(Photo courtesy of Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta)

‘A Taste of Pueblos del Maíz’ at St. Philips Plaza

April 4, 2023
By Tucson Foodie

“A Taste of Pueblos del Maíz” on Sunday, April 16 at St. Philips Plaza will provide a preview of the second annual Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta with tasty bocaditos by five of Tucson’s official Chef Ambassadors, live music, and tastings of some of Southern Arizona’s best beer, wine, and whiskey.

The award-winning chefs will include Gastronomic Union of Tucson members Kelzi Bartholomaei (of Mother Hubbard’s fame), Roderick LeDesma (PY Steakhouse), Obadiah Hindman (Mountain Oyster Club), Travis Peters (The Parish, The Delta), and Ryan Clark (Casino del Sol Resort). Attendees will also hear music from local treasure Salvador Duran. 

The event is a sneak peek of the upcoming Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta, a four-day celebration of the major role of maíz (corn) in Southern Arizona’s food heritage, gastronomy, and culture presented by the nonprofit Tucson City of Gastronomy (TCoG).

The preview event is happening from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at 4280 N. Campbell Ave., and tickets are $60 per person, which includes tastings from all that was mentioned above.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.

What to expect from this year’s Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta

The festival program runs from Thursday, May 4 – Sunday, May 7, and will feature a free street-food fiesta at Kennedy Park, cooking demonstrations, a chef showcase, a white cloth dinner, live musical performances, interactive art installations, and educational activities. 

For the second year in a row, the celebration in Tucson will kick off a month-long, bilingual, international festival celebrating maíz in Tucson and three other North American gastronomy cities belonging to the UNESCO Creative Cities and Délice Networks, thanks to the second year of a grant from Pima County’s American Rescue Plan funding for tourism recovery.

(Photo courtesy of Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta)

The festival in Tucson is expanded this year with grants from the Arizona Office of Tourism and City of Tucson.

Tucson’s expression of the festival will closely follow and connect with the Agave Heritage Festival and Tucson International Mariachi Conference. These three heritage festivals will co-present a crossover concert with La Sonora Dinamita con Vilma Diaz on Sunday, May 7 at the Rialto Theatre.

Other crossover events will include a free “First Thursday” Thursday, May 4 art opening at Tucson Museum of Art & Historic Block, featuring Guatemalan-Mexican-American artist Justin Favela (representatives of his family) and community collaborators, vendors, and entertainment. At the Mission Garden, there will be educational and family-friendly activities on the morning of Saturday, May 6th.   

(Photo courtesy of Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta)

A Maíz Showcase dinner on Friday, May 5 will feature a collaborative menu by local award-winning chefs, restauranteurs, and food artisans, including Wendy Garcia (Tumerico and La Chaiteria), Juan Alamanza (El Taco Rustico), Devon Sanner (Zio Peppe), Sally Kane (The Coronet), Ayla Kapahi (Borderlands Brewing Company), Mary Steiger and Susan Fulton (Gourmet Girls Gluten Free), and Ahydee Almazan (Dolce Pastello).

The Maiz Fiesta on Saturday, May 6 is free and family-friendly and will feature a variety of maíz-themed street food and artisanal food products, as well as music by regional bands Los Apson, Gertie & the T.O. Boyz, Los Hermanos Cuatro, and Mariapaula Mazon.

TCoG will also announce the recipients of its first annual Food Heroes Awards. Partners contributing to the event’s programming include the Galeria Mitotera, Maiz Tucson, La Estrella Bakery, Ranch House Media, & Best Life Presents. The event will be as waste-free as possible, with a diverse range of local businesses and groups participating.

(Photo courtesy of Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta)

Tucson, San Antonio, and Mérida, Mexico, are all UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy, and Tucson, Mérida, and Puebla. Mexico, are members of the Délice Network. After the PDM celebration in Tucson, the event will move through these other three cities on a rolling schedule through the month of May. The four PDM cities will exchange chefs, share live streams of cooking demonstrations, and host a traveling photo exhibit.

Craft brewers in each city will also make a special maíz beer under the Pueblos del Maíz label. The Tucson version of the beer will be made by Borderlands Brewing Company. 

The non-profit Tucson City of Gastronomy was formed in 2016 to manage the 2015 UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy designation for metro Tucson and Southern Arizona. It works with stakeholders in the local food system and food economy to leverage the designation to increase appreciation of our food heritage, culinary assets, and food system innovations, promote them on a global scale, and link them to heritage foodways preservation, culinary tourism, and economic development.

For more information, visit pueblosdelmaiz.com. Learn more about Tucson City of Gastronomy at tucson.cityofgastronomy.org. 

Upcoming Events

View all events
Double-click this headline to edit the text.
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.
Double-click this headline to edit the text.
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.
Double-click this headline to edit the text.
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.

Related Stories