National Pork Board announces 3rd annual Critics’ Choice Awards winners at SOBEWFF’s Swine & Wine with Carlos Ponce

The National Pork Board (NPB) returned to the 2017 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF), as the Official Pork Sponsor and Preferred Protein of the Festival.

The National Pork Board also invited internationally recognized Puerto Rican actor, singer-songwriter and host, Carlos Ponce, to heat up kitchens across America and bring “The Taste of Now” to life. The campaign launched with a national sweepstakes that gave fans a chance to win a round trip to Miami to meet Ponce and be his guest at the Goya Foods’ Swine & Wine presented by The National Pork Board, home of the National Pork Board’s 3rd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards. The exclusive, all-pork event took place this Sunday, February 26 at The Biltmore Hotel, featuring 13 renown chefs from restaurants all over the country who competed to create the best pork dish throughout the night. The competition was judged by on-screen celebrity Carlos Ponce and chefs Richard Ingraham, Jose Mendin, Ingrid Hoffmann, James Tahhan, Ana Quincoces and Fernando Desa, pictured below.


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Winners of the National Pork Board’s 3rd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards were Brian Nasajon, executive chef from Wynwood’s Beaker & Gray Restaurant, who took home the 1st place. In 2nd place was Douglas Rodriguez, executive chef of Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia and 3rd place went to Chef David Hackett of The Biltmore Hotel. All three winning chefs received Pork branded roasting boxes from La Caja China™.



 From left to right: Carlos Ponce, Frank Unanue, president of Goya Foods’ Florida, Richard Ingraham, Ana Quincoces, David Hackett of The Biltmore Hotel, Brian Nasajon, executive chef from Wynwood’s Beaker & Gray Restaurant, Brett Friedman, managing partner of Agency 21 and Jose de Jesus, director of multicultural marketing at the National Pork Board.

Throughout the Festival, the NPB participated in Tequila Cazadores presents Tacos After Dark sponsored by the National Pork Board and at the Heineken Light’s Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons and hosted by Rachael Ray, inviting Chef Jose Mendin of the Pubbelly Group to create the only pork burger at the event.

Eddie Zamora, creator of the popular travel and food blog The Yum Yum Foodie and Miami’s favorite duo Los Pichy Boys served as the NPB’s social media correspondents, sharing live behind-the-scenes highlights and chef interviews via Facebook Live.


Carlos Ponce with National Pork Board Sweepstakes Winners

For more information on the National Pork Board, including new recipes, information on choice and lean cuts, health, and safety information, cooking tips and promotions, visit Pork Te Inspira. To join the social conversation, like the Facebook page at, and follow on and Instagram @PorkTeInspira, using #SabrososMomentos. is a resource of pork information and inspiration, including mouthwatering recipes, nutritional content information on pork, choice cuts, health and safety information and cooking tips.