09.08.11 // Winning Recipes : 3rd Place : Salsa #9

Team bangbangsalsa isn’t afraid of spice, and in the end, it’s that no-risk-no-reward attitude that got them into the winners circle! Their Salsa #9 brought heat with habaneros, but not so much so that you couldn’t taste all the other tasty flavors in the mix. Make this salsa while tomatoes and peppers are still perfectly pickable! Continue reading for recipe…

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09.01.11 // Winning Recipes : Photog’s Choice : Peaches and Scream

Here’s a salsa that tastes as good as it looks! Team Peaches and Scream snagged the Photog’s Choice award for their inviting display and colorful concoction. Hurry and make this sweet and spicy salsa while the ingredients are still in peak season! Continue reading for recipe…

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08.25.11 // In Review: The Great Salsa ChampionChip 2011

It was a day for salsa and sunshine! The crowds gathered as usual, raring to go at a slew of sensational salsas with the fabulous backdrop of SF’s Ferry Building.

Competitors put on their game faces as they served up the best batches of their best salsas.

So many salsas. So hard to choose!!

Over 300 attendees ate their way through 19 different salsas. Some spicy, some sweet…most extremely delicious! Alas, you only get one vote…

The votes were in and our expert judges came to an agreement…

…and the winners. Well, they won!

As always, we can’t give enough gratitude to our generous sponsors. Thanks to Casa Sanchez, we had chips for days! Thanks to Honest Tea, our thirsts were quenched deliciously! Thanks to Method, Anolon Gourmet Cookware, Microplane, Wusthof, Chronicle Books, Omnivore Books, Bi-Rite Market, 18 Reasons, Photojojo, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Alite, and Honest, our winners floated home on a cloud! And of course, many thanks to our event partner CUESA for being all-around awesome!

See more Salsa ChampionChip 2011 coverage here:

SF Weekly, SFist, SF Food Wars Flickr Set

Stay tuned for winning recipes!

08.21.11 // …and Then There Were Six…Salsa Champions!

What a Sunday for salsa! We had sun, spice, sweet, salt, seasonal salsas, and a super awesome time, as always. Check out the teams that won today:

People’s Choice: Team #11, Team Hellapeños / Salsa Delfina

People’s Choice Honorable Mention: Team #7, Los Pares Deliciosos / Veraniega Sabrosa

Judges’ 1st Place: Team #2, DoomBunny en Fuego / Ceviche Verdura

Judges’ 2nd Place: Team #17, Huuyub / Green Monster

Judges’ 3rd Place: Team #6, bangbangsalsa / salsa #9

Photog’s Choice: Team #4, Southern Comfort / Peaches and Scream

08.18.11 // Salsa-licious Sponsors and Prizes!

Our salsa-loving Sponsors have done it again!! As usual, our prizes are *en fuego* thanks to their generous donations adding up to over $3000 in cash, certificates, and the coolest stuff ever!

In addition, local chip and salsa mavens Casa Sanchez are back again, generously donating their delicious Organic Tortilla Chips to serve as perfect salsa vessels!

Here’s what our Great Salsa ChampionChip winners will receive:

People’s Choice:
$100 Cash, 1-year membership at 18 Reasons, Anolon Advanced Bronze 10-inch Skillet, Microplane Home Series Coarse Grater, Wusthof 4.5-inch Multi-Prep Knife, Quick and Easy Mexican Cooking c/o Chronicle Books, Cloverware on-the-go utensils c/o Alite, Ochiba Pack c/o Alite, Method Miracle Kit, 1 case of Honest Tea beverages

People’s Choice Honorable Mention:
Anolon Advanced Bronze 10-inch Skillet, Microplane Home Series Coarse Grater, Wusthof 4.5-inch Multi-Prep Knife, Quick and Easy Mexican Cooking c/o Chronicle Books, Cloverware on-the-go utensils c/o Alite, Ochiba Pack c/o Alite, Method Miracle Kit, 1 case of Honest Tea beverages

