La Cocina, the Mission nonprofit that cultivates low income food entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses, is known for popular events like the annual Street Food Festival. Except, the Street Food Festival isn’t returning this year; instead, La Cocina is focusing on an all-new event called La Lucha de La Cocina, which combines lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) and tacos. “We wanted to create an accessible event that reflects our La Cocina women, where they come from, and the food they make,” La Cocina director Caleb Zigas told Eater.
La Lucha will be a battle of the La Cocina chefs (94 percent of whom are women, 91 percent people of color, 60 percent immigrants, and 70 percent parents) and more known chefs, from restaurants like Loló and Uno Dos Tacos, all of whom will create tacos for tasting — you can see the full list of participating chefs below. “We'll be pairing La Cocina participants with non-La Cocina chefs, and hopefully through collaboration, they can learn from each other new techniques and flavors,” Zigas said.
Partygoers will vote for their favorite out of 21, and in true Lucha Libre fashion, the losers will remove their masks and reveal their identity in defeat. Tacos will feature birria, beef short rib barbacoa, cochinita pibil, al pastor, wax moth larvae, and sumac and shio koji chicken, to name a few. The party — or “taquiza” — will also have roaming vendors, a mezcal tasting arena, art exhibitions, and live music, including a DJ and dance party after the sporting event.
It’s set to be a serious party, but one with a serious purpose. According to La Cocina, the entire event is a tribute, and other non-profit organizations will also participate to highlight what others are fighting for in SF.
"It's a tribute to those who have struggled to find employment and secure housing for themselves and their families amidst rising costs in the Bay Area. It’s a tribute to those most often denied access: the immigrant communities whose cultures, traditions and cuisines have made San Francisco the iconic destination that it is."
It all goes down on Saturday, August 13 at Pier 70. Grab your $25 tickets here.
Participating Restaurants and Chefs:
Aedan Fermented’s Mariko Grady ( J a p a n )
Bini’s Kitchen’s Binita Pradhan (Nepal)
D’Maize’s Zenaida Merlin (El Salvador)
Delicioso Creperie’s Gabriela Guerrero (Mexico City, D.F.)
Don Bugito’s Monica Martinez (Mexico City, D.F.)
El Buen Comer’s Isabel Pazos (Mexico City, D.F.)
El Huarache Loco’s Veronica Salazar (Mexico City, D.F.)
El Pipila’s Guadalupe Guerrero (Acambaro, Guanajua)
Estellita’s Snacks’ Maria del Carmen Fores (El Savador)
Loló’s Jorge Martíneze (Jalisco)
Los Cilantros’ Dilsa Lugo (Cuernavaca)
Madame Zola’s Fortune’s The Midway SF (Jamaica)
Mama Lamees’ Lamees Dabohur (Kuwait)
Mi Morena’s Guadalupe Moreno (Mexico City, D.F.)
Rasoi’s Heena Patel (India)
Reem’s Reem Assil (Phili raised, Arab inspired)
Sabores del Sur’s Guisell Osorio (Chile
Sal de Vida Gourmet’s Adriana Lahl (Mexico City, D.F.)
Sweets Collection’s Rosa Rodriguez (Durango)
Tamales Los Mayas’ Alicia Villanueva (Mazatlan, Sinal)
Unos Dos Tacos’ Luis Flores (Guadalajara)