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Salsa & Tequila Challenge


TICKETS     |     ENTERTAINMENT     |     PARTICIPANTS     |     MEDIA   |     JUDGES    |     WINNERS   |   SPONSORS

Saturday, August 16, 2014

La Encantada Shopping Center - Northwest corner of Skyline Drive and Campbell Avenue    6pm

The Southern Arizona Salsa and Tequila Challenge has shaken up the summers in Tucson for three years, bringing the region’s cultural garden to modern day tastes buds. The culinary event brings up to 50 chefs and restaurants preparing unique salsa recipes and mixologists creating innovative tequila-based drinks along with sweet and savory menu pairings. Proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Southern Arizona and SAACA’s arts therapy and education programs. 

    ABOUT

On Saturday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m., the culinary competition will once again support Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, two much-needed charitable causes raising money for hunger relief and the arts in our community.

For the second year, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation has added another ingredient to the charity mix with Viva Piñata!, raffling off sponsored decorative piñatas to raise money supporting scholarships to benefit Hispanic students seeking higher education.

More than 20 piñatas will line the arches of La Encantada’s courtyard, each sponsored by a business and created by a local artist. Attendees will buy raffle tickets to use as a vote for their personal favorite piñata design.

A taste of heritage
Straight from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, the authentic tastes of premium tequila will travel to Tucson this August, giving hundreds of people the chance to indulge in this ancient agave beverage along with some of the best salsas and culinary cuisine in the region. 

Sample the most delicious traditional and inventive salsa recipes from acclaimed chefs, right in the region of the world where this flavorful sauce was first stirred up.

Bringing some of the area’s most famous chefs to the table, the eclectic mix of restaurant styles and backgrounds puts modern fusion up against historic tradition for the Southern Arizona Salsa and Tequila Challenge. 

A judging panel of culinary experts and enthusiasts select winners of the amateur and professional competitions, which are awarded at the main event, and attendees place their own votes for the People’s Choice awards.

Viva Piñata!
For the second year, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation has added another ingredient to the charity mix with Viva Piñata!, raffling off sponsored decorative piñatas to raise money supporting scholarships to benefit Hispanic students seeking higher education.

OPENING PERFORMANCE
Main Stage at 6:00pm

Folkloric Ballet Nogales Sonora

The Allewame folkloric ballet (word in native language that means happiness) was established in 2009 in Nogales Arizona as part of the artistic activities of the Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Sonora.

The group is formed by young secondary, high school and college students and has always sought the academic, artistic and intellectual growth of its members.

The team has won many regional and state competitions. They have also performed at various events in Arizona and at events throughout Sonora, such as de “Mining Festival of Nacozari”; “the October Fiesta” in Magdalena de Kino and at the “Missions´ Festival” in several cities in northern Sonora.

The dancers have represented México in the international festival “Uniendo amistades en pro de la cultura”, which took place in the city of Paraiso de Cartago in Costa Rica in October 2012.

On August 2013, the group changed its name to Ballet Folclórico Municipal Nogales. They are led by Mara Cristina Mendoza Villegas

FEATURED PERFORMER
Main Stage at 7:15pm

Santa Pachita
plays Latin-Fusion inspired by salsa, cumbia, ska, etc.

Santa Pachita is a Tucson band that has been playing together for since 2012. Guitarist, Miguel Reyes, and bass player, Victor Cruz, started the band after working together on other musical projects. They brought in talented musicians that have a variety of different musical backgrounds. The result is a danceable fusion of ska, cumbia, and rumba-salsa. The congas, flute, and trumpet add depth to t...

Santa Pachita is a 7-piece band that blends a variety of musical styles to create an entertaining night of dancing for everyone. The congas, flute, and saxophone add depth to the energetic music that is influenced by ska, cumbia, rumba-salsa, and bands like Manu Chao.


