Food & Drink

FIU student makes winning spice blend for Doral-based Badia

From left: Badia Spices President Joseph “Pepe” Badia, FIU student Eddie Zeng, FIU chef-instructor Mike Moran.
From left: Badia Spices President Joseph “Pepe” Badia, FIU student Eddie Zeng, FIU chef-instructor Mike Moran. FIU

You may have not heard his name until now, but Eddie Zeng might soon change the way you cook.

Zeng, a student at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, won the school’s second annual spice-blend competition, sponsored by Badia Spices.

His seasoning — a mix of thyme, kosher salt, celery seed, fennel seed, cumin, sweet and smoked paprika, and black pepper — beat out blends from four other FIU students in a taste test judged by Mark Militello and other South Florida chefs.

Zeng wins a $5,000 scholarship, and his new seasoning (name TBA) will make its public debut next month at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Badia will have the product on shelves worldwide by summer and will donate 5 percent of its sales to the Chaplin School’s Student Enrichment Fund.

“It is an extremely rewarding experience to help develop the next generation of industry professionals,” said Badia president Joseph “Pepe” Badia. “I was so impressed with the winning spice, and can’t wait to have it on shelves. I know everyone is going to love it.”

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