Oct. 14 festival to showcase Latino cuisine and culture

Sabor Latino 2018 — a new food-and-wine festival event that will celebrate Latino culture, with food, fun, music and dance — will take place Sunday, Oct. 14, 2-6 p.m., at The Clubhouse at Baywood in the Long Neck area.

Attendees can enjoy Latin American tapas-style dishes, craft Mispillion beer, sangria, and a variety of other beers and wines. They can also salsa their way across the dance floor and bid on silent-auction items valued up to $1,000 — all while making a difference in the lives of immigrants.

“The event highlights the influence of Latino chefs on Southern Delaware cuisine,” said event Chairman Bryan Mozeik.

Chefs from Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria, NorthEast Seafood Kitchen, Blue Coast Seafood Grill & Raw Bar, Matt’s Fish Camp, Harvest Tide Steakhouse, Chilmole Mexican Grill, Calderon Market & Bakery, 501 North Casual + Fine Dining, and Cilantro will offer up their authentic cuisine.

Harvest Tide owner and chef Danio Somoza-Angel will serve carnitas al pastor — thin shavings of spit-roasted, marinated pork on blue corn tostada, with black bean puree, avocado, chipotle mayo and queso fresco. Another feature will be from Cilantro owner Gladys Fernandez: elotes locos — fresh Mexican-style corn with all the fixings.

D.J. Hector will play music from popular Latin artists. Diego Guzman will be teaching salsa, merengue and tango. South American musician Carlos Erazo will entertain with his Andean flute.

Tickets to the event cost $50 and will be available at the door or online at laesperanzacenter.org.

“Sabor Latino 2018 aims to build relationships between La Esperanza and the community,” said Rosalia Velazquez, La Esperanza’s executive director.

Three Carmelite nuns — Sister Rosa, Sister Ascension and Sister Maria — began La Esperanza to provide needed services to the Latino community. The nuns retired in 2017, but La Esperanza carries on their mission with a staff dedicated to meeting the needs of its community. La Esperanza receives funding through grants and contributions from individuals and corporations.

Velazquez said that, while La Esperanza’s mission is to serve Latino residents who need assistance navigating life in a new place, the Latino community at large has become a rich resource for the region over the past two decades.

“Latinos provide talented employees in several fields, including banking, healthcare and hospitality,” she said. Latino employment in the construction industry is increasing, she noted, and large numbers of agricultural and poultry workers are Latino.

“They’re an important part of the economy,” Velazquez said.

For more information on Sabor Latino 2018 or La Esperanza, go to laesperanzacenter.org.