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Tacos are having a moment in New York City right now, and it was on full display at Bobby Flay‘s fourth annual Tacos & Tequila party. This can’t-miss event has become a Saturday night staple of the New York City Wine & Food Festival. This year, nearly 30 of Bobby’s NYC chef “brothers and sisters” served up their tastiest tacos, and there were even stations from a few out-of-town friends.
Pier 92 was packed with taco-loving fans — including Food Network stars like Giada De Laurentiis, Chopped judge Aarón Sánchez and newly minted Star winner Damaris Phillips — eager to sample the offerings and sip Olmeca Altos margaritas.
FN Dish asked Bobby what makes up his perfect taco. “The perfect taco should be spicy, sweet, sour and crispy,” the event host told us, as he manned his Bar Americain station and chatted with hundreds of fans. Bobby’s own taco certainly met his criteria: He served a pork, pineapple and pomegranate taco wrapped in a crisp radicchio leaf for a refreshing flavor-packed bite.
Although most of the chefs hailed from NYC, their tacos showcased an array of diverse flavors. The international taco tour included a crunchy Middle Eastern beef taco with pomegranate-tahini sauce from Einat Admony of Balaboosta, a Portuguese shrimp taco from George Mendes of Aldea and a brisket-and-bone-marrow taco served on crispy roti from Harold Dieterle of Kin Shop.
We loved the homage to a BLT made with perfectly cooked pork belly that Chopped judge Chris Santos dished out at his Beauty & Essex station, as well as the New York deli-inspired pastrami taco with mustard seed salsa from Alex Stupak of Empellón Taqueria. We were also very happy to see some more classic Mexican flavors in the mix. A few highlights included a barbecue beef taco with queso fresco from Sue Torres of Suenos and the spicy cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork) taco from Chicago’s Mexican food authority Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill.
All met Bobby’s criteria: spicy, sweet, sour and crispy. These chefs know a thing or two about creating the perfect taco.
Check out more coverage of the festival on FN Dish.
(Photos courtesy Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com)