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To mark the Sept. 16 Mexican Independence Day Bicentennial, Hispanic cheese, cream and chorizo manufacturer Cacique and Food Network chef Aarón Sánchez will launch the Industry, Calif.-based company’s inaugural Go Auténtico Mexican Cook-Off Challenge. The contest gives home cooks and foodies an opportunity to create their own original Mexican dish using the brand’s products, with four finalists to participate in a cook-off to be filmed and broadcast over national television in February in a series of short vignettes. Viewers will also be able to view the entire cook-off online at www.caciqueusa.com.
“Cooking is all about using your ingredients to their fullest potential,” noted Sánchez, co-star of the Food Network’s “Chefs vs. City” and the owner and executive chef of New York restaurants Paladar and Centrico. “Growing up, my family used authentic, high-quality ingredients such as Cacique’s all-natural Queso Fresco in our kitchen. Its fresh, milky flavor and crumbly texture adds delicious creaminess to create traditional and Latin fusion dishes, and now [consumers] can, too.” Sánchez’s Cacique-inspired Go Auténtico recipes are online at www.caciqueusa.com/recipes/1/go_autentico.
“Cacique’s award-winning line of fresh and natural Hispanic products make it easy for everyone to create delicious, authentic Mexican recipes in their own home, and we hope to inspire consumers to master their culinary talents by creating new, fun ways of using our products,” said Cacique VP and COO Gil de Cárdenas.
From Sept. 16 through Nov. 15, Contestants can submit their own original recipes featuring item from Cacique’s product lineup, at the brand’s Web site or by mail to 128 W. Santa Fe Ave., Placentia, Calif., 92870. Entrants can submit as many recipes as they want.
Cacique and Sánchez will review the submissions and pick the final four contestants who will compete in New York City at the nationally televised Cacique Go Auténtico Challenge hosted at Centrico. At the cook-off, Sánchez and a panel of guest judges will rate each contestant’s main entrée and judge them according to taste, effective use of Cacique products, dish presentation, and recipe creativity of authentic Mexican and Latin-inspired dishes.
The grand-prize winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to Napa Valley, Calif., and a five day Culinary Boot Camp Vacation at the Culinary Institute of America.