Sunday, April 16, 2017

Catch Chef Wes Avila and I at the LA Times Festival of Books on 4/22

This Saturday, April 22nd at 3:30PM, I will be on stage at the Cooking Area 4 at the LA Times Festival of Books, which will take place at the USC Campus. 

My first book, L.A. Mexicano on Prospect Park Books comes out in June, and this event with the amazing chef Wes Avila of Guerrilla Tacos is the first opportunity to present this book to the public. L.A. Mexicano is the story of Mexican cuisine in Los Angeles through the Recipes, People and Places that make L.A. the greatest Mexican food scene in the United States. Come out and say hello, grab a copy of the book (which you also can pre-order on and see what chef Wes Avila is cooking up. 

Bill Esparza, Author of "L.A. Mexicano," Cooking Demonstration with Wes Avila of Guerrilla Tacos
@ LA Times Festival of Books
Saturday, April 22
3:30PM to 4:30PM
USC Campus on the Cooking Stage, Signing Area 4

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tacolandia 2017 Pre-Sale is Live! Use the Promo Code: TACOBILL


 Despierta America at Tacolandia 2016 hails Tacolandia as a taco paradise.

Hello Taco Lovers! It is I, your tacorazzo here, to announce that LA Weekly's Tacolandia 2017 is having a pre-sale from NOW through Sunday, April 2. Click on the link here and enter the promo code: TACOBILL to get discounted pre-sale tickets for General Admission and VIP for $45 and $65, respectively.

I've selected over 120 vendors from LA, Mexico, Arizona and greater California to satisfy your craving at the greatest taquiza on the planet. Tacolandia 2017 takes place on Saturday, June 17th from 3PM to 7PM at LA's founding street and plaza, and birthplace of America's taco craze, Olvera Street. Come to Tacolandia, where all your dreams come true

For more information go to our microsite, and check out scenes from last year's event on these two tacolicious videos.


 Our own LA Weekly Street Team video at Tacolandia 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I've Been Nominated for a James Beard Award!

Update: We won!

I had no idea the James Beard Awards for journalism would be announced today, but thanks to Zach Brooks of Midtown Lunch fame, I learned I was nominated along with my editor, Lesley Bargar Suter, for our outstanding Taco City issue last summer in the category of Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication. For the same issue we were also finalists at the Oscars of the magazine industry, the Ellies, which we didn't win, but were honored to be selected from the thousands of articles that were submitted.

For those that follow me here and don't know, I've been working for Los Angeles Magazine for several years as a contributor to the online Digest and in print, as a food writer, travel writer and as an editor with Lesley Bargar Suter for the Taco City issue.

I've become well known for the taco coverage with my weekly Essential T column (and for being the curator for LA Weekly's Tacolandia), but regular LA Magazine readers are aware that I cover all of Latin America and street food for this prestigious publication.

Wish us luck at the awards, and thanks for being a reader!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Maize Diversity from Crop Trust

                         #CropsInColor: maize diversity from Crop Trust on Vimeo.

I'd like you to check out this beautiful video on the diversity of corn in Mexico. In light of the recent attempts by Monsanto to destroy diversity and bring transgenic corn into the Mexican market, threatening corn diversity and purity, I'd like to share this video and ask that you encourage street vendors, restaurants and trucks to use better tortillas.

Let's let them know we'll pay a few cents more for corn tortillas made nixtamalized corn masa, and we'll pay even more for heirloom corn varietals.

Corn sustains life and culture.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Catch me With CNN's Nick Valencia Exploring the Outlaw Bacanora Trail

Backyard still used in the production of bacanora

This is my second segment with CNN's Nick Valencia; this time, we headed to the northern state of Sonora to eat some of the most flavorful food in Mexico before drinking outlaw Bacanora in the Rio Sonora. Here, oil drums and used out parts serve as makeshift stills to refine cooked agave Pacifica, foraged in the Rio Sonora region. Check our story out in CNN's The Search for Mexican Moonshine.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tacolandia 2016 Pre-Sale Opens This Tuesday, March 8th at 10AM

Today on Neal Saavedra's Fork Report (4:03 PM) I'll be announcing pre-sale ticket dates, which will begin this Tuesday, March 8th at 10AM and will run until Sunday, March 13th at 10PM. LA Weekly's 4th Annual Tacolandia, curated by me, will take place at  L.A.'s historic Olvera Street on Saturday, June 11th from 3PM to 7PM. This year, we'll be expanding to well over 100 of the best taco vendors in the U.S. and Mexico at the best and biggest taco festival in the U.S. with world class taqueros, carefully handpicked from Mexico, Arizona, San Diego, Orange County with the biggest group, of course, coming from Los Angeles, the Taco and Mexican food capitol of the USA.

If you haven't been, we put on an event that's inexpensive but brings the same level of chef talent found at the high end events around town, and we have the biggest participation of any event in the city of mom and pop restaurants and stands serving a range of tacos from regional Mexican, to Alta Californian, to Modern Mexican (Uh, hello, last year, we brought Pangea's Guillermo Gonzalez, the first chef in Mexico to open a Modern Mexican kitchen and a Latin America's 50 best best recipient) to pocho (Mexican-American) cuisine.

And, in order to avoid taco fatigue, we've added some other stellar vendors serving a few taco-like foods, savory and sweet, to add variety, and to maintain our high standards.

Starting Tuesday, March 8th, go to the Tacolandia micro-site and use the promotional code: TACOWHISPERER (that's me) to buy your discounted ticket, but more importantly, to secure your place. In the 3 years Tacolandia has been held, every single ticket has sold out in advance of the event; last year we were sold out a month in advance!

Tacolandia 2016, Saturday June 11th, 3PM-7PM, Olvera Street,

Pre-sale runs from March 8th at 10AM to March 13th at 10PM