KCRW & Gustavo's Great Tortilla Tournament is back! SoCal muckraker and author of Taco USA Gustavo Arellano and KCRW’s Good Food host Evan Kleiman are scouring the supermarkets, restaurants and taco trucks of Southern California, looking for the best corn and flour tortillas of 2019. The four finalists will face off live on Sept. 8 at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown LA. Join us to find out once and for all: Corn, or flour? The winner takes home the Golden Tortilla—our much coveted grand prize!
Follow along as Gustavo and Evan Kleiman pick 64 tortillas (32 corn, 32 flour) from all across Southern California, split them into four brackets, seed them so underdogs match up against favorites, and do an elimination-style contest until there are only four left. These four finalists will face off live on Sept. 8 at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. See ustedes there!
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After last week’s rash of upsets, the field mostly played to expectations in week 2 of the #TortillaTournament. But two patterns have emerged among the advancing contestants that all tortilla makers should take to heart: quality of ingredients, and hechas a mano (made by hand)...Read More
KCRW and Gustavo Arellano’s second annual Great Tortilla Tournament is now underway, with 32 tortilla makers from across Southern California moving on to the second round this week. One of those advancing is Sonoratown, defending champions of last year’s contest...Read More
Last year, I approached KCRW with the most ridiculous idea, in a career admittedly built on them: What if we did a sports-like tournament, but centered on tortillas?Read More
A cliche in sports says that you gotta play the game. In other words, just because you’re favored to win a matchup doesn’t mean you’ll win. You can also look to Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare. The hare thought it would win by virtue of...Read More
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Go on your own journey to discover tortillas all over the Southland. Find out more about all the tortillas and their makers on Good Food.
What is KCRW & Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament?
On a cold, rainy day in 2018, Gustavo Arellano and KCRW decided it was time to search for the best tortillas in the greater Los Angeles area. After many ideas and conversations, the Great #TortillaTournament bracket was formed and the expert tasters began their hunt. The resulting tournament and event were so successful, they decided to do it again this year.
How were the tortillas selected?
Tortillas were selected to reflect the breadth of the culture in Southern California—tortillerias that have been neighborhood institutions for generations and mass-market ones. Tortillas made with heirloom, non-GMO corn from Mexico and those made from American corn. Tortillas from markets and restaurants. And tortillas from Orange County, Los Angeles County, Ventura County and the Inland Empire. Thick ones and thin ones and powdery and flaky ones and delicious ones and so much more.
How are the tortillas judged?
Easy--it’s all about the taste. Are they good, or not?
More detailed: Do they heat well? Does the corn taste like corn, and the flour like wheat? As they match up, is one fundamentally a better experience than the other?
Who is Gustavo?
Gustavo Arellano is a Southern California muckraker, features writer for the Los Angeles Times, longtime contributor to "Good Food" and does the "Orange County Line" every Monday during "Greater L.A."
When and where is the event?
Sunday, September 8, 2019 from 3:00p to 7:00p at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes near Union Station.
Does RSVP guarantee entry?
RSVP does not guarantee entry, which is based on a first-come, first-served basis until the event hits capacity.
What can and can’t I bring into the event?
You CAN bring:
- Sealed water bottles
- Blankets (there is a small lawn)
- Small/medium sized bags
Please DO NOT bring:
- Ice chests
- Chairs of any kind
- Large bags
- Pets (except service animals with a current rabies certification)
- Glass containers
- Video recording equipment
- Professional still camera equipment (no detachable lenses, tripods, large zoom lenses, and/or commercial-use camera assemblies)
How will I know if the event is at capacity?
Listen to KCRW 89.9 and follow KCRW on Twitter for real time updates on capacity the day of the event.
What does the event feature?
The event will include tortilla tastings, KCRW DJs spinning music all afternoon, multiple food vendors (think Vegan-Mex, burritos, and the like), a bar, tortilla art with artist Joe Bravo, kids activities and much more for tortilla fans to enjoy! Evan and Gustavo will also be narrowing down the FINAL FOUR tortillas to determine who takes home the Golden Tortilla!
What is the Golden Tortilla?
Exactly what it sounds like: a gold tortilla on a plaque. This trophy will be presented to the winner to take home on September 8th!
Will there be food and drinks available for purchase?
There will be multiple food vendors and a cash bar so come hungry and thirsty.
Still have more questions?
Email email@example.com and we will do our best to answer them for you.