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Latino Food Festival Menudo and Pozole Cook-Off returns May 29

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

After a 2-year break, the much anticipated 22nd annual Latino Food Festival Menudo and Pozole Cook-Off returns this year. Loyal attendees are in for good music, food, entertainment and camaraderie.

The annual Menudo Cook-Off will take place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 29 at the Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave., Bakersfield.

This year’s musical headliners will be regional Mexican music artist Roberto Tapia Con Banda y Norteńo, and 80s R&B band, Club Nouveau. The popular festival had been canceled the past 2 years in light of the COVID pandemic, which disappointed the community. However, much excitement has begun swirling for the festival’s return.

“It’s been a long two years, but it’s time to celebrate as our popular food and cultural festival returns to the Kern County Museum,” said Jay Tamsi, president/CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “As always, we will give our attendees an event to remember with our two headline performers, Roberto Tapia and Club Nouveau.”

Tapia is known for his hits “El Nińo de la Tuna,” “Las Edades,” “Caminos Diferentes,” “Hasta La Miel Amarga,” “Me Duele” and new release, “Mujer Hermosa,” among others. In addition to his Norteńo and Banda chart-topping hits, Tapia was one of three coaches on the first two seasons of “La Voz Kids” (The Voice Kids), a Spanish-language version of “The Voice.” For the second headliner, Club Nouveau’s R&B hits will bring attendees to their feet with such familiar tracks as “Rumors,” “Why You Treat Me So Bad,” “Situation Number 9, and “Lean on Me.”

Aside from Roberto Tapia and Club Nouveau, the popular draw for the event will be the menudo, where participants battle it out in hopes of walking away with top bragging rights. As part of the contest, menudo contestants must prepare their dish at the event and then it is judged by a select group on a number of factors, such as taste, aroma and more. First, second and third place awards are given in this tough competition that draws contestants from all over the state.

In similar fashion, the beloved Pozole category, in its second year, is expected to draw more competitors, participants and supporters, Tamsi said. But what makes it special is that the competition becomes a labor of love among family members and friends who come together in helping prepare their best dish.

“This event has become a gathering of family and friends having a great time and making memories in the process of cooking and bonding,” he added.

KCHCC Board Chairwoman Olivia Garcia agrees.

“Year after year, this festival does not disappoint,” Garcia said. “It’s always like a family reunion. We see many who return to compete in the menudo and pozole categories while many others come to enjoy the cultural atmosphere and friendship.”

She added, “This event would not be possible without the support of our community, local businesses, and sponsors. Thank you to everyone who always makes this festival memorable each time.”

Along with the menudo and pozole cook-off competitions, the festival includes a jalapeño-eating contest, a children’s activities area, a selection of other food, consumer and informational vendors, as well as three stages of live entertainment.

Other entertainment includes La Marcha, Velorio, Ballet Folklorico Huaztecalli, Mariachi San Marcos, La Sonora Explosiva, Las Caliope, DJ Danny P & DJ Noe G and more.

The event is the chamber’s largest fundraiser of the year, Tamsi said. It also draws visitors from other parts of the state.

Prices vary for other vendor booth categories. Potential vendors as well as sponsors are being asked to contact the KCHCC office at (661) 633-5495 or email [email protected].

Pre-sale tickets are $25 individually and $85 for a family four-pack tickets (family pack only online). Children under five and parking are free. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at the following Bakersfield locations: KCHCC office at 1601 H St. #201 near Truxtun Avenue; La Mina Cantina at 4001 Auburn St. and 8020 District Blvd .; and Bootleggers Craft Pub & Eatery, 955 Oak St. In addition, tickets are sold at CM Enterprises at 1208 Main St. in Delano.

Pre-sale tickets can also be purchased online by visiting: http://www.kchcc.org/.

Tickets at the door will be $30 each, and children and parking under five are free.

For media questions, please contact Jay Tamsi, CEO/President of KCHCC, at (661) 231-5623 or email: [email protected]/.