Rock Your Taco is the “ultimate taco smack down” held Saturday night at the Austin Food & Wine Festival each year. 2014 was no less a “smack down” and the words passing over everyone’s lips faster than the tacos was could Chef Tyson Cole hold it down for a 3rd year and take home the Rock Your Taco trophy one more time for Austin?
There was some stiff competition. Twelve chefs bringing their best game, some tweeted out tidbits of info, while others kept their taco ingredients top-secret. And the judges, all of whom clearly have amazing palates, had a hard choice to make with this group of talented Chefs!
On tap as judges this year:
My favorites of the night included Chef David Bull’s Black Heart Taco, which included goat heart marcilla, chicken liver mousse, and parsley salad with a lemon crema. While rich in flavor, it was light on the tongue. Bonus the taco shell was fried in duck fat – Yes I said fried in duck fat! Next up Chef John Currence. I knew to expected bold southern flavors that wouldn’t disappoint, as I attended a dinner Thursday night featuring Chef Currence’s food. So tasty I ate just the inside ingredients and forgoed the flour tortilla (which from my understanding were made with lard – sometimes you just need to add a little lard). Chef Monica Pope’s taco was the other taco I really enjoyed. While a bit messy, the ground pork and asian flavors were light and refreshing and I really appreciated the lettuce wrap as a tortilla. The one taco that I didn’t try but was dying to was Chef Tandy Wilson’s – a scrapple taco. I grew up making scrapple with my mom and grandmother every year and a taco with scrapple, hell yeah, but I could put one more taco in my mouth!
The experts have spoken and the winner of 2014’s Rock Your Taco was awarded to Richard Blais for his octopus and lamb piccadilo taco. Richard way to rock out your first Austin Food & Wine Festival! This win means you have to come back to Austin for next year’s festival to defend your title!
Photo Credits: Rock Your Taco logo | judges and chefs photos provided by Austin Food & Wine Festival All other photo’s by Rachelle King of Blinded by the Bite! Lifestyle Group