Food abounded, mariachi music filled the air, and smells of every kind of food wafted throughout the room at the 9th McAllen Chamber International Food Festival. With a theme of A Mexican Fiesta, the sights and sounds were joyous and there was even a magnificent historic display from Guanajuato.
With six professional judges - Chef Santiago “Jimmy” De La Cruz, The Club at Cimarron; Larry Delgado, House Wine; Gloria Doyle, Drury Inns; Chef Marcel, Bistro M; Chef Jeff Sahadi, Saadi's; and Chef Patrick Woodin, Director of Food Services, STC - the hard task was completed and winners were selected.
Best Food - Independent - 1st Prize: Alhambra
Best Food - Independent - Runner-up: Delia’s Tamales
Best Food - Franchise - 1st Prize: Bad Bob’s BBQ
Best Food - Franchise - Runner-up: Tony Roma’s
Best Display - Independent - 1st Prize: Taste of India
Best Display - Independent - Runner-up: Poncho’s
Best Display - Franchise - 1st Prize: Bad Bob’s BBQ
Best Display - Franchise - Runner-up: Kumori
Best Dessert - 1st Place: Arte Y Chocolate
Best Dessert - Runner-up: Bean Cuisine
Best International: Taste of India
People’s Choice - chosen by those attending: Taste of India
Entertainment by Mariachi 7 Leguas left the audience clapping for more, Veterans HS Mariachi thrilled the onlookers, the McAllen Memorial Folkloric got everyone toe tapping and the Grupo Folkloric Hildago amazed the crowd with the ancient Aztec dance - Guerros de Guanajuato. Two groups from Poncho’s livened were uproarious.
People lingered after the festivities, not wanting to leave the fun event behind. When the last of the guests were leaving, already overheard was, “Wonder what the theme will be next year? Boy, was that fun!”