On a recent episode of Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay, Tampa Bay’s Rosana Rivera made history by being the first Latina woman to ever to win the competition. Despite Bobby Flay’s astounding record in these competitions, Rivera was able to defeat him using her famous beef empanada recipe.
Rivera first had to beat her husband and business partner, Chef Ricardo Castro, using the first round’s 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 Rivera won the first round.
Up against Flay, Chef Rivera impressed with her beef empanadas while Flay made several mistakes on his.
“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,” says Chef Rivera. “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.”
Rivera and Castro are the former owners of Piquant, a French-inspired bakery in Tampa. The duo currently owns Xilo and Kofe at The Hall on Franklin food hall in Tampa as well as a catering company called R2 Provisions and an upscale food truck.