SOBEWFF Havana Club Rum Ambassador Gio Gutierrez and Julio Cabrera Teach a Daiquiri Class

Miami-based and Cuban-born, Giovanny “Gio” Gutierrez has worn many hats. To those in the hospitality industry, he's perhaps best known as the founder and sometimes host of Chat Chow TV, the behind-the-scenes blog and podcast that chronicles the city's industry professionals.

For others, he's the U.S.-based ambassador for Havana Club Rum. And still more, he's the talented photographer whose work is seen in Eater Miami, Edible South Florida, and Zagat. You can even find him on the other end of the camera, featured everywhere from the Miami Herald and Ocean Drive to Bon Appetit, the New York Times, and — most recently — People magazine.

However, to those who know him personally, the longtime content creator, event curator, foodie photog, and spirited storyteller owns the title for his longest-running gig yet: Magic City's most charismatic spokesperson.

Full of what can only be described as cafecito-fueled energy, Gutierrez can't remember when he wasn't eager to share his knowledge, passion, and love of all things Miami and Cuba with everyone around him.

But before he was the eye behind some of Miami's most drool-worthy food photos or promoter of spirits with creative mixology mashups alongside the city's top talent, he held titles like “certified internet webmaster” and “digital marketing guru.”

“I originally went to school for computer programming and worked in advertising and marketing,” says Gutierrez, who ran the digital department for Tinsley for 15 years before launching his food podcast. “Every year, I'd create a professional challenge for myself, and one of those challenges was creating Chat Chow.”

The “ah-ha” moment came to him while attending Michael Schwartz's 2011 book launch for Michael's Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat. As people were clamoring to meet the James Beard award-winning Miami chef, peppering him with questions, an idea surfaced.

“I thought to myself, This is the type of content the world should be seeing. I thought it would be a fun side project to learn more about viral videos and RSS feeds,” Gutierrez tells New Times.

As one of the nation's first food-focused podcasts, the Chat Chow team experienced great success. They quickly expanded, producing content nationwide, sharing stories from chefs, mixologists, and hospitality professionals from San Francisco to New York City with quick 15-minute interviews.

More than a decade later, what began as a side hustle has since catapulted Gutierrez into the heart of Miami's hospitality world, part of which includes making his annual appearance at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

This year, Gutierrez returns to his familiar post, hosting two events during the 2023 Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival, one of which he'll host alongside one of Chat Chow‘s most beloved subjects — Cafe La Trova's cantinero, Julio Cabrera.

Part of the Eater Event Series, the “Daiquiri Making Master Class” on Sunday, February 26, at SGWS Wynwood will offer guests a lifetime of tips and tricks for whipping up one of Cuba's top tipples: the daiquiri.

According to Gutierrez, the class offers attendees a hands-on tutorial that is meant to entertain and, perhaps more importantly, educate.

Most people know the frozen, artificial concoction that makes up most modern-day daiquiris, says Gutierrez, but the drink has a unique origin story dating back to the late 1800s.

Today, it's also a cocktail that holds immense meaning for both Gutierrez and Cabrera, who traveled together to Daiquirí — a small village on the southeastern tip of Cuba — to learn about the drink's storied past.

“Learning about my land via Julio's eyes, his nose, his palate — visiting the places where he grew up — it was the beginning of my reconnection to Cuba,” explains Gutierrez.

Once a prosperous mining town, today the beach town offers another claim to fame: home to an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox. Legend has it that Cox loved gimlets — a simple combination of gin, lime, and sugar. When he ran out of gin, the miner grabbed a bottle of Bacardi, and the traditional hand-shaken daiquiri was born.

Gutierrez will also co-host the sold-out “Make It Miami: A Tapas & Craft Cocktail Party” alongside Alessandra Garcia-Lorido, taking place Saturday, February 25, at the National Hotel.

Thanks to Burger Beast Sef Gonzalez, the event will feature everything from Max Santiago's Max'd Out Donuts and Pastelito Papi's pastries to Tio Colo's Cuban ice cream sandwiches and guava chicken wings from the “Perro Let Me Tell You” podcast crew and their Ping Pan Pollo popup.

“This is definitely a very Miami-centric event, from the Latin-focused food and cocktails to the music — and now it's on the beach,” says Gutierrez. “This year, the purveyors we have literally scream Miami and really represent our culture. It will be so much fun to bring that experience to people who may have never had that before.”

Daiquiri Making Master Class. 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, February 26, at SGWS Wynwood, 2105 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $95 at