I couldn’t have said it any better than my good friend, David Tyda, about his Arizona Taco Festival coming up just around the corner. I want to share with my readers what he has published about this amazing, can’t miss, taco foodie, place to be in October, Festival.
THE 2ND ANNUAL ARIZONA TACO FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES SPICY DETAILS
The Scottsdale Waterfront is about to become a taco-topia with over 40,000 tacos
and live contest action in every corner.
(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) – This month named one of “The Top 10 Fall Fests to Feast At” by USA Today, the 2nd Annual Arizona Taco Festival today announced a full event line-up set for October 15th, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. “We’ve put together a blockbuster this year, with action in every corner of our Scottsdale Waterfront site,” said event co-founder, Rick Phillips. “We were honored when PARADE Magazine named us one of ’50 Best Food Festivals in America’ earlier this year, and our event has been gaining momentum ever since then.”
Competing for a $7,500 prize purse are 42 taco teams, comprised of local restaurants, bars, amateur competitors, and even some taco-fanatic from Bend, Oregon. The teams are competing in chicken, pork, beef, and fish tacos, submitting to 50 National Taco Association judges, who are sequestered in a closed tent for truly anonymous judging. One team, Yahoo! Media’s Blue Ribbon Hunter will travel from New York City to film their battle for a new online show focused on fierce food competitions.
Every team (except for Yahoo!’s) will sell $2 tacos to the public all day, as well as salsa,guacamole, and anything-goes tacos as they choose. Each team is prepared tosell over 1,000 tacos, which could lead to sales of over 42,000 tacos in just nine hours!
Inside the event’s Tequila Expo, over 30 brands will pour samples of over 100 tequilas. At noon, 10 local bartenders will set up inside this tent and begin the Margarita Challenge Mix-Off, with three celebrity judges. Also happening throughout the day—live Lucha Libre wrestling, cooking demos, live bands, hilarious food contests on the main stage, and bouncing around in the Kid’s Zone.
Salty Senorita will operate the main bar, where title tequila sponsor Tres Agaves will be served in Blanco Margaritas. Ancillary barswill be operated by El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria and Dos Gringos.
Those looking for respite from the crowds can purchase a $100 ticket into the Macayo’s VIP Tent, where open bar and catered food inside the tent await. VIP’s also enjoy a separate lineless entrance and wristbands into the Tequila Expo.
Select proceeds from the Arizona Taco Festival benefit the Bridging AZ Furniture Bank, a literal warehouse of furniture donated for those in need.
The Arizona Taco Festival is presented by azcentral.com and takes place on October 15th, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at 7025 E. Via Soleri in downtown Scottsdale. General Admission is $10 (kids under 12 are free), Tequila Expo is $10, Macayo’s VIP Ticket costs $100. Samples of competition tacos are $2 each. Tickets are available online at www.aztacofestival.com.
Taco Teams: 42 listed online at www.aztacofestival.com. Some include resorts (La Hacienda, T. Cook’s, Rita’s Kitchen, Four Seasons competing as “Team Taco Lab”), iconic (Los Olivos, Macayo’s, Rubio’s), food trucks (Mike’s Kitchen, Ralph’s Snack Bar, Carte Blanche, T-Licious), and newer hotspots (El Hefe, Canteen, Blanco, The Mission).
National Taco Association Turn-In Times: 11am chicken, 12pm pork, 1pm beef, 2pm seafood, 2:15pm-3:15pm salsa/guacamole/anything goes tacos
Judges: 50 certified judges led by seasoned food competition organizers, David and Lori Lopp from San Francisco.
Tequila Expo: Over 30 brands pouring over 100 types of tequila. Participating brands include Avion (as seen on Entourage), the new skull-shaped Kah, and crowd-pleaser, Milagro.
Bartender Competition: 10 local bartenders judged in a walk-around format inside the Tequila Expo will offer 2-ounce samples to guests of the tent at1pm. A final round will take place on the main stage.
Bartender Judges: The Modern Mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim; “101 Margaritas” author, Kim Haasarud; Co-Founder of the Arizona Chapter of the United States BartendersGuild, Trudy Thomas.
Main Stage: The Surfside IV, Elvis Before Noon, final round of bartender challenge, hot chile pepper eating contest, taco-eating contest.
Cooking Demo Stage: By Sub-Zero/Wolf. Demos by Alex Stratta of Alex and Stratta restaurants in the Wynn Resort, Las Vegas; “Top Chef 4” winner, owner of Girl and the Goat restaurant in Chicago, and author of “Girl in the Kitchen,” Stephanie Izard; “Iron Chef” winner and Sanctuary Resort Executive Chef Beau MacMillan; and local restaurateur Aaron May.
Bars: Operated by Salty Senorita, El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria, and Dos Gringos. Serving Tres Agaves, Corona, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Pepsi, Rockstar, and bottled water.
Other Attractions: Kid’s Zone, live Lucha Libre wrestling, beer donkey, vendors selling anything but tacos.
And We’re Green! Leftover grease and oil will be donated for conversion into biofuel.