Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Winner of the Tucson Margarita Championship Is…

Slices of Blood Oranges
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Kingfisher – People’s Choice Award

“The People’s Choice went to Pete Hoge of Kingfisher Bar & Grill with the help of Harrison Hammeroff of Bluefin. The winning creation, the “El Reyes Del Reyes” margarita, or “The King of Kings,” seemed simple on the surface yet, resulted in a luxurious, smoky and sexy indulgence.”


Cup Cafe –  Judge’s Award

“The World’s Greatest Margarita™ was awarded to Harold Garland of Cup Café at Hotel Congress who created the “Marguerite Nouveau” – a delightful and unique medley with a play on the traditional balanced sour recipe. Harold impressed the judges using a two-pronged approach for the orange component: orange bitters and a blood orange foam.

Cup Café will put their recipe to the test once more in a mix-off against The Modern Mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim and his own version of the “Classic Margarita.” Guests of the Grand Tasting, held Saturday Oct. 30th in the Grand Ballroom at Loews Ventana Canyon, will have the chance to sample both creations.”

The judges were Robert Plotkin, Tony  Abou Ganim, “The Modern Mixologist,” Barbara Fairchild – former long-time editor of Bon Appetit magazine, and Jennifer English, creator of the Food Radio Network and Flavorbank spice store.

Congratulations to all!

It’s interesting to note that the winners were from Kingfisher and Maynards Market. They will face off on Sunday during the Copper Chef Challenge when Jim Murphy (Murf) challenges Addam Buzzalini. The Cup Cafe & Maynards Market has the same owners.

I would say the margarita championship was a success because the place was packed and the evening’s weather was mild. Tucson Culinary Festival could not have ordered better weather.

Unfortunately, the line was too long for Kingfisher and I never tasted their margarita but will just have to go there and give it a sip. Other notables were Feast’s margarita made with grapefruit and sage and two-time winner JaxKitchen made with kumquat and mint.

This is just the first day of the Tucson Culinary Festival. There’s still time to come to more events. Check out the itinerary.

  1. Pete is one of Tucson’s best bartenders. He knows his stuff, always has a good story to tell and keeps his cool when the place is popping.
    Congrats Peter! Well deserved.

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