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Salsa & Tequila Challenge


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

Saturday, August 22, 2015
La Encantada Shopping Center - Northwest corner of Skyline Drive and Campbell Avenue    7 PM - 10 PM
**21 and Over Event**

The Southern Arizona 5th Annual Salsa and Tequila Challenge has shaken up the summers in Tucson for over four years, bringing the region’s cultural garden to modern day tastes buds. This year's 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.

EVENT HOTEL PARTNER:  The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa is the event hotel partner for the 5th Annual Salsa & Tequila Challenge.  They are providing a 
Salsa and Tequila Challenge Special Rate for event attendees! $99 for Saturday night (Aug 22nd) only (reg. $139 single night rate) Use promo code SALSA15 when you book online at westinlapaloma.com, or call 888.627.7201. La Paloma will run a free shuttle to and from La Encantada for all those staying at the hotel. Subject to seating availability.


        TICKETS 

GENERAL ADMISSION 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.
   
**21 and Over Event**



$50 August 1 - August 21 (Midnight on August 21)   
$60 Day of Event       IF EVENT IS NOT SOLD OUT DAY PRIOR  


Due to the high volume of ticket sales for this event, phone sales expire August 21 at 3pm.  To redeem standard SAACA ticket discounts, please call the Box Office at (520) 797-3959 x 7, Tuesday-Friday, 9am-4pm.  Applicable Ticket Discounts: Student and Military Discount of 10% off with ID (must be over 21).  Group discounts available for groups of 10 or more. 


        (View Ticketing Policy) 


    ABOUT

On Saturday, Aug. 22 at 7 PM, 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.

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.

        2015 JUDGING CATEGORIES

SALSA CHALLENGE

BEST TRADITIONAL SALSA BEST HOT SALSA BEST MILD SALSA BEST ALTERNATIVE SALSA

JUDGES CHOICE - Best Overall Judges JUDGES CHOICE - Honorable Mention Judges PEOPLES CHOICE 1st Place, 2nd Place and 3rd Place

TEQUILA CHALLENGE

MOST CREATIVE - TEQUILA COCKTAIL Judges BEST SAVORY COCKTAIL Judges   BEST SWEET COCKTAIL Judges

JUDGES CHOICE - Best Overall Judges JUDGES CHOICE - Honorable Mention Judges     PEOPLES CHOICE 1st Place, 2nd Place and 3rd Place

OTHER AWARDS

BEST FOOD PAIRING Judges MOST CREATIVE DISPLAY People’s Choice JUDGES RESERVE TASTING - TEQUILA Judges - Tequila Only

GRAND PRIZE Best Overall - Judges + People’s Choice (combined score)
Must participate in food, tequila and salsa


2015 PARTICIPANTS 
2015 PARTICIPANTS
If you are a restaurant, tequila maker or exhibitor interested in participating in the 2015 SALSA & TEQUILA CHALLENGE, email shelby@saaca.org

2015 SALSA CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS
Enjoy custom salsa recipes from each of these participants
2015 TEQUILA CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS
Enjoy signature tequila cocktail recipes paired with menu samplings from these participants

2015 LIBATION PARTICIPANTS
Enjoy refreshing non-tequila drinks from each of these participants

Dish for Dosha* (Aguas Frescas)
Tea of a Kind* (Twist-To-Brew Tea)
Tohono Chul Garden Bistro* (Prickly Pear Lemonade)

Corona (Finley Distributing)
Negra Modelo (Finley Distributing)
Modelo Especial (Finley Distributing)
Golden Eagle Distributors




*Non-Alcoholic Beverages

2015 FEATURED TEQUILA
Enjoy tequila samples from each of these participants
 
 

ENTERTAINMENT


OPENING PERFORMANCE
Main Stage at 7:15 PM

Folklorico 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 8:15 PM

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.

 
 
 2015 WINNERS

2015 SALSA CHALLENGE WINNERS

BEST TRADITIONAL SALSA
Crossroads Restaurant

Chef Aracely Gonzalez
Salsa:
LA VERDE - Tomatillos, green peppers and spice blend

BEST HOT SALSA
Pasco Kitchen & Lounge

Chef Ramiro Scavo
Salsa: SCOTCH BONIT LOVE  
  

BEST MILD SALSA
Rigo's Restaurant

Chef Oscar Gastelum
Salsa: SALSA DE NOPAL - Fresh cactus salsa

BEST ALTERNATIVE SALSA
Fini's Landing
Chef Tiki Tim
Salsa: FRAMBUESA A LA MODERaspberry mint salsa, fresh garden chilis and citrus served over vanilla ice cream

JUDGES CHOICE-BEST OVERALL
JW Marriott Starr Pass

Chef Danny Perez
Salsa:
GRILLED FRUIT SALSAFresh Fruits, charred flavors with a spicy bite

PEOPLE'S CHOICE - FIRST PLACE
Boca Tacos y Tequila
Chef Maria Mazon
Salsa: BANANA HABANERO
  

PEOPLE'S CHOICE - SECOND PLACE
Rigo's Restaurant

Chef Oscar Gastelum
Salsa: ALA MEXICANA (Hot) - Rigo's Famous Homemade Salsa

PEOPLE'S CHOICE - THIRD PLACE
Tohono Chul Park Garden Bistro

Chefs Michael Montesano and John Pratt
Salsa: DUELING SCORPIONS (Hot)Mezcal marinated tomatoes, apples, onions & garlic, cold smoked cilantro & moruga


2015 OVERALL WINNERS

BEST FOOD PAIRING
The Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain
Chef Devin Pinto
Food Pairing: 
EAST MEETS WEST - An Asian influenced taste

BEST DISPLAY

The Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain




2015 TEQUILA CHALLENGE WINNERS

MOST CREATIVE TEQUILA COCKTAIL
HighWire Lounge
Mixologist Jacob Hise
Tequila Cocktail: El BULLIPrickly Pear Margarita with Spherified Prickly Pear Tequila Balls

BEST SAVORY COCKTAIL
Casa Noble Tequila
Mixologist Michael McGill
Tequila Cocktail: MARIA MARIA - Skinny Cranberry Margarita made with Casa Noble Blanco served straight up with a red chile powdered rim

BEST SWEET COCKTAIL
The Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain
Mixologist CJ Cover
Tequila Cocktail: TASTE OF THAILAND - Seasonal Pepper Infused Tequila with Mango and Coconut Milk

JUDGES CHOICE-BEST OVERALL COCKTAIL
The Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain
Mixologist CJ Cover
Tequila Cocktail: TASTE OF THAILAND - Seasonal Pepper Infused Tequila with Mango and Coconut Milk

JUDGES RESERVE TASTING (TEQUILA ONLY)
Pueblo Partners Trading Co.
Managing Partner Charles Simmons
Tequila: BACANORA CIELO ROJO 


PEOPLE'S CHOICE-FIRST PLACE COCKTAIL
Boca Tacos y Tequila
Mixologist Maria Mazon
Tequila Cocktail: BOCA SPECIAL

PEOPLE'S CHOICE-SECOND PLACE COCKTAIL
The Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain
Mixologist CJ Cover
Tequila Cocktail: TASTE OF THAILAND - Seasonal Pepper Infused Tequila with Mango and Coconut Milk


PEOPLE'S CHOICE-THIRD PLACE COCKTAIL
Pasco Kitchen & Lounge
Mixologist(s) Team Pasco
Tequila Cocktail: THE SALT & PEPPER - Diamond Filtered Tequila, Fresh Grapefruit, Ginger Liquor, Lime with a Salt Rim and Fresh Cracked Pepper




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