A Few Rock Your Taco Highlights

We checked in with Dallas-based food blogger, foodbitch, to find out a few of her favorites from the festival’s evening events, Taste of Texas and Rock Your Taco. You’ve seen her favorite delicious moments from Taste of Texas, now take a look at her Rock Your Taco highlights.

What I love about the “Rock Your Taco” competition is that even though it certainly allows for a fair amount of creativity on the part of the chefs – the winning taco had a “shell” made out of tendon for goodness sake – it levels the playing field in that everybody’s just making tacos.

Tacos are a simple food: a tortilla with filling. Play it any way you want but basically that’s what it is. So while some chefs kept it classic like Chef Hugh Acheson with his braised lamb taco with cotija, fava and ramp salsa, others shook things up like Chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston with his Indian-style puffy taco served in a ball-shaped poppadum. And both kinds of tacos were fantastic.

@wellfedlife took a great shot of @jamiebiss and @kenoringer’s crunchy tacos


@rickkern snapped this pic of what he called the “best looking taco” of the night, Chef Richard Blais’ pork and shrimp head taco.


@atasteofkoko was right on the money with her shot of the applewood smoked masu taco from @uchiaustin’s Chef Tyson Cole.


@urbanswank snapped this pic of Chef Tim Love before his taco won it all.


Portland chef Jenn Louis posted this group shot with fellow chefs Antonia Lofaso, Jamie Bissonette and Ken Oringer, post taco-rocking.


@chefaz posted this pic of Chef Shepherd’s “Panipuri,” or Indian puffy taco.


@keithkreeger took this great shot he called “Crispy Taco Night” featuring chili tacos created by chefs Jamie Bissonette and Ken Oringer.


Here is simply a beautiful view (taken by @thenicolai) of a gorgeous taco featuring mussels from chef Omar Flores of Casa Rubia.


And finally, photographer Charles Reagan captured an amazing moment as @leefieldsandtheexpressions sang out into the crowd on Saturday night.

My Top 3 Bites

With so many tacos to sample, choosing favorites wasn’t an easy job. But somebody’s gotta do it. So here are my top three bites from taco night.

3.

Fried Mushroom Polenta Taco
Chef Tony Mantuano

They had me at mushroom. And polenta. And black garlic aioli. The whole thing was right up my alley, now that I’m thinking about it.


2.

Tlacoyo de Lengua de Ternera Taco
Chef Paul Qui

I’ll admit it. I had to Google “Ternera” to find out what animal we were eating. (It’s veal.) Served on tlacoyo (oh yeah, I googled that too), which is a little cake made out of masa, Qui laid a thin slice of veal tongue, a bit of black beans and some beautiful hot pink pickled onions.


1.

Applewood Smoked Masu Taco
Chef Tyson Cole

My favorite taco of the night was Chef Tyson Cole’s applewood smoked masu taco. But the event wasn’t called “Rock foodbitch’s Taco,” so I guess I understand if my favorite wasn’t the big winner of the night.

foodbitch is not a professional chef, food critic or culinary expert. But she is an expert orderer, a lover of the culinary experience, a home cook, amateur food photographer and yes — a total food snob. But she loves to make people smile in their stomach places. That’s why she offers up her best recommendations based on her own likes and dislikes when it comes to restaurants. Be sure to follow foodbitch’s foodventures on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. And if you’re not sure where to go or what to order when you get there, shoot her a note, because as her tagline declares, she’ll “tell you what to eat, and you’ll like it.”