Judges’ 1st Place:
$100 Cash, $25 at Omnivore Books, Anolon Advanced Bronze 8-inch Skillet, Microplane Artisan Series Grater, Wusthof 3.5-inch Paring Knife, $5 at Blue Bottle Coffee, Quick and Easy Mexican Cooking c/o Chronicle Books, Cloverware on-the-go utensils c/o Alite, Ochiba Pack c/o Alite, Method Miracle Kit, 1 case of Honest Tea beverages

Judges’ 2nd Place:
$50 at Bi-Rite Market, Anolon Advanced Bronze 8-inch Skillet, Microplane Artisan Series Grater, Wusthof 3.5-inch Paring Knife, $5 at Blue Bottle Coffee, Quick and Easy Mexican Cooking c/o Chronicle Books, Cloverware on-the-go utensils c/o Alite, Ochiba Pack c/o Alite, Method Miracle Kit, 1 case of Honest Tea beverages

Judges’ 3rd Place:
Anolon Advanced Bronze 8-inch Skillet, Microplane Artisan Series Grater, Wusthof 3.5-inch Paring Knife, $5 at Blue Bottle Coffee, Quick and Easy Mexican Cooking c/o Chronicle Books, Cloverware on-the-go utensils c/o Alite, Ochiba Pack c/o Alite, Method Miracle Kit, 1 case of Honest Tea beverages

Photog’s Choice:
$50 at Photojojo, Anolon Advanced Bronze 12-inch Ultimate Pan, Microplane Twist N Grate, Wusthof 5-inch Tomato Knife, $5 at Blue Bottle Coffee, Quick and Easy Mexican Cooking c/o Chronicle Books, Cloverware on-the-go utensils c/o Alite, Ochiba Pack c/o Alite, Method Miracle Kit, 1 case of Honest Tea beverages

08.16.11 // Meet the Judges: Experts in Seasonal Salsa!

Summer in the city means *lots* of amazing produce perfect for a seasonally sweet or savory salsa! Read on to learn about our three expert judges who will determine whose summer salsa wins 1st, 2nd, and 3rd!

Ana Catalán runs Hollister-based Catalán Family Farm alongside her mother María Catalán, one of the first Latina migrant farm laborers in the United States to become a farm owner. Ana has been coming to the Ferry Plaza since she was 19 and now runs the Catalán booth there on Thursdays and Saturdays in addition to other local markets. On top of feverishly growing vegetables, Ana is planning a Mexican-style canning experiment.

Sarah Henkin is the Market Chef for CUESA and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Her relationship with salsa began with her first bite of jalapeno at age 5 and flourished while she was growing up eating Mexican food in Los Angeles and during summers spent in Mexico. As a local produce expert with a life-long love of salsa, Sarah is thrilled to be judging The Great Salsa Championchip.

Tamara Palmer has the honor of being the resident judge at SF Food Wars. A writer and editor specializing in the edible and musical arts, she is the editor of The Feast San Francisco and the author of Country Fried Soul: Adventures in Dirty South Hip-Hop. She’s looking forward to testing her tolerance for hotness at this ChampionChip.

08.09.11 // 20 Off-the-Charts, On-yer-Chips Salsas!

Some are fruity. Some are spicy. Cool your tongue with something icy!
Lots of chiles. Lots of lime. 20 salsas = flavor time!

