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We had a fantastic time at the Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge in Tucson Arizona

This community fundraiser for the Southern Arizona Arts & Culture Alliance and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona was held at La Encantada Shopping Center in Tucson Arizona on Sunday September 3rd.

We loved sampling the creative and innovative salsa recipes, tequila cocktails, delicious tacos, Mexican beer and more.

Throughout the evening we listened to the music of Mariachi Estrellas de Tucson and Orquesta Salsarengue.

It was a great event and we are looking forward to next year!

Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain – Chef Alejandro Mancilla

▪ Turquesa's Signature Salsa - Turquesa's Latin Inspired Southern Arizona's Salsa

▪ Loaded Churro Tots - cinnamon sugar churro tots, dark chocolate ancho chile cream, strawberry cilantro salsa, white chocolate ganache

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon – Chef Issa Moussa

▪ Salsa Especial made with Tomato, Smoked Peppers, Cilantro, Onion, Lime

▪ Carlos’ Sangria - merlot, tequila, orange juice, pineapple, fresh lime, fresh lemon and simple syrup

▪ Ventana Chocolate Milk made with 1921 creme liquer, dulche de leche, abuelita, soy based cream, powdered sugar

▪ Dessert Taco crafted with Cinnamon Sugar Buñuelos, Dulce de leche marshmallow, Mexican chocolate, Home-made salted caramel ice cream

Estrella Jalisco – Hensley Beverage Company

▪ Sampling Estrella Jalisco, a new Mexican style beer

Click Café – Chef Armando Duarte

▪ Flavor City a unique Mesquite Charred Salsa and Salsa Frijol, a flavorful bean salsa

Calle Tepa – Chef Jose Cubillas

▪ Roasted Jalapeno salsa made with a unique blend of roasted tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and mangos

Garlic Habanero salsa comprised of roasted habaneros and garlic.

▪ Prickly Pear Perfect Margarita, an in house prickly pear infused tequila, cucumber infused tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime juice and triple sec

Chile Verde Taco with cubed tender pork cooked in tomatillo salsa verde

GRINGO Grill + Cantina – Chef Andy Ceron

▪ Mesquite Smoked Plum salsa infused with mesquite smoke plum, roasted onion & chiles. Served with a Blood Orange Paloma made with blood orange puree, soda, water, and tequila.

▪ Smoked Salmon Taco prepared with smoke cured salmon with peach chutney

Popped Artisan Popcorn – Diana Klawitter-Gillihan

▪ Mole Caramel, Sonoran Caramel, Green Chile artisan popcorn

Queen Ceviche – Chef Feliz Zaborsky

▪ Queen Ceviche’s signature La Reina Margarita

Marba International

▪ Fire Roasted Salsa Roja Quemada salsa expertly crafted from fresh & flavorful ingredients, blend of tomatoes, onions, peppers

▪ Fire Roasted Salsa Verde Tatemada a blend of green tomatoes, onions & spices

Tubac Olive Oil

▪ Crazy Habanero gourmet salsa is made from the fresh exotic fresh chiles from around the world and made from fresh tomatoes onions and aromatic fresh spices.

Applewood Creek Farms

▪ Lavender Lemonade

Four Peaks Brewery

▪ Four select beer samplings

Angie’s Gourmet To Go – Chef Angie

▪ Smoky Mesquite Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with a subtle smoky flavor

Omni Tucson National – Chef Jonathan Stutzman

▪ Smoked Jalapeno Salsa and a Hot Fruit Pico salsa made with muddled fruits and roasted spices with blistered tomatoes.

▪ Cabeza Jamon Iberico Taco made with prime beef & Iberico with smoked jalapeno salsa paired with a Cherry Tequila Raspado

Rigo’s Restaurant – Chef Oscar Gastelum

▪ Salsa Borracha or “drunk salsa” featuring roasted chiles & tomatoes with a hint of tequila and a traditional Salsa Antigua a hot salsa with dried chiles and olive oil.

