Saint Augustine recalls his legacy in Hispanic Heritage Month

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Promotional photo courtesy of the Columbia Restaurant Group where the interior patio of the Columbia Restaurant is located in the city of San Agustín, Florida. EFE / Columbia Restaurant Group.

As the oldest permanent European settlement in North America, San Agustín will recall the importance of its history in the Hispanic Heritage Month that begins on September 15 with a special gastronomic offer of the most representative of Spanish and Latin American cuisine.

Considered the birthplace of Hispanic culture in the United States, visitors and local residents will be able to attend until October 15 to a series of culinary activities designed to highlight the importance of the Hispanic legacy of San Agustín, a city founded in 1565 by Spanish Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.

The president of the company Columbia Restaurant Group, Richard Gonzmart, and the director and founder of Cocktail Capital, César Díaz, have jointly promoted the events during Hispanic Heritage Month aimed at getting to know in depth their cuisine and the importance of the foundation of San Agustín for the history of the United States.

Gonzmart explained that what defines the Hispanic community and culture in the United States. nowadays it is “the evident pride we feel for our history and our heritage, but also for our full desire to live in this great country.”

He added that with this idea his great grandfather, Casimiro Hernández, opened the original Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, Tampa (Florida), in 1905 and four generations later Gonzmart opened in 1983 the third oldest Columbia restaurant on St. George’s St. Agustin.

After 113 years of the first Columbia, Gonzmart indicated that he continues to focus on the long term, that is, to keep alive the heritage of his great-grandfather.

“All Columbia restaurants have remained faithful to this long term in view of the family’s commitment to preserve and spread the Hispanic culture.” San Agustín’s Columbia customers will notice how the restaurant has incorporated unique Spanish touches in everything from the tiles even the original photographs and art and, of course, the exquisite Spanish-Cuban menu, “he added.

Photo courtesy of the University of South Florida Foundation, where the president of the Columbia Restaurant Group company, Richard Gonzmart, appears posing for a photo at the original Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida. EFE / Matt May / University of South Florida Foundation.

“We are obliged to give back to this city and to this state that has given us so much, we respect the past, we work in the present and we maintain the focus in the future,” he said, recalling that during the Hispanic Heritage Month the dishes were reinforced. Spanish origin as the fabada or the select wine list.

On the other hand, the specialty of César Díaz are the arepas and cocktails with a special Latin touch with which he tries “to tell a story”, since each cocktail “is a conversation topic”.

To show that pride during Hispanic Heritage Month, César Díaz has teamed up with local chefs to promote their countries of origin in their restaurants with the best dishes of Latin American cuisine such as ceviches, arepas, tacos, lomo saltado, chicharrones or Paella.

Díaz stressed that in addition to preserving the architecture, traditions and language, San Agustín has managed to keep alive the Hispanic gastronomic tradition, converted into an additional attraction to defend the Spanish legacy in Florida and the United States “to make sure we do not forget our provenance “

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