Team # / Team Name / Salsa Name / Salsa Description

  1. Purveyors of Awesome / Gravensalsa / “Tomatoes are so 2010. This salsa makes the most of the sweet-tart flavors of first-of-the-season Gravenstein Apples, punched up with a hit of heat, a smidgen of smoke, and just enough lime. It’s the perfect, refreshing salsa for a summer day.”
  2. DoomBunny en Fuego / Ceviche Verdura / “Our salsa takes its inspiration from the bright flavors of ceviche and makes it vegetarian! Sweet red onions, vine-ripened tomatoes, buttery avocado, tangy citrus juice, fresh herbs & hot peppers combine with the creamy salty goodness of whole-milk cheese for a mouthful of salsa heaven!”
  3. Devórate Esto / My Mama’s Salsa (Can Kick Your Mama’s Salsa’s Ass) / “Fresh, acidic and spicy. My mother taught me how to make this salsa over 20 years ago and I love it for it’s purity. There are only 7 or 8 ingredients and they are allowed to shine without being cluttered, creating a perfectly spicy, sweet and acidic salsa. You cannot just have one bite.”
  4. Southern Comfort / Peaches and Scream / “A sweet and spicy salsa starring mangos and peaches with a mix of onions and herbs and a healthy kick of spice.”
  5. The Average Foodie / Summer Sweet, Summer Spice – Part Deux / “A summer salsa using seasonal fruits like peaches and pears, which are roasted to bring out those great sweet sugars, complementing the VERY spicy side of this salsa. The sweetness hits your lips first, followed by savory spiciness of the peppers, onions and tomatoes.”
  6. bangbangsalsa / salsa #9 / “Made with roasted habanero, ancho chiles, and a few other tasties, salsa #9 packs a spicy, smoke-filled punch and turns you into a sucker for more.”
  7. Los Pares Deliciosos / Veraniega Sabrosa / “Broiled tomatillos, serranos, poblanos, and garlic, with cool cilantro and lime to balance. Slightly sweetened by a sauté of yellow onions, seasoned with fresh and dried herbs, and a kiss of zesty red wine vinegar.”
  8. El Charapo / Gutsy Red / “Our “Gutsy Red” Salsa will be a classic timeless mix of roasted chile peppers, roasted tomatoes, garlic, herbs and other veggies. The process in makng the salsa is from a family time honored tradition, it’s a labor of love that loads each chip with real Mexican flavor.”
  9. Ai Made It / GazPOWcho Salsa / “What better way to enjoy the summer’s bounty than with a fresh bowl of gazpacho? We’re taking it to the next level, with a salsa made from home-grown tomatoes, crispy cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, and some extra ingredients for a little tang and an extra POW! “
  10. Chi-Wow-Wow / El Niño / “El Niño is an adaptation of an old family recipe from Chihuahua, Mexico. Its ingredients include roasted tomatillos, roasted white corn, roasted garlic, serrano chilies, lemon juice, cilantro, onions and a little splash of heavenly agave. It helps you speak better Spanish!”
  11. Team Hellapeños / Salsa Delfina / “Salsa Delfina is our Great Grandmother Delfina’s version of fresh, Mexican salsa. It’s distinct color, texture and savory flavor leave you addicted and desperate for one more taste.”
  12. Team Steph / Salsa de Nino (Godfather’s salsa) / “it all began with the recipe my Godfather passed down to me. It is a a fresh, blenderful (’cause I use a blender) salsa made with tomatoes, cilantro and my secret combo of ingredients!”
  13. Dammit Tina! / Dammit! I Forgot the Salsa Again / “”Pico de Gallo pero con pique…There is not much you have to do to make good pico de gallo, but leave it to a Puerto Rican: Fresh salsa made with early girl tomatoes, fresh cilantro, shallots and jalapeño, lemon/lime, and a vinegar concoction called pique.”
  14. Spice Girls / When Harissa Met Salsa / “What happens when two old friends decide to heat it up? This red-hot take on traditional Tunisian harissa melds roasted tomatoes and serrano peppers with toasted North African spices for a sure-fire match made in heaven.”
  15. (y)our food choices / Salsa-touille / “Old world zest meets new world spice. A variety of chopped roasted veggies (think ratatouille) marinated in a fresh salsa of tomatoes, onions, peppers and herbs.”
  16. Desi Girls / Kuchumber / “An Indian take on salsa inspired by a classic accompaniment to spicy food. The onions and cucumbers cut the spiciness while increasing your appetite. Herbs and spices round off the flavors and mellow the sharpness of the onions. Our family variation draws from the flavors of growing up in India and traveling in the Middle East.”
  17. Huuyub / Green Monster / “A roasted spicy salsa with roasted tomatoes and chilies. Heavy on cilantro. Spiciness is steady and may build.”
  18. Chip trick / Chilesco Salsa / “The Chilesco Salsa brings together the fresh spiciness of Mexican salsa with the smooth texture of Catalan Romesco, a sauce that fishermen from Tarragona used to make to accompany cod and other fish plates. Our recipe uses roasted tomatoes, garlic, and a variety of sweet black and red chilies as main ingredients. Its hearty and chunky flavor comes from almonds, hazelnuts and rustic bread (all toasted and handground) emulsified with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Bon profit!”
  19. Dr. Peppers / Belly-Warmin’ Salsa / ” A mix of fire-roasted peppers, sweet sweet onions, and lots of love. (Note: salsa may contain up to 20% of a love substitute.)”
  20. Iron Bunny / Salsa Pine-a-peño / “Fresh grilled pineapple with spicy jalepeños, onions, cilantro, and the Bunny’s secret blend of herbs & spices.”