▪ Mr. Taco filled with carne asada garnished with lime, cilantro, radish and cucumber

▪ Marimbas cocktail made with Clamato, Tequila, Lime juice and beer

▪ Mangoyadas with Mango Margaritas with chamoy and tajin

Finley Distributing

▪ Modelo Especial ▪ Modelo Negra ▪ Corona Light

Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine Tequila

▪ Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine Tequilas paired bites of fresh mango, cheese, and chocolate

Three Wells Distilling – Mixologist Matthew Montgomery

▪ Salty Agave an Agave Silver Cocktail

▪ Rebellion Pina cocktail featuring Agave Reposado

3 Amigos Tequila – Mixologist Ralph Gonzalez

▪ Ramona’s Café a unique drink made with Cold Brew Coffee and Ramona’s Reserve Tequila

▪ Cucumber Jicama Margarita with fresh Lime, lemon, cucumber, jicama sweetened with agave nectar highlighting 2 Amigos Blanco

Sierra Nevada Brewery

▪ Various select brews

Epazote Kitchen and Cocktails- Chef Josh Willett

▪ Otton’s Orange Habanero salsa comprised of oranges, habanero, mint, leeks, cilantro.

▪ Puesto Del Sol made with Patron Silver Tequila, Aperol, and simple syrup.

▪ Lamb Barbecoa Taco with Lamb braised in Southwestern Chilis and Spices

Reforma Modern Mexican, Mezcal + Tequila – Chef Jimmy Belden

▪ Reforma Salsa de la Casa made with traditional Roma tomato salsa with chiltepe and serrano chile

▪ Salsa Roja de Michoacan featuring Roma tomato with garlic and arbol chile

▪ Blood Orange Margarita Sauza Blue, Blood Orange Puree and Reforma’s house Margarita Mix

Embajador Tequila – Mixologist Brandon Cancino

▪ Embajador Tequila Supreme a double-barrel aged Anjeo tequila with a unique flavor that is Silky smooth, with a hint of smoke with notes of butterscotch, maple and coffee

SpunLight Cotton Candy – Kate Keelen & Nick Breckenfeld

▪ Organic Lime Cotton Candy

▪ Habanero Cotton Candy

The Living Room – Chef Peter Matthews

▪ Tangy Tomatillo Salsa made with Fire roasted tomatillo and poblono pepper salsa

▪ Mini chilaquiles with shredded chicken In salsa verde

Pure Love Juice Bar – Chef Marisol Casal

▪ Jicama and veggies (Vegan) and one of a kind Wellness shots

Oskar Blues- Tim Matthews

▪ Various beer samplings

Nothing Bundt Cakes – Chef Tessa Miller

▪ Various flavors of bundt cakes

Barrio Brewing

▪ Barrio Blonde ▪ Barrio Rojo ▪ Barrio Citrazona IPA

Brush Fire BBQ - Chef Greystone LaPoint

▪ Serving both Red and Green salsa’s

▪ Mixed tequila cocktails paired with Brush Fire’s Paco’s tacos

Highwire Lounge – Mixologist John Hardin

▪ Unique Tequila Balloon Shot

▪ Tequila Infused Oxygen Old Smokey Margarita

Santiago’s – Chef Rob Page

▪ Santiago’s Salsa Brava (Spicy) -Fire roasted tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, de arbol and jalapeno chile and select spices.

▪ Short Rib Taco - Braised and seared short rib, roasted corn, cilantro lime cabbage, pico de gallo and ancho sauce.

▪ Seabass Taco

Elvira’s Cocina Tequila Vino – Chef Ruben Monroy

▪ Elvira’s Signature Salsa - Tomato, Jalepeno, Red Thai Chile, Soy, Lime, Sea Salt, Red Onion, Cilantro, Toasted Sesame Seed

▪ Salsa de Cacahuate y Chile de Arbol - Roasted Onion, Roasted Garlic, Roasted Black Sesame seeds. Chile de Arbol, Peanuts

▪ Vic’s Margarita - Grilled Sesame, Orgeat, Pineapple, Guajillo Syrup, Joe Cuervo Tradicional Tequila, Lime, Cointreau

▪ Duck Confit Taco - Duck Confit, Corn Tortilla, Pickled Red Onions, Pineapple Pico de Gallo, Blueberry Mole, Cilantro.

