It’s a rare day in San Francisco when a local food entrepreneurship nonprofit teams up with an international ice cream company. And yet, the titan of dairy Häagen-Dazs is backing hometown hero La Cocina, the nonprofit business incubator that works primarily with immigrant women. The latter is hosting its first outdoor event since COVID hit the United States in 2020, right in the heart of Mission Bay.
The event dubbed Tacolado — a cheeky mash-up of “taco” and the Spanish word for ice cream “helado” — will take over Spark Social on Sunday, September 24. Sixteen chefs and cooks will be in attendance including La Cocina fellows and top-brass chefs from local restaurants such as Gaby Maeda of State Bird Provisions, Kim Alter of Nightbird, and “Top Chef” finalist Michelle Minori.
La Cocina graduate Stephanie De La Cruz of De La Creamery will dish vegan horchata ice cream nachos, and fellow La Cocina alumnus Victoria Lozano of Andina will serve a Venezuelan seafood ceviche tostada. Plus, guests can drink beer, wine, and a signature cocktail; enter to win raffle prizes; and grab a screen print from local artist Orlie Kapitulnik.
Fernay McPherson of Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement and Heena Patel of Besharam will be in attendance, too, but for a higher price. To get the ultra-lux Tacolado experience— which includes dishes prepared by and the chance to hang out with Maeda, Alter, and Minori — guests will need to purchase Premium Experience tickets. Those pricier, all-inclusive tickets cost $200 for early bird buyers or $220 after, whereas general entry includes three tacos for $18 for early bird buyers or $21 after.
It’s been a tumultuous time for La Cocina, not that it hasn’t been for any and all restaurants and food purveyors weathering COVID’s impacts. In April 2021, the nonprofit opened its sprawling Municipal Marketplace on the corner of Hyde Street and Golden Gate Avenue, a site destined for affordable housing four years down the road. Instead, the nonprofit will cease the majority of the food hall’s operations a few years early on September 1, though its bar the Paloma and rotating pop-ups will still frequent the space.