Tampa chef Rosana Rivera beats Bobby Flay on her Food Network debut

And made history by becoming the first Latina chef to beat Flay.

Co-owner of Xilo and Kofe at Hall on Franklin Rosana Rivera recently made history when she became the first Latina chef to 'Beat Bobby Flay’ on his competitive cooking show on the Food Network. 

After postponing the original premiere date of October 26, the Food Network finally aired this episode featuring Chef Rivera and her husband Chef Ricardo Castro on December 26. 

The first step to Rivera’s victory was to defeat her husband in a secret-ingredient driven cook-off. Using the ingredient of papaya better than her partner and co-restaurateur, she moved forward to compete against Bobby Flay himself. 

“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, fellow co-owner of Xilo and Kofe at Hall on Franklin. 

Rivera swiftly defeated Flay in the last round of the competition with her infamous beef empanada recipe, while Flay stumbled over equipment malfunctions and empanada fails. 

“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,” Rivera said after her victory against the Iron Chef. 

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About The Author

Kyla Fields

Kyla Fields is the Managing Editor of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay who started their journey at CL as summer 2019 intern. They are the proud owner of a charming, sausage-shaped, four-year-old rescue mutt named Piña.
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