We had the good fortune of connecting with Carlos Sarmiento and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carlos, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Having always been a food and wine aficionado and a once aspiring chef, I had found myself with more time to cook and get creative again in the kitchen since Covid hit. At first, I wanted to document what I cooked and drank (wine pairing) just to share with family and close friends. I thought a blog would be good. I realized that I, and certainly many others, could get more out of this passion project, if I also added my public relations skills an turned the blog into a website destination…that is how Carlos’ Food & Wine (www.carlos-food-wine.com) was born. It is now a passion venture.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Carlos’ Food & Wine has quite a meandering but interesting story behind it. Since high school, my dream was to become a chef. After completing college, at Miami Dade College, where I majored in communications, I was accepted to Johnson & Wales University, to begin my career in culinary arts. Thinking I could get ahead of the game before going to culinary arts school, I took a job as an apprentice chef at a trendy restaurant. What would’ve been a three month immersion quickly turned into a three week gig. I decided being a chef was not for me (yet). Another one of my passions have always been film & creative writing. I immediately continued my university studies at the University of North Carolina – School of the Arts – School of Filmmaking, where I majored in film directing and minored in screenwriting. After graduation, I worked in the film & TV industry for several years. I also continued with my creative writing and working on independent film projects. Circumstances obliged me to change careers to public relations & marketing. For the past 18 years, I’ve been blessed to continue on this career that encompasses many things I love, creativity, communications, and dealing with people. Then COVID hit. Teleworking from home became the new norm. There was significantly more time spent at home and the creativity had to be harnessed, let alone sustained. What started as a passion project, where I would could cook and share my food & wine pairing idea with family amd friends, quickly became a passion venture where today, www.Carlos-Food-Wine.com is seen and shared by over 50,000 people…and slowly but surelyC the audience is growing. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to apply my public relations skills and add value to my venture by developing and attaining collaborations, partnerships and sponsorships…and through it all, making amazing new friendships along the way across the globe. What I have learned throughout my journey is that faith and passion will open up doors you never expected. Seizing those opportunities are essential because they may not come back, so take that chance! Plunge in! Carlos’ Food & Wine is the ultimate representation of who I am…it brings readers and followers alike to a place where they will be taken on culinary journeys around the world and get glimpses of history (both of the source of the dishes, as well as of my life), all paired with great wines.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Miami is a vibrant city that has so many cultures that ultimately meld into fantastic flavors. So many places to mention but my personal favorite spots are: The historic Biltmore Hotel I’m Coral Gables for their famous Sunday brunch or late drinks at their lounge, they also have a beautiful pool. Cafe Pastis in South Miami, a French family owned restaurant that is perfectly small and quaint with the best French food..the bouillabaisse is to die for. Mediterranean, particularly Lebanese cuisine, I recommend: Maroosh (Coral Gables) and Khoury’s (South Miami). Honorable mention: The Daily Bread (Miami & Pinecrest) I love steak…in various styles including: Los Ranchos (Nicaraguan steakhouse, various locations), Graziano’s (Argentinian steakhouse, various locations), Fierro Grill (near South Miami) and Rincon Argentino (near Coral Gables) both Argentinian. For special occasions, The Palm Restaurant at Bay Harbor Islands (also nationwide locations) A must once-in-your-life right of passage for any Miami resident (or visitor) is Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach. Last, but not least, Cuban Food! Cuban cafeterias are found practically anywhere….but well known places like: Versailles (Miami), La Carreta (various locations) and Sergio’s (various locations) will never disappoint.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Carlos’ Food & Wine challenges its readers and followers to get back into the kitchen and try something new and exciting. This shoutout is dedicated to everyone that already cooks and those that want to cook. Whatever you do, do it with love…because food is love.
Photo by pool (Flor Gomez) Photo with wines (Milagros Rodezno) Photo with table spread (Saylin Paez)