The Best of the Best – Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival

Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance sponsors some of Tucson’s biggest and best food and drink festivals. I’ve been a judge at both the World Margarita Championship and their Salsa and Tequila Festival. This year I sold copies of ‘Lost Restaurants of Tucson’ and the Savor Food & Wine Festival, where numerous restaurants, bakeries, wineries, breweries and the like came together at Tucson Botanical Gardens. SAACA also has the Devoured Culinary Classic in Phoenix.Kumi's chile en nogada538356763917902_o

SAACA, as it is known, is a local organization that is “dedicated to creating, advancing and preserving the Arts & Culture of Arizona.” Through their various activities and events they raise funds to enhance art and music in schools, support local artists is a myriad of ways and ensure business and arts integration.

Coming on Saturday, June 18th they will partner with VisitTucson to celebrate The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food in America, called appropriately the ‘Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival’.DSCN1609

The event will be held at JW Marriot Starr Pass Resort & Spa. For a mere $45, participants will have access to unlimited to Mexican food from some of the best Mexican restaurants in town. Local craft breweries will be pouring their wares.20130719_143728Mescal, bacanora and tequila will also be on hand. In addition, there will be music and dance performances. There are also a host of pre-event activities including tortilla and ceviche making classes, a Celebrity Chef Dinner and an Authentic Mexican Brunch.DSCN1025

About two years ago, VisitTucson, Tucson’s Visitor Bureau, created a free form map of Tucson Mexican restaurants and proclaimed it to be “The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food in America”. My friend, Edie Jarolim, researched and wrote the piece that includes more than 50 restaurants, bakeries, tortilla factories, raspado joints and more. And while the majority of restaurants are in or around South Tucson, some can be found as far north as Marana with a handful scattered throughout those 23 miles including downtown.

Check out SAACA’s or VisitTucson’s websites for tickets.DSCN0067