WATERMELON-CHIPOTLE SALSA, prickly pear infused tequila, grilled lamb tacos–this summer, Tucson’s locals and visitors will experience a festive fusion of flavors.
On Saturday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m., the fourth annual Salsa and Tequila Challenge will celebrate Hispanic heritage and culinary arts through salsa samples and contemporary tequila cocktails at La Encantada, northwest corner of Skyline Drive and Campbell Avenue.
The culinary competition supports Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, two much-needed charitable causes raising money for hunger relief and the arts in our community.
Tickets to the event–$45 until Aug. 15 and $55 day of the event–include chips, salsa tastings, tequila cocktail sampling and shooters, beer, menu pairings, silent auction browsing, entertainment and more. The challenge brings chefs, restaurants and students preparing unique salsa recipes and mixologists creating innovative tequila-based drinks along with sweet and savory menu pairings.
Judges will vote on the best traditional, hot, mild and alternative salsas as well as most creative and best presentation on tequila mixed drinks. Attendees can place their vote for their favorite in the People’s Choice Awards and one distinguished tequila maker will receive the Gold Star Award.
And don’t forget the music. Ballet Folclórico Municipal Nogales, on stage at 6 p.m., has won many regional and state competitions. They have also performed at various events in Arizona and at events throughout Sonora, such as Mining Festival of Nacozari, October Fiesta in Magdalena de Kino and at the Missions Festival” in several cities in northern Sonora. Santa Pachita, performing at 7:15 p.m., includes guitarist, Miguel Reyes, and bass player, Victor Cruz, who 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 Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation will add 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.
Enter the YELP! recipe contest and receive complimentary tickets to attend the event and opportunity to have your salsa recipe recreated and presented by Caridad Community Kitchen. There will also be a Best Tequila Contest, and the winning recipe will be recreated using 3 Amigos Tequila and served at the event.
Don’t miss the tasting menu from…
American Flying Buffalo Grille n Catering
Azul at Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa
Blanco Tacos and Tequila
Boca Tacos y Tequila #2
Calle Tepa Mexican Street Grill & Bar
Casino del Sol
Dakota Cafe & Catering Co
El Saguarito Mexican Food
Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery
Gringo Grill + Cantina
JW Marriott Star Pass Resort & Spa
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Old Pueblo Grille
Omni Tucson National
Pasco Kitchen & Lounge
Prep & Pastry
Renee’s Organic Oven
Saffron Indian Bistro
Stables Ranch Grille at Tubac Golf Resort & Spa
The Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain
Tucson Country Club
Union Public House
Visit the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance for more information.