   TICKETS
Tickets include up to 50 salsa tastings with chips, over 25 tequila mixed drinks, tequila  and beer samplings, food samplings, dessert as well as live entertainment.    PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

   $45 after through August 15 (Online tickets expire 11:59pm on August 15, 2014)
   $55 day of the event (August 16, 2014)       LIMITED DAY OF TICKETS AVAILABLE     DAY OF SALES IN FRONT OF LUCY / CLARKS AT LA ENCNATADA


Due to the high volume of ticket sales for this event, phone sales expire August 15 at 3pm.  To redeem standard SAACA ticket discounts, please call the Box Office at (520) 797-3959 x 0, Tuesday-Friday, 9am-4pm.  Standard ticket discounts include 5 and under Free, 50% off tickets ages 6-18, Student and Military Discount of 10% off with ID.  Group discounts available for groups of 10 or more. 

 PARTICIPANTS
2014 PARTICIPANTS
If you are a restaurant, tequila maker or exhibitor interested in participating in the 2014 SALSA & TEQUILA CHALLENGE, download the participation forms here     RESTAURANT REGISTRATION       TEQUILA MAKER / DISTRIBUTOR

2014 SALSA CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS
Enjoy custom salsa recipes from each of the below participants

American Flying Buffalo Grille n Catering
Azul at Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa
Blanco Tacos and Tequila
Boca Tacos y Tequila
Calle Tepa Mexican Street Bar and Grill
Catering Internacional
Crossroads Restaurant
Tequila Factory at Casino del Sol
Ceviche Queen
Dante's Fire
El Cisne
El Saguarito Mexican Food
Fini's Landing
Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery
Gringo Grill + Cantina
Hotel Congress
Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails
JW Marriott Star Pass Resort & Spa
Loews Flying V Bar & Grill
Marriott University Park
Mouth of the South Salsa
Old Pueblo Grille
Omni Tucson National
Penca
Renee's Organic Oven
Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain
Royal Café
Seis Kitchen and Catering
Splendido
Stables Ranch Grille at Tubac Golf Resort & Spa
Tucson Country Club
Union Public House
Vero Amore
Wilko
Zona 78
Zivaz Mexican Bistro
Pima Community College Culinary Students

FEATURED TEQUILA MAKERS
Tequila Desire
Roger Clyne's Mexican Moonshine
Tequila Don Pilar
Quinta De Gomez
Dos Lunas
Tequila Penasco
Diva Tequila
3 Amigos
Don Julio
Peligroso
DeLeón

 

2014 TEQUILA CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS
Enjoy signature tequila mixed drink recipes paired with menu samplings from each of the below participants

Azul at Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa
Blanco Tacos and Tequila
Boca Tacos y Tequila
Tequila Factory at Casino del Sol
Catering Internacional
Dante's Fire
El Cisne
El Saguarito Mexican Food
Fini's Landing
Gringo Grill + Cantina
Hotel Congress
Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails
JW Marriott Star Pass Resort & Spa
Loews Flying V Bar & Grill
Marriott University Park
Noble Hops
Old Pueblo Grille
Omni Tucson National Resort
Penca
Parish
Renee's Organic Oven
Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain
Saffron Indian Bistro
Seis Kitchen and Catering
Splendido
Stables Ranch Grille at Tubac Golf Resort & Spa
Tucson Country Club
Wilko
Union Public House
Zona 78
Zivaz Mexican Bistro

 

Beer sampling from Finely Distributing: Victoria, Modelo & Corona Light

   WINNERS

2014 SALSA CHALLENGE WINNERS

BEST TRADITIONAL SALSA   JW Marriott Star Pass Resort & Spa
CHEF: Danny Perez              SALSA: Salsa Helada

BEST HOT SALSA   Armitage Wine Lounge   www.armitagewine.com
Chef Jorge Moreno
Salsa: Habanero Mango Salsa (Hot)     

BEST MILD SALSA   Hotel Congress   http://hotelcongress.com/
Chef Karl De La Ossa
Salsa: Sweet Tomatillo Salsa - Roasted Tomatillos, Shallots, Garlic, Poblanos, Pepadues and Jalapenos (Mild)

BEST ALTERNATIVE SALSA Wilko   www.barwilko.com
Chef Ian Sugarman
Featured Salsa: Kimchi By The Sea(Alternative)

