Napa Valley, California — The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley and Cazadores Tequila joined forces recently to host The Contenders: A Taco & Tequila Revolución at Gloria’s Restaurant & Bar in Huntington Park, California. Four local chef and mixologist teams competed June 27th for the title of Top Taco & Tequila Cocktail Combo using The Perfect Purée’s flavors in their culinary and cocktail creations and Tequila Cazadores in their cocktails. The winning team of Mixologist Chris Mesa and Chef Alex Silva from Pez Cantina in Los Angeles took home the $1,000 cash prize and a sense of pride in their technique.
The winning taco recipe was crafted by Pez Cantina’s Chef and Owner, Bret Thompson. “We love our seafood here at Pez Cantina!” Thompson declared. He dusted blackened albacore tuna with house-blended chili and lime seasoning and combined it with tamarind-rubbed grilled pineapple and pico de gallo.
“Placed delicately into the hot and supple freshly made squid ink-infused corn tortilla and drizzled with chipotle aïoli, it worked perfectly with Chris’s cocktail!” Thompson said.
Other contenders included Dave Swan, mixologist, and chef de cuisine Jessica Tiffany of The Bourbon Room Hollywood; Chef Roberto Ramirez and mixologist Ricardo Sánchez of Placita Riverside in Riverside; andChef/Owner Rocio Camacho and mixologists Ana Vazquez and Sandra Vazquez of Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen in Bell Gardens.
Gloria’s chef and owner, Juan Sanjuan III, said holding the Taco & Tequila Revolución at his restaurant was a dream come true.
“While many of the faces in the crowd were familiar, there were plenty of new ones sharing and enjoying themselves. The garnish on top for me was being selected to be a judge alongside my good friend, Manny Hinojosa. I would like to thank The Perfect Purée and Cazadores Tequila for including me in this wonderful event, and for choosing Gloria’s Restaurant to kick off The Contenders Taco & Tequila Revolución!”
Michael Juarez, co-founder of Chefs Supporting Chefswith Sanjuan, said the Taco & Tequila Revoluciónembodies his commitment to food and community.
“When The Contenders began, I couldn’t help but take a moment to observe what a special evening it was turning into. Not only was the community there to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the event, we had chefs and mixologists from around Southern California sharing their talents with everyone,” Juarez said. “I was truly proud to have been a part of it, and I look forward to what the future holds for The Contenders!”
Hinojosa, the Cazadores global brand ambassador, said the innovation, passion and energy of all participating chefs and bartenders was contagious.
“The creativity in this competition was the key to successful food and cocktail pairings integrating The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley and Tequila Cazadores in the unique recipes,” Hinojosa said. “The event was a total fiesta full of colors, with mariachi music, cocktails, dancing and beautiful food and cocktails provided by Gloria’s Restaurant.”
About The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley
For 35 years, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley has indulged the culinary passion of chefs, mixologists and food enthusiasts with products that provide ultimate fresh fruit flavor minus the peeling, dicing, and simmering required for making purées from scratch. The company’s collection of fruit purées, specialties and blends features 41 on-trend premium flavors ranging from pantry staples Red Raspberry, Strawberry and Banana to the tropical Lychee, Passion Fruit, and Pink Guava. The fruits are harvested at peak ripeness, puréed, and packed frozen to maintain optimal freshness, flavor, and color no matter what the season. As the leading U.S. producer of premium fruit purées with foodservice distribution throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley is revered in restaurants, hotels, bars, bakeries and catering kitchens for the just-picked taste and unmatched consistency of its products.
All flavors can be frozen for up to 24 months from date of manufacture. When thawed, the purées, concentrates and specialties last 7-10 days in the refrigerator, and blends for 21 days.