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Who Says Women Aren’t Cooking in SF?

Nicole (left) and Alica (right) under the El Pato painting at Valencia Street.

Nicole (left) and Alica (right) under the El Pato painting at Valencia Street.

Everyone loves a fresh-faced wunderkind, especially one that has a way with a knife. Forbes does a 30 Under 30 chef feature, as does Eater.

To these lists, I say pffft! How about something seriously impressive—something like “Two Kitchen Bad Asses Under 24.” And let’s make them female. (Maybe we’ll call it “Goddesses of Food.” Take that Time magazine.)

For this, Joe and I would like to nominate our company’s own chefs: Alica Huerta, 23, our sous chef at Tacolicious in the Mission, and Nicole Marin, 22, our chef at Tacolicious North Beach. These dynamos run our kitchens with a kind of adult-like grace that is remarkable. They also happen to have a few things in common: They attended the CCA and they both have deep roots in Mexico.

In an attempt to steal some of their youth, I made them meet up with me for a little Q&A.

Where were you raised? Any chefs in the house?
Alica: Central California, 45 minutes outside of Fresno in a town called Visalia. My parents are both Mexican American. My mom has been a day care provider for 25 years. She’s an alien—I don’t know how she does it. And my dad is in telecommunications.
Nicole: I was born and raised in Mexicali. My dad is a plastic surgeon and my mom is a part-time lawyer.

Memorable food from growing up?
Nicole: I have a big Mexican family. Every Wednesday we had lunch at 3 pm at my grandma’s house. Her house isn’t big and we were like 20 people. She makes an awesome soup with chunks of potatoes, and tomatoes, pasilla peppers, and onions. She puts a thick Mexican queso fresco on it that melts. It’s so simple, but it’s just so good!
Alica: My mom can throw down. Her posole is it. She grew up eating it every day as a kid. It has the actual foot of the pig in it, and you get that piece in your bowl and you gotta eat it.

[Nicole points at our Paul Madonna painting of cans El Pato.]
Every time I see that, I think about chilaquiles. You can’t get El Pato chilies in Mexico so we’d go and sneak them in from the Walmart in the bordering town in Calexico. My mom always used them and it just became a part of what I think of when it comes to chilaquiles. Read more »

Taco Slinging Lineup for our Fifth Annual Guest Chef Series


Tacolicious was born five years ago at the Thursday farmers market at the Ferry Plaza. The market remains one of the brightest spots on our weekly calendar – a colorful collection of local produce, farmers and vendors all in one of the most idyllic locations this side of…anywhere. This Thursday, CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Thursday farmers market and we kick off our fifth annual Guest Chef Series at our Ferry Plaza Farmers Market stand.

The Guest Chef Series directly benefits CUESA through a 100-percent donation from the sale of the tacos made by our guest chefs. In past years, our talent to taco ratio has been exceptional. Chris Kostow of Meadowood, Craig Stoll of Delfina, and Michael Tusk of Quince, just to name a few, have all joined us to sling tacos for the CUESA cause. This year, the talent to taco ratio is no different. On Thursday, Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen is making Tacos Revuleta with pork carnitas, braised skin, and pickled pig ears, the very same ones that helped him win the Prince of Porc title at this year’s Cochon 555.

So, mark your calendars for Thursday tacos from 10 am to 2 pm and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest in guest chef taco updates and other delicious news.

The Guest Chef lineup:

July 3
Chef: Richie Nakano, Hapa Ramen

July 10
Chef: Julio Aguilera, La Urbana

July 17
Chef: Tim and Erin Archuleta, Ichi Sushi

July 24
Chef: Ryan Scott, Market & Rye

July 31
Chef: Evan Rich, Rich Table

August 7
Chef: Joey Elenterio, Wayfare Tavern

August 14
Chef: Robin Song, Hog & Rocks

August 21
Chef: Michael Gaines, Kin Khao

August 28
Chef: Josh Even, Tosca Cafe

Fútbol Fans! Join Us for the World Cup Starting Friday!

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Oribe Peralta—the man who helped Mexico secure their spot.

Four years ago we celebrated the World Cup by showing all the Mexico and US games at Tacolicious on Chestnut Street. Today, this has become a Tacolicious tradition—but bigger and better now that there are three more locations to cheer from!

Starting this Friday, all four T-lish spots will open their doors at 8:30 am for the 9 am Mexico vs. Cameroon game. Our brunch menu will be served, including churros con chocolate, café con leche, Tecate, tequila and even things that are good for you like eggs.

To prepare for the game, you can read these little CliffsNotes written by The Telegraph on the Mexico and US teams. We are particularly taken by this part about Mexico: “How Google translates the national anthem: Fatherland! Fatherland! Your children swear to you to breathe their last for your sake, if the bugle with its bellicose accent calls them together to battle with courage.” We can already hear the call of the vuvuzelas!

Tacolicious will be open for ALL Mexico and USA games:

Fri 6.13, 9 am – Mexico vs. Cameroon (doors open at 8:30am)
Mon 6.16,  3 pm – USA vs. Ghana
Tues 6.17, 12 pm – Mexico vs. Brazil
Sun 6.22, 3 pm – USA vs. Portugal
Mon 6.23, 1 pm – Mexico vs. Croatia
Thurs 6.26, 9 am – USA vs. Germany (doors open at 8:30am)

Early Bird Tacolicious World Cup Menu
(Served on Friday, June 13 and Thursday, June 26)
• griddle cakes
• traditional huevos rancheros
• bistec con huevos
• chorizo con huevos house-made pork sausage
• chilaquiles de la casa salsa verde, cotija cheese
• churros con chocolate

michelada verde
cafe con leche
cafe corregido (tequila/kahlua/espresso)
aqua fresca del dia

Ole Ola, Fútbol and Tequila! See you Friday…

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