JUDGES CHOICE BEST OVERALL 1ST PLACE
Armitage Wine Lounge    www.armitagewine.com
Chef Jorge Moreno
Salsa: Habanero Mango Salsa (Hot)

JUDGES CHOICE BEST OVERALL 2ND PLACE
Hotel Congress    http://hotelcongress.com/
Chef Karl De La Ossa
Salsa: Sweet Tomatillo Salsa - Roasted Tomatillos, Shallots, Garlic, Poblanos, Pepadues and Jalapenos (Mild)

JUDGES CHOICE BEST OVERALL 3RD PLACE
Prep&Pastry   www.Prepandpastry.com
Chef Liz Delgado
Featured Salsa: Blueberry Jalapeño - Blueberry jalapeño with candied berries (Alternative)

PEOPLES CHOICE 1ST PLACE 
Mouth of the South Salsa Co.
Chef Andrea B. McGowan
Featured Salsa: INSANE, tomato based refrigerated salsa using ALL fresh ingredients to include jalapenos, onion, serrano chili, habaneros and an amazing arrangement of special spices (Traditional)          

PEOPLES CHOICE  2ND PLACE
Pima Community College - Culinary Arts
Student Chefs: Linda Tandjung, Chelsie LaRochelle and Jesse Huggins              
Featured Salsa: Drunken Pineapple

PEOPLES CHOICE 3RD PLACE 
Marriott University Park
Chef Adrian Castillo
Featured Salsa: Smokeless Fire(Hot)

2014 TEQUILA CHALLENGE WINNERS

MOST CREATIVE   Tucson Country Club  www.tucsoncountryclub.com
Mixologist Clayton Robideau
Tequila Cocktail: Cinnamon Sugar Cronut with Patron Café & 1921 Tequila Crème Liqueur Salted Caramel Milkshake

BEST PRESENTATION   Fini's Landing           www.finislanding.com
Mixologist: Andrew Carlin
Tequila Drink: Smoke on the (Fire) Water displayed on solid frozen ice sculpture

JUDGES CHOICE BEST OVERALL 1st PLACE
Pasco Kitchen and Lounge    www.pascokitchen.com
Chef Ramiro Scavo
Tequila Cocktail: Father Kino, muddled cucumber and cilantro, fresh lime juice, jalapeño spiced agave nectar, soda water, tequila blanco with a pulpadip and tajin rim

JUDGES CHOICE BEST OVERALL 2ND PLACE
Tequila Factory @ Casino Del Sol Resort   www.casinodelsolresort.com           
Mixologist: Aaron DeFeo
Tequila Cocktail: A Fistful of Rupees, Don Julio Blanco, Ancho Reyes, tangy curry & tamarind, citrus, coconut milk, cumin

JUDGES CHOICE BEST OVERALL 3RD PLACE
Union Public House  www.uniontucson.com
Chef Patrick Malarchik
Tequila Treat: Paleta, Fruit Popsicles with Tequila

Tequila Challenge PEOPLES CHOICE 1ST PLACE
Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain
Mixologist; Mike West
Tequila Cocktail: Wild Burro - simple balance of Spiced tequila, orange curacao, and fresh sour
Menu Pairing: Shrimp Ceviche

Tequila Challenge PEOPLES CHOICE 2nd PLACE
Loews Flying V Bar & Grill  www.loewshotels.com
Chef Brandon Cathey
Featured Tequila Cocktail: Mixologist Brandon featuring Kumquat Tequila Sno-Cones

Tequila Challenge PEOPLES CHOICE 3RD PLACE
Hotel Congress   http://hotelcongress.com/
Tequila Cocktail: El Santo - Blanco Tequila, Lime, Orange and Peach Syrup, Pomegranate               

