Photo Credit: Megan Betteridge / Shutterstock.com
Tampa Bay Chef, Chef Rosana Rivera, made Food Network history by being the very first Latina woman to ever ‘Beat Bobby Flay’ on December 26th, 2019. This win was not only groundbreaking, it was also incredibly bittersweet. Her first toe-to-toe challenge was against her husband and business partner, Chef Ricardo Castro, which she crushed with her better use of the first rounds secret ingredient, papaya.
“I had no doubt she was going to win. I knew it. I teared up when they said her name. I’m super proud of her achievement,” said Chef Ricardo when he found out he was out of the running.
As Chef Rosana came to win the first round, it was up to her to ‘Beat Bobby Flay’ with her infamous beef empanada recipe. With Flay making all the wrong moves, having equipment malfunctions, and a track record of empanada fails, Chef Rosana was the clear winner.
“This experience has been one of the highlights of my year. I feel super proud as a Female Chef, Entrepreneur, Puerto Rican, and Tampanian to have had the honor to not only participate in Beat Bobby Flay but to have competed against Ricardo, my other half in business and life. Ricardo is a Chef that has my utmost admiration. Most importantly, competing against Iron Chef Bobby Flay is an experience I will never forget. I have a deep respect for his talent, charisma, and the amazing team that works with him. It is an honor that I was able to cook side by side with him, compete against him, and can proudly say I Beat Bobby Flay,” said Chef Rosana on her win.
Sophisticated cuisine is nothing new to this Latino power couple. The two were owners of the French-inspired bakery Piquant, and the proud owners of Xilo at The Hall on Franklin in Tampa, Florida. The Chefs also own R2 Provisions, a national catering company, and a high-end food truck. Additionally, they also own Kofe, The Hall on Franklin’s in-house coffee bar – which creates magic with local historic Ybor City roasted coffee beans.