Amateur Chef From West Covina Wins Taco Challenge



Rigoberto Ruiz of West Covina was crowned winner of the 1st ever Great American Taco Challenge sponsored by Alegria in Long Beach when 8 finalists went head-to-head in hopes of preparing the world’s best taco. 5 judges sampled variations of the Mexican staple with ingredients like Soy chorizo, queso fresco, Beer Braised beef, Chipotles in adobo, Mexican brown sugar (piloncillo), Serrano chiles, Tilapia, Mandarin oranges, Beer Battered Shrimp, Jicama and Mangoes.

Ruiz’s Jicama Shrimp Taco was picked as top choice by the judges and he received $300 in gift cards, bragging rights and histaco will appear on Alegria’s menu on Cinco de Mayo with proceeds from it’s sale being donated to his favorite charity, Kids Who Care Foundation. More than 50 recipes were entered from which the 8 finalists were selected. The other contestants received $50 gift cards to Alegria, one of downtown Long Beach’s hottest restaurants.
Other finalist and their recipes included:

· Teri Appleton (Long Beach) – Chorizo and Potato Taco
· Shandry Gomez (Bixby Knolls) – Beer Braised Beef Taco
· Patti Larson (Long Beach)- Rolled Dessert Tacos
· Amy Loe (Los Alamitos)- Red Snapper Ceviche Taco
· Nan Z. Lopez (Los Angeles) – Caliente Citrus Carne Asada Taco
· Shannon Olvera (West Covina)- Beer Battered Shrimp Taco
· Rigoberto Ruiz (West Covina) – Jicama Shrimp Taco
· Shari Verner (Long Beach) – Baja Fish Taco

Alegria is located at 115 North Pine Avenue. For more information call (562) 436-3388 or visit

Posted by Erica Schmucker
May 7, 2014

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