Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Tucson: Tucson Culinary Festival – Margarita Championship

Margarita glass.
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Ole! This sounds like a fabulous new twist on tequila. I have gone to this event in previous years and love the venue at Maynard’s in the Depot. And there’s been some fabulous margarita tastings in past years.

from the press release

Tucson, Ariz—The 5th Annual World Margarita Championship™ kicks off the 4 day 2010 Tucson Culinary Festival on Thursday, October 28th from 5:30-8pm.  The event returns to the patio of Maynards Market and Kitchen at the Historic Train Depot in downtown Tucson – this year featuring an exciting new format.

No longer sequestered, the official judging panel will take center stage – with live on-going commentary a la “Iron Chef”.  Beginning at the top of the evening, competing mixologists will join them on stage (2 at a time) to create their special take on the “classic” margarita for the judges. Matt Russell (host of “On the Menu Live” on KJLL) will emcee the event, and encourage participation by the judges as well as the guests.

The World Margarita Championship™ will feature mixologists representing 14 Tucson Original member restaurants competing for both the Judges award and the People’s Choice award using one of the  7 premium sponsored tequilas (determined by a blind drawing).

The matchups include:

Rodney Belknap from Chad’s Steakhouse & Molly Becker from Pastiche using Don Eduardo;

Kristian Unvericht from Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails  by Janos and David Chavez from Feast both using Dos Lunas;

Ryan Clark from Lodge on the Desert &  Aaron Defeo from Maynards Market and Kitchen using Espolòn;

Brian Metzger from Jax Kitchen & Antonio Aguilar from  Miguels using Milagro;

Harold Garland from Cup Café & Jeffrey Hughes from Jonathan’s Cork using Patrón;

(mixologist TBA) from Elle Wine Bistro & Erin Thompson  from Risky Business using Sauza ;

and  Pete Hoge and Harrison Hameroff from Kingfisher & Maria Mazon from Papagayo using Semental.

Tucson Original members Bluefin, Boca, Café 54, Cup Café, Elle, Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteaks and Hoagies, Brushfire BBQ, Jonathan’s Cork, Kingfisher Bar and Grill, Pastiche, Risky Business and Tucson Tamale Company will also  be on hand with delicious offerings to complement the margaritas.

This year’s distinguished panel of judges includes:

Jennifer English: A pioneer in culinary broadcasting, winner of both James Beard and Gracie Allen awards, a leading flavor trend expert in the country, and a Tucson treasure.

Barbara Fairchild: Former Editor-in-Chief for Bon Appétit Magazine, a prominent author and leader in the epicurean world, and James Beard Award winner.

Tony Abou-Ganim: A leader in the cocktail revolution, has released a book and DVD on Modern Mixology, has appeared on Iron Chef America with Mario Batali as well as the Fine Living Network program “Raising the Bar: America’s Best Bar Chefs”.

Robert Plotkin: An expert in the field of mixology and beverage management, with over 30 years of industry experience and writing for trade publications including Sante Magazine, Cheers, Beverage Dynamics, State Ways Magazine, Restaurant Hospitality, and Wine & Spirits International.

Admission to the World Margarita Championship™ is $35 per person.  Tickets for this event or any of the many other events may be purchase online or by calling   (520) 334-1112 or at the door on the night of the event.

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