2018 Best Tasting Salsa Scholarship Competition

October 31, 2018

Public Information Officer

THE PREMIERE HEAT AND ALL YOU ALL YOU CAN (POLITELY) EAT EVENT IN SAN ANTONIO’S $4 BILLION TOURISM COMMUNITY THAT LOCALS ATTEND FOR FREE:ST. PHILIP’S COLLEGE BEST TASTING SALSA SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION: 11TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION RESULTS ANNOUNCED

The 2018 St. Philip’s College Best Tasting Salsa Scholarship Competition, the premiere heat and all you all you can (politely) eat event in San Antonio’s $4 billion tourism community and a one-hour judged salsa specialty food contest for two-person teams of local high school student chefs from La Vernia, Memorial, South San, East Central, Poteet, Madison, O’Conner, Southside, Alamo Heights, Samuel Clemens and Taft high schools representing San Antonio’s $4 billion tourism community, had the following order of finish in the Turbon Student Center at the college’s 1801 Martin Luther King Drive campus, organizers announced:

  • La Vernia High School (First – Jeremy Cardenas and Erica Garcia)
  • Taft High School (Second – Briana Harmell and Ben Ascebedo)
  • Southside High School (Third – Kayla Martinez and Karen Gonzalez)
  • La Vernia High School (People’s Choice – Jeremy Cardenas and Erica Garcia)

La Vernia is the first team to earn both first place and people’s choice status in a single season, organizers said. The event was completely packed with salsa tasters experiencing every combination from the fiery traditional to a pomegranate suitable as a fine dining course.

Bill Barker coaches the culinary arts program at Taft. One of his 2018 alumni who was a competitor on Taft's 2017 Salsa Contest team---Joel Commerford---is a current student within St. Philip's College's Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts department.

"He and his teammate worked hard to create an award-winning salsa. They seemed to have no fear when it came to food production and entry into other contest opportunities," said Barker.

What traditionally distinguishes the salsas that salsa fans show their love for every season of Best Tasting Salsa is that the salsas are from a region where the family and commercial traditions of salsa making extend centuries deep, and new generations create the authentic salsas of the future during the contest in 300-year-old San Antonio. All salsas are entirely prepared in labs at the St. Philip’s College campus on competition day, and students must be in competitive condition to produce the excellence expected by judges, chef coaches and foodies. There is never a take-out option for this special event where admission, salsa, chips and napkins are free. All visitors have to bring for an optimal experience is a sense of inquiry and fun at the salsa stations operated by the visiting high school competitors.

The college’s signature Hispanic Heritage Month event is education oriented and has featured local chefs as judges for 11 years. Because the ingredients were fresh, the salsas did not convey the complex mature taste often associated with marinating salsas and their ingredients for 72 hours or more, which organizers take into account as part of the competitive process. Intensive preparation time with all-fresh ingredients began at 10 a.m. and table set up from 11-11:20 a.m. preceded the judging and public viewing and sampling that occurred at 12:15 p.m.

For details on the contest and the results, contact college culinary services coordinator Frances Rocha at 210-486–2318, frocha@alamo.edu.

 

 

CAPTION: The 2018 St. Philip’s College Best Tasting Salsa Scholarship Competition, the premiere heat and all you all you can (politely) eat event in San Antonio’s $4 billion tourism community and a one-hour judged salsa specialty food contest for two-person teams of local high school student chefs from La Vernia, Memorial, South San, East Central, Poteet, Madison, O’Conner, Southside, Alamo Heights, Samuel Clemens and Taft high schools, attracted a diverse audience of salsa lovers to the Turbon Student Center at the college’s 1801 Martin Luther King Drive campus. (SPC images by Julysa Sosa)