History of the Cuban Sandwich & The Worldwide Cuban Sandwich Festival
It all started in Tampa, Florida where I grew up with Cuban Sandwiches, Café con Leche, and the Historical Culture I was raised with. My Abuelita had several restaurants throughout her life in Tampa and as far as I am concerned, she made the World's Best Cuban Sandwich! In 2011 my wife and I were sitting down eating pressed toasted Cuban Bread with butter and Café con Leche talking about creating an event that would compliment the Historical Culture of Tampa and something everyone would love to attend. We looked at each other and at the same time said, " CUBAN SANDWICH FESTIVAL! Afterwards we met with Tampa Council woman Yolie Yvonne Capin who got Tampa City to pass a resolution for the Cuban Sandwich to be the signature sandwich of Tampa. " On May 26th, 2012, @ Ybor's Historical Centennial Park we hosted our 1st Annual Cuban Sandwich Festival with Local officials as Judges, Local and statewide contestants, the Cuban Sandwich Festival was a huge success that even reached the Newspapers in Spain. Since then the Cuban Sandwich Festival has become Worldwide sensation bringing local, National, and International contestants to compete every year in our Cuban Sandwich Contest. London, England, Seoul, South Korea, California, Tennessee, New York and so on. We are now holding Preliminary Smackdowns Statewide and out of state with our first Chicago Cuban sandwich Smackdown in 2019.
In 2012 we decided to create an event to make our Festival a 2 day event and implemented the World's Largest Cuban Sandwich called the Taste of the Cuban Sandwich. We made a 36 foot Cuban Sandwich and fed the local homeless through a Charitable organization and since then we now make the World's Largest Cuban Sandwich in Kissimmee, Florida and in Ybor City Tampa, FL. with our Official Cuban Bread Sponsor "La Segunda" and Westwinds Provisions" Boar's Head along with local Restaurant owners from La Teresita, Pipos, Papa Joes, Faedo's on the Go, Stone Soup, along with the contestants, sponsors, and volunteers we achieve the World's Largest Cuban Sandwich to Feed the homeless. Since 2012 we have fed thousands of Homeless and it has been a blessing and an honor to accomplish this amazing feat. The World's Largest Cuban Sandwich is currently at 162 Feet in 2018. Going on our 8th Annual International Cuban Sandwich thousands will come to eat the world's best Cuban Sandwiches and learn about the greatest Historical cultured Sandwich in the world. I'm Victor Padilla and with my wife Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla we are the sole creators and founders of The International Cuban Sandwich Festival. Everyday we give much thanks to our Father and Creator God for his blessings over this event, because without a doubt he loves Cuban Sandwiches and thanks with Mucho Amor (Love) to everyone who Participates and attends our Festival, thank you for loving Cuban Sandwiches! - Victor Padilla