TamalFest DC—Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Tamal?
[ta’mal]: a delicious mix of meat or vegetables and spices, wrapped in a blanket of corn meal, rice or potato.
But when we say “tamal” we are also talking about hallacas, chuchitos, humitas, bollos, pasteles dominicanos or puertorriqueños, and similar dishes enjoyed for centuries throughout Mexico, El Salvador, the rest of Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.
What is TamalFest DC?
“TamalFestDC” is a community festival and cooking contest. Like a lot of what we do at Hola Cultura, the idea is to bring people together around our shared culture—in this case a tasty dish found, in one form or another, throughout the Americas.
We want to showcase the incredible diversity of Washington’s Latino community, so if you are a skilled maker of tamales, hallacas, chuchitos, humitas, bollos, pasteles dominicanos or puertorriqueños, or other similar dishes, apply now!
Share your traditions or put your culinary gifts to the test!
When and where is the TamalFest taking place?
Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Bell Multicultural High School Cafeteria
3101 16th St. NW, Washington DC 20010
Metro: Columbia Heights or take the S2/4, H4 or 42 buses
Who can participate?
Community and professional cooks of all types, as well as school groups, youth organizations and community service organizations—anyone really!
This year we’ve lined up a stellar group of individual cooks, chefs, caterers, restaurants, and cooking teams interested in building our community—in this case through cooking and sharing a meal together. Check out the interviews with the chefs!
Will there be prizes?
Yes. People’s Choice Awards will go to the crowd favorites in two categories: Community participants—both teams and individual cooks—and commercial participants such as professional chefs, caterers, and restaurant operators.
There will also be recognition for all. Everyone who competes will be featured on Hola Cultura’s popular online site, www.holacultura.com, and on the Electric Llama website (www.electric-llama.com), our online partner for this event. The People’s Choice Award winners will receive an additional front-page spread on Hola Cultura following the contest.
Will professional and amateur chefs compete against each other?
No. Restaurateurs and other culinary professionals will compete in the professional category. Everyone else will compete in the community category.
Are there rules?
Yes, click here to see the TamalFest rules.
How can I sign up?
Enrollment is now closed but there is always next year!
How will you ensure that many different types of tamales are including in the festival?
SPACE IS LIMITED! We sold out last year and advanced ticket sales have been brisk this year too. But we have tickets left! You can still purchase you tickets at the door on Sunday.
How will the tamal tastings work?
Here’s how it will work: For your ticket to the TamalFest, you get to try tamales from around Latin America and then vote for the tamales you like the best in both categories: Professional and community
Since you try the tamales, you may want more, several of the tamal makers will have tamales for sale for enjoying at TamalFest or taking home for later. We suggest takeout! Since it’s Christmas time when tamales are traditionally eating throughout much of Latin America, some of the tamal makers will be taking catering orders too. There will also Latin American-style beverages for sale, plus live music, kids’ activities, videos, and a mini-Latin American holiday crafts fair!
How will the People’s Choice Awards be selected?
By popular vote
Every ticketholder will be given a ballot when they arrive and can cast a vote in each category.
The ballots will be collected in a tamper-proof box and tallied at the end of the evening, when the tamales receiving the most votes will be announced.
How many tamales will we get for our ticket?
Each of the nearly one dozen participating community cooks, chefs, caterers, and restaurateurs will bring along enough tamales to provide tasting portions to everyone with a ticket. To redeem your “taste of tamal” at each table, you will handover one ticket per table. If you are still hungry, there will be more tamales and other items for sale.
What if my favorite tamal runs out before I can use my ticket?
Each ticket is good for one tamal at each table; one per customer. There will be enough tasting portions for all.
Will anything else be served at the TamalFest?
While the tamales will be the main attraction, there will be cold and hot beverages and accompaniments for sale. Check back later for a full menu.
Is there “financial aid” for tamal lovers in need?
We have kept the ticket price low to make this event welcoming to the entire community. Unfortunately, we do not have the funding to offer financial aid or free tickets. But we are looking for a few more volunteers, eligible for one free ticket to the event. If you would like to volunteer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you looking for sponsors for the TamalFest?
Yes. If you would like to support the Tamalfest by becoming a sponsor, we’d like to hear from you too!
Please give us a call at 202-722-0335 or email Executive Director Alberto Roblest at email@example.com. Please include “Sponsor Inquiry” in the subject line.
How much are tickets?
$12 per ticket online. Online ticket sales end Friday, Dec. 2, at noon. Purchase here: https://kck.st/2fu4HhJ
$15 per ticket purchased at the door on the day of the event
How can I purchase tickets?
Online ticket sales end Friday, Dec. 2, at noon. Purchase here: https://kck.st/2fu4HhJ