Tacos are one of today’s best categories for serious menu creativity. Whether an authentic Mexican build or a global mash-up, tacos are approachable and well-loved. The Chef Collective and Kraft Heinz staged the Taco Battle, where four chefs threw down their best taco recipes. Kraft Heinz was proud to sponsor the event, held at El Loco in Toronto. SEE OUR VIDEO ▶
The judges evaluated each entry on taste, originality, use of secret ingredient and presentation. Guillermo Herbertson triumphed overall. “The battle was fantastic—I drew on my Mexican upbringing, relied on the amazing products and had fun with the recipes,” he says. “Tacos are such a great platform for creativity.”
The four chef competitors chose from ingredients that gave them the building blocks for assertive, craveable flavour combinations. Tapatío Hot Sauce delivered heat through an authentic Mexican profile. Richardson Barbecue Sauces provided rich, tangy marinades and finishes. And Renée’s line of aiolis gave competitors high-impact finishes for their tacos.
Herbertson triumphed in Round 1 with Tacos Ahogados de Puerco—pork tacos flavoured with a rich marinade boasting Richardson Ultimate Korean BBQ Sauce, poblanos, lime, cilantro and Tapatío Hot Sauce. “I topped it with a tomatillo salsa, using Renée’s Jalapeno-Lime Aioli to punch up the flavour—it tasted like homemade. I was so impressed with it,” says Herbertson.
Michael Sutherland faced off with Raymond Chachi Costain in Round 2, and Sutherland emerged victorious with his Moo’s Island Taco. This clever combination of flavours and textures featured flank steak seared then sauced with Richardson Ultimate BBQ Sauce and a tropical slaw made with mango, lime, Boca Vegetable Crumble, garlic and vinegar. Fried plantains finished the taco.
In the final round, Herbertson and Sutherland battled. Herbertson won, wowing the judges with his Tacos Dorados de Camaron—crisp-fried shrimp tacos. He marinated the shrimp in Mama Linda Chopped Tomatoes, chiles, Tapatío Hot Sauce, lime and cilantro, then rolled the shrimp into the tortillas, frying until golden brown. He topped the tacos with a crunchy jicama slaw.
Tacos Dorados de Camaron
Tacos Ahogados de Puerco