaurants in Colombia.”
USA Rice has conducted marketing activities in Colombia for the past three years to encourage the burgeoning HRI sector to increase the use of U.S.-grown rice. The U.S. has exported more than 80,000 MT of rice to Colombia in the first six months of this year, valued at more than $33 million. Colombia remains one of the top ten export markets for U.S.-grown rice.