Leading Latino performers and personalities were honored on Wednesday at the 31st annual Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony, which began in 1987 as a way to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month. Held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the event will be broadcast as a PBS special on Sept. 28.
Among the honorees was Ingrid Hoffmann, a Colombian American TV show host and restaurateur, who received the AARP-sponsored Culinary Arts Award, presented by Puerto Rican TV personality and author Giselle Blondet.
"I take great pride in sharing the flavors of our food and with it a better understanding of our cultures,” Hoffmann said. “This [award] gives me a sense of responsibility to continue to do so and be a voice for our people using food as a unifier.”
Other honorees included Daniel Lubetzky, CEO of snack company Kind; Sister Norma Pimental, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley; hip-hop pioneer Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon; pop duo Jesse & Joy; singer Karol G; and actress-singer Mj Rodriguez.
The awards are among the highest honors by Latinos for Latinos and are supported by 40 national institutions.
“AARP is proud to be part of the Hispanic Heritage Awards and salutes all the honorees for their contributions to the Latino community,” said Yvette Peña, AARP vice president of Multicultural Leadership. “We are honored to present the Culinary Award to chef Ingrid Hoffman, an accomplished chef, author and contributor to our Spanish site, aarp.org/espanol. She is an advocate for health, nutrition and living a well-balanced life.”
Among the entertainers presenting awards and performing at the event were José Feliciano, commemorating the 50th anniversary of his performance of the national anthem at the 1968 World Series. Among other performances were A Tribute to Latinos in Hip-Hop, featuring Crazy Legs, Fat Joe, DJ Charlie Chase and Breaking Ensemble.
Past Hispanic Heritage awardees include Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, actress Rita Moreno, opera singer Plácido Domingo and actress Eva Longoria.