08.04.11 // Frustrated with Ticket Sales? Read this…

*Word to the Wise: Once in a while pending orders fall through 5 – 10 minutes after sales start, so reload like your life depends on it.

Yes. The tickets sell out instantaneously. All 300 of them.

“But why?!” you ask…

There are thousands of people simultaneously reloading the page at 12PM (Pacific Time) to click the “Get Tickets” link which then simultaneously holds all 300 tickets while everyone fills out their payment information.

Please consider this explanation before sending an angry or frustrated email about the tickets selling out quickly.

No, Eventbrite isn’t broken. No, it’s not an evil ploy just to make you upset.

Simply put, this city loves food and we produce an event that you guys love. And we love that about you. So don’t stop believin’, don’t stop tryin’, and if you don’t score tickets this time, remember we will do a giveaway contest on Twitter soon!

07.28.11 // The Great Salsa ChampionChip 08/21/11

illustration by Ghostshrimp

Summer just got a lot more savory, people. Tomatoes and peppers are coming into high season and that means *salsas* of all kinds will be most delicious!

It would be a crime for us to let this time of the year pass without some friendly competition. That’s why we’re bringing back The Great Salsa ChampionChip on Sunday, August 21, 2011 taking place al fresco at our amazingly scenic venue…the Ferry Building!

SF Food Wars, in partnership with CUESA, is bringing you twenty of SF’s fiercest salsa makers and their enticing salsas. They will all be sampled with the fresh, crunchy, locally-made vessels otherwise knows as Casa Sanchez‘s Organic Tortilla Chips! And to quench our thirst, Honest is reppin’ with their refreshing tea and fruit beverages. Aaah!

Sounds like the perfect summer situation, eh? Read on below for ticket sale info…

Our twenty competing salsas will feature local produce from local growers selling at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market…as if things didn’t already sound too tasty to be true!

So you think your salsa can’t be beat? Tell us more! Read on below for competitor entry info…

And as always, proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the SF Food Bank and CUESA’s Farmer Scholarship Fund. Yeah!

***CLOSED***CALL FOR COMPETITORS

Email us at with *all* of the following info to apply to compete: Your Name, Dish Name, Dish Description, Phone Number, Email Address.

You must be prepared to make a lot of salsa! Timeliness and enthusiasm are key because we will select our competitors within just a few days. *Each chosen competitor will receive a $15 stipend for produce from the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market which must be used in every salsa entry.

***SOLD OUT***TICKET SEEKERS:

Tickets (limited to 300) will go on sale on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 12PM noon! The “Get Tickets” button on this site, sffoodwars.com, will appear when they go on sale. Limit 4 tickets per ticket buyer.

Got questions? Check out our FAQ section or email us at .

07.14.11 // Winning Recipes : Peoples’ Choice : Bootleg Berries and Cream

The People made their Choice and it was Sweet Emily Pies’ Bootleg Berries and Cream! Succulent berries in a flaky crust, topped with a lemony gin-infused cream…well, what’s not to love?! Okay people: here’s a true crowd-tested recipe that you’re sure to devour…so get to baking already! Continue reading for recipe…

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