2013 Salsa Awards
  • Best Traditional Salsa El Cisne Mexican Restaurant, Cisne de la Casa
  • Best Hot Salsa Artisan's Table, Smoke & Fire Salsa
  • Best Mild Salsa Royal Café, Flavor City Salsa
  • Best Alternative Salsa Fini's Landing, Fire Roasted Peach
Judges Choice
  • 1st Place Fini's Landing, Fire Roasted Peach
  • 2nd Place Zona 78, Rabbit Bomb
  • 3rd Place Artisan's Table, Smoke & Fire Salsa
People’s Choice
  • 1st Place Boca Tacos y Tequila, La Reina del Sur
  • 2nd Place Zona 78, Rabbit Bomb
  • 3rd Place Art Institute Student Alex Davis, Watermelon Salsa
2013 Tequila Awards
  • Most Creative The BrushFire BBQ Co. East, Mixologist Greystone LaPoint, Whiteout
  • Best Presentation Boca Tacos Y Tequila, Mixologist Maria Mazon
Judges Choice
  • 1st Place The BrushFire BBQ Co. East, Mixologist Greystone LaPoint, Whiteout
  • 2nd Place El Saguarito Mexican Food, Mixologist Albert Vasquez, The Mexican Russian
  • 3rd Place JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa #2, Mixologist Alvaro Fierro, Pica Fresca
People’s Choice
  • 1st Place The BrushFire BBQ Co. East, Mixologist Greystone LaPoint, Whiteout
  • 2nd Place Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, Mixologist Michael West, Sarsaparilla Sunset
  • 3rd Place Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Mixologist John Hohn, Grilled Citrus Mescal-Agave Salt Air

       JUDGES
Rita Connelly, Tucson Weekly, Food Writer
Rita Connelly has two passions: food and writing. That she has been able to combine the two is a dream come true. Today she freelances as a restaurant reviewer and food writer for the Tucson Weekly and gayot.com. Her work has appeared in Edible Baja Arizona, Serious Eats; A Hamburger Today, Food Network Magazine, Tucson Woman and several other publication and websites.  Her judging experience includes: wine/oyster pairing, Sonoran dogs, apple pie, chocolate, tacos and margaritas. She also has a Facebook page - The Well-Fed Foodie.

CJ Hamm, Tucson Weekly, Food Writer
C.J. Hamm, is a chow writer for the Tucson Weekly, including the columns "Noshing Around", and "9 On The Line". He is a fanatical foodie who spend many years in the food and beverage industry and even more time as a consumer of fine food and drinks. Being a native Tucsonan, he especially knows his salsas and tequila drinks.

Adam Lehrman, Tucson Foodie
Adam Lehrman started Tucson Foodie in late 2008 as a way to track his search for the best food Tucson had to offer. Tucson Foodie is dedicated to providing opinions, reviews and information on a wide variety of topics relating to food, dishes, recipes, restaurants, reviews, bakeries, cafés, sustainability, farming, CSAs, composting, the local food movement, gardening, events, and more in Tucson, Arizona.

Celestino Fernandez, Director, Undergraduate Studies- School of Sociology
Since 1976, Dr. Celestino Fernández has served as Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona where he also served in several administrative positions, including as Vice President for Academic Outreach and International Affairs. He received both the M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University. Prof. Fernández had published approximately 50 articles and book chapters, composed about as many corridos (ballads), and has consulted widely with private corporations, government, and institutions of higher education throughout the U.S. and abroad. In 2007, Dr. Fernández was named University Distinguished Outreach Professor in recognition of his “exceptional service to the community, state and nation.” He was born in Mexico's tequila region and is known to make very hot salsa!

Patty Ruiz, Advertising Account Executive, KGUN 9     
Patty has been in the radio and television industry for over 40 years, in management and sales. She currently works for KGUN 9 and KWBA. Patti is very involved in Hispanic community, and has served as  Vice President of Tucson International Mariachi Conference and is a board member of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation Board. She received the FBI community service from LULAC, recipient of the Profiles of Success, Leadership award. She served as a past President of the Tucson Advertising Federation, and recipient of  the Warren F. Olsen Community award for Sales and Service, Graduate of the Greater Tucson, and Tucson Chamber Development program.

