This year, Puerto Rico brings its treasured Three Kings Day celebration to New York City on January 6th, 2004, through an extra special event at the James Beard House, one of the most highly regarded culinary institutions in the U.S. Sponsored by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and the James Beard House, this Three Kings Day event gives culinary connoisseurs the opportunity to experience first-hand the rich Latin culture and cuisine associated with this cherished Puerto Rican holiday.
Also known as the Epiphany or El Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos, Three Kings Day is celebrated by Christians throughout the world on January 6. However, in Puerto Rico is has evolved into one of the most important Christmas holiday traditions, symbolising family and unity throughout the island. On this day, which marks the arrival of three wise men bearing gifts for the Christ child in Bethlehem, the island is brimming with festivities, including parades, singing and dancing, as well as traditional Three Kings Day crafts and cuisine.The celebration at the James Beard House will feature interpretations of the day’s traditional dishes by Chef Marisoll Hernandez, who gained considerable acclaim as the first Puerto Rican woman to become an Executive Chef in a four-star hotel in Puerto Rico. After training at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Hernandez opened her own restaurant, Chef Marisoll Contemporary Cuisine, in Old San Juan. This award-winning chef now serves as the Executive Chef for Fish Market, a new restaurant opening soon in Puerto Rico. The restaurant will combine a gourmet shop, fish counter, food to go and restaurant featuring tropical Asian seafood cuisine.“Bringing Three Kings Day to the James Beard House provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Puerto Rico’s oldest traditions and authentic cuisine in one of the most prominent culinary institutions in the U.S.,” said José M. Suárez, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. “Culinary aficionados will have the opportunity to taste a variety of Puerto Rican dishes, learn about the history of Three Kings Day and gain a sense of the excitement we feel during this joyous Puerto Rican holiday.“Chef Marisoll and her team will be preparing an authentic Three Kings Day menu for the event, starting with assorted hors d’oeuvres including sweet plantain stuffed with meat; shrimp criollo salad on bouchees; and alcapurrias with pork. The main course will feature cassava and beef broth with recao; pasteles stuffed with beef, olives and chorizo; and a pan-roasted mahi-mahi fillet with Caribbean green papaya slaw, pinot noir reduction sauce and Island root escabeche. A choice of desserts will follow, including toasted coconut custard; and caramelized pineapple chunks with coconut and Puerto Rican dark rum sauce. Puerto Rico’s Three Kings Day event will be held on Tuesday, January 6, 2004, at the James Beard House, located at 167 West 12th Street in New York City. Tickets are $125.00 per person and include a cocktail receptions beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by a five-course dinner. For tickets and more information, please call 212-627-2308 or visit www.jamesbeard.org.