Nacho average taco

Ahh tacos... that delicious traditional Mexican dish of corn or wheat tortilla with fillings of meat accompanied by garnishs like salsa, guac, tomatoes, onions and more; perfect for a fuss-free meal (or snack, for some) to have with your buddies. This humble delicacy, simple as it is at its core, has become a base for many chefs to experiment with ingredients found in their own regions. Singapore is no different, with Mexican king of the hill Lucha Loco stepping in with their first Taco Libre event.

Kicking off things right last month, this 12-week long initiative shines the spotlight on the versatile dish, bringing together six of Singapore’s highly acclaimed chefs who’ll be vying for top suds as the “Ultimate Taco Champion”. Chefs will rotate every fortnight to showcase their own taco creation from now until Nov 4, where a panel of esteemed judges will select the winner at a huge finale party.

Besides bragging rights, the winning chef will also go home with a specially crafted wrestling belt trophy that’s been brought in directly from Mexico. Chef-owner Bjorn Shen of Artichoke kicked things off to an exciting start last month with his Surf n’ Turn Taco, where he brings together crab tatziki and smoky bacon together, accompanied by avocado, chili caramel, pickled onions and mint; followed by Cure’s chef-owner Andrew Walsh’s Sambal Lamb Barbacoa.

In the weeks to come, you can expect renditions of the Mexican delicacy by Rishi Naleendra, the head chef of one-Michelin-star resto Cheek by Jowl; chef-owner Dave Pynt of Burnt Ends (yay barbecue meats are on the table); Sam Aisbett from Whitegrass, which earned a Michelin Star this year; and more.

While the list of names (and tacos that come from them) are no less exciting, there’s a jarring lack of female chefs in the line-up. Sure, it’s “dudestronomy”, as Bjorn Shen puts it, but we wouldn’t have minded a Peranakan take on Tacos (mmm... ayam buah keluak) that could be easily and deliciously whipped up by Violet Oon; or a nasi lemak burger one (since it’s all the hype now) by mod sin chef Shen Tan. We’re all up for unique tacos, but a little inclusivity would be nice. 

Probably an oversight, but maybe next time, Lucha Loco?