Early this September, I attended the 3rd and final Tortilla Awards at Parlor & Yard in Austin. This highly anticipated event was presented by Tequila Cazadores and hosted by special guest Manny Hinjosa (Cazadores’s global brand ambassador) and Chef Aarón Sánchez.
There was just a few days before Mexican Independence Day and the authentic vibes and smells of the Mexican culture surrounded the venue as competitors prepared a batch of fresh tortillas and tacos for more than 230 guests that attended the event. The contestants for the Tortilla Awards included: Mellizoz Tacos, Pueblo Viejo, Cool Beans, El Chile Group, Flores and Dai Due Taqueria!
- People’s Choice Award: Gabe Erales of Dai Due Taqueria
- Best Taco: Gabe Erales of Dai Due Taqueria
- Best Tortilla: Alma Alcocer-Thomas of El Chile Group
If you know me, you’ll know the first thing I did entering the Tortilla Awards was get a drink at the bar. Thrilled beyond belief because I love tequila (its in my blood) and the drinks were specialized Cazadores cocktails created by food blogger Vianney Rodriguez (@sweetlikebake) and Austin local bartender judge Ty Mckastle (Javelina Bar). They made these exclusively for the Tortilla Award competitors to pair with their tacos. I started with the Cazadores Margarita: Tequila Cazadores Reposado, Partón Citronage, agave nectar, fresh lime juice and made it spicy with jalapeños. My second drink of choice was the Prickly Pear and Agave Mule: Tequila Cazadores Blanco, St-Germain, Perfect Purée Prickly Pear, fresh lime juice and agave nectar.
During my time at the Tortilla Awards I was privilege enough to sit down and chit chat a bit with Chef Aarón Sánchez about tortillas and tacos. We discussed what he qualifies as a good homemade tortilla and what is his favorite taco recipe. Chef Aarón quoted, “A tortilla has to have great seasoning, it has to be relet with flavor of corn and has to hold up whatever the filling is; it needs integrity. What we are known for not only in my house but in my restaurants is the carnitas. Its crispy, rich, salty, and has great texture! It definitely gets a lot of love from me!”
In the end the tequila was flowing, the tortillas were packed with mouth-watering ingredients and all tacos were devoured. All the guests left satisfied, full and got a taste of what Austin, Tx had to offer when it comes to tequila, tacos and tortillas. The 2018 Tortilla Awards will be one to remember and missed for years to come.