 

 
 
    

       YELP! RECIPE CHALLENGE
Participate in the YELP! Salsa Recipe Contest.  Winner will receive complimentary tickets to the event, as well as your recipe featured at the event, produced by Caridad Community Kitchen (Southern Arizona Community Food Bank)  

ENTER HERE FOR THE SALSA RECIPE COMPETITION   

TEQUILA DRINK RECIPE
ENTER HERE

Lupita Murrillo, Reporter- KVOA Channel 4  
Lupita Murillo joined the News 4 team in 1978 as a general assignments reporter, specializing in crime reporting. She also hosts the weekly talk show "Impact."  Lupita has earned a lot of recognition for her work over the years, including awards from the Arizona Press Club, United Press International, the Associated Press, and many community organizations. She's also been recognized nationally by the American Women in Radio and Television.  Lupita is very active in the community, giving her time to numerous organizations and charities like Las Familias, the People With AIDS Coalition of Tucson, the Children's Miracle Network Telethon and, the professional organization, Concerned Media Professionals.  She also sits on the Govenor's Violence Against Women's Commission.  In the little free time she has, Lupita enjoys aerobics, reading, baking, and especially spending time with her husband Don Gutzler.

Bobby Rich, Morning Host, 94.9 Morning Mix
A life-long radio broadcaster, programmer, manager and Tucson’s longest running morning radio personality. In January 2014, Bobby Rich celebrated his 21st Anniversary at 94.9MIXfm and he was elected to Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame 2013. The Bobby Rich Morning MIX was named “Best In City” by Tucson Lifestyle magazine. Greater Tucson Leadership presented Bobby their Community Leadership Award and the Tucson Advertising Federation chose him for the prestigious “Golden Mic Award.” He is director of the Community Partnerships for Journal Broadcast Group-Tucson. Their 2 TV and 4 radio stations give special public service exposure to local non-profit organizations valued at 1.5 million dollars a year since 2009.

Tony Arroyo, Library Director, Pima Community College – Desert Vista Campus
Tony moved to Tucson, AZ from Anaheim, California in 1993.  He worked for the Orange County Public Library System for almost 20 years. He and his then wife  ran a little business for two years and three months. It was a mom and pop type of business. It was a Tortilleria y Restaurant, Tina Linda’s, located on South 12th Avenue. In 1995, he landed a position at Pima Community College – Desert Vista Campus as the Library Director. He has been involved in the community in a variety of organizations. He’s volunteered and was a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the International Mariachi Conference, and is currently a member of AACHE (Arizona Association of Chicanos for Higher Education), Reforma, The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.  He is also an active member of Amigos de Pima. An organization that awards 14 scholarships annually to students of low income resources.  He has participated as a judge at the Corrido Contest at the Annual Tucson Meet Yourself for four consecutive years. In addition, he’s also participated as a judge at the Annual Tamale Contest at the Casino del Sol.

Ginny Wooters, Executive Chef, Metzger Family Restaurants
Originally from Virginia (seriously), Wooters grew up in Tucson and graduated from Sabino High School. Her first taste of the restaurant world was at age 15 at Dairy Queen. "All my friends worked there, we got to eat ice cream, it was fun!" From there she landed a job washing dishes at Canyon Ranch then segued into cooking. By the time she got to college she realized she enjoyed cooking and recognized she could combine it with her love of traveling. "I like the fact that you're always moving, and there's always something going on. I like the feeling of being busy and staying busy. And you don't have to sit behind a desk." College didn't stick, but she attended a yearlong restaurant-management program and began her culinary training on the job. She's worked at The Dish and North, and served as executive chef at McClintock's and Wildflower Grill. She took over the helm at both Jax Kitchen and The Abbey in January of 2011, and in 2014 moved over to be the Executive Chef of Metzger Family Restaurants concepts  Gio Taco and Poppy Kitchen.

Dan Gibson, editor of the Tucson Weekly
Dan Gibson is the editor of the Tucson Weekly, as well as the co-author of a book no one bought, a two-time game show contestant, occasional food critic, nationally certified taco judge, frequent guest on local radio talk shows, a husband and father of two.

 


       VOLUNTEER
Register for a volunteer shift at the event.  Volunteers receive special event perks!   REGISTER HERE

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For media requests and more information, contact Communications Director Chelsey Killebrew at chelsey@saaca.org.

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