This weekend, I had made two big commitments: One to the advancement of style, the other to the advancement of cheese.
Texans, have you ever heard of the Hot Sauce Festival? I'm willing to bet there's an individual one for each Texas metropolis. Well the Mohawk adapted that idea this past Saturday for their first ever Quesoff, for which I was a tasting judge. Let me tell you, it was a pretty tough job.
And oh my God. Did the queso contestants bring it, as you can see by the cone of cheese above.
The challenge pitted regular folk against local restaurants, and of the three winners we selected, two were Everyday Joes and Janes. One group made their queso using white cheddar and beer; others got all crazy with the cilantro and avocado. My hands-down favorite was an entry from Frank, which was essentially Seven Layer Dip Queso: Avocado, beans, Rotel, brisket! And other ingredients! That I am genuinely forgetting. Probably because I was in a mental fog due to the fact that I tasted 19 quesos before I got to that one.
I'm going on a macrobiotic / vegan / air-atarian diet for the rest of the week.
This was my favorite part of the day: The cheese piñata! My fellow queso judge, Addie Broyles (food writer at the Statesman) took a swing at it, too.
Below, we judges grin happily in a queso-induced euphoria ... me, Rose Reyes from ACVB, Hilah from HilahCooking, Tom Thornton from Austinist, and Addie.
Less than 24 hours later, I woke up and co-hosted the Tribeza Style Brunch, which was totally lovely. But I really did get no shortage of pleasure out of this combination of events, and insisted on inserting it into conversation:
"And good morning to you, Tolly!"
"Hello, [name of really pretty Tribeza Style Brunch person]!"
"My weekend has been a whirlwind! What with Tribeza Style Week, so-and-so's trunk show, a boutique crawl ... ! What did you do this weekend?"
"I ate 25 quesos last night."
" ... oh!"
There's really no way to follow that. Except to hand me an Alka-Seltzer.