Fini’s Landing – Chef Ben Hoffman Chef Garett Button

▪ Blue Pine Hatch salsa made with Blueberries, Pineapple, Hatch Chilies

▪ Blue Pine Hatchet! - Blueberry-pineapple and Hatch infused Tequila blended into traditional margarita

Tucson Tamale Company – Chef Todd Martin

▪ Traditional salsa

▪ El Pastor Tacos

Tequila Factory – Chef Ralph Felix

▪ Del Sol Borracha Salsa - Charred Tomatoes, Chiltepin Chile, Green Chile, Tequila

▪ Fire & Ice -Peaches, Pineapple, Grapes, Jalapeno Sorbet

▪ The Doc’s Swagger - Azunia Reposado tequila, spiced champagne honey syrup, peach brandy, lemon, mint, black pepper foam

Crossroads Restaurant – Chef Aracely Gonzalez

▪ Guacamole Salsa- Fresh avocados mixed with jalapeño peppers.

▪ Chipotle Salsa - Roasted chipotle peppers with grilled onions and fresh pineapples.

▪ Sonoran Sunrise - 100% Sonoran traditional Bacanora mixed with orange juice and a splash of grenadine.

▪ Azteca Tacos - Deep fried tacos with savory smashed potatoes with traditional carne seca and cheese. Topped with lettuce and cheese. Mexican Rice and refried beans.

Salzona Salsa – Chef Andrea Toledo-Leyva & Chef Mickey Martinez

▪ Salzona Original - Our "Original" Salsa is a time-honored family, homemade salsa that blends savory, organic ingredients native to Arizona and Mexico

▪ Salzona Salsa (Spicy) - For Salsa lovers who crave a robust, organic salsa with some heat, this blend will release your inner Salzona!

Angie's Kick Ass Salsa - Chef Michael Charron

Hot Salsa a farm fresh traditional salsa with over 20 ingredients

Saffron Indian Bistro – Chef Harjeet Singh

▪ Chicken Tikka Masala and Vegetable Biryani

And the winners are:

Salsa Challenge - People's Choice Awards

1st Place Salsa: Angie's Kick Ass Salsa -- Hot Salsa

2nd Place Salsa: Santiago's --Santiago's Salsa Brava

3rd Place Salsa: Angie's Gourmet to Go -- Smoky Mesquite Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Salsa Challenge - Judges Awards

Best Traditional Salsa: Crossroads Restaurant -- Chipotle Salsa

Best Alternative Salsa: Tequila Factory at Casino Del Sol -- Fire & Ice

Judges Choice, Best Overall Salsa: Santiago's -- Santiago's Salsa Brava

Tequila Challenge - People's Choice Awards

1st Place Tequila Cocktail: Reforma Modern Mexican, Mezcal & Tequila --Blood Orange Margarita

2nd Place Tequila Cocktail: Queen Ceviche, -- La Reina Margarita

3rd Place Tequila Cocktail: The Lodge at Ventana Canyon -- Carlos' Sangria

Tequila Challenge - Judges Awards

Grand Reserve Tequila Tasting: Embajador -- Tequila Supreme

Most Creative Cocktail: 3 Amigos Tequila -- Cucumber Jicama Margarita

Best Overall Tequila Cocktail: Queen Ceviche -- La Reina Margarity

Taco Challenge - People's Choice Awards

1st Place Taco: Santiago's -- Short Rib Taco

2nd Place Taco: Epazote Kitchen and Cocktails -- Lamb Barbacoa Taco

3rd Place Taco: The Lodge at Vantana Canyon -- Dessert Taco

Taco Challenge - Judges Award: Epazote Kitchen -- Lamb Barbacoa Taco

Some photos courtesy SAACA

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