North Texas Daily

Queso competition benefits animal shelter, satisfies locals’ queso craze

Queso competition benefits animal shelter, satisfies locals’ queso craze

Queso competition benefits animal shelter, satisfies locals’ queso craze
July 10
17:20 2018

Denton-based eateries put their cheeses to the test at the annual Mulberry Street Cantina Queso Competition on July 9.

Attendees paid a $5 entrance fee, which granted them access to a variety of quesos from businesses like Komodo Loco and Ragland’s Tin Can Kitchen. Proceeds from the entrance fee not only helped cover the costs of the competition itself, but also went toward the Denton Animal Shelter.

Last year, Mulberry Street Cantina raised around $1,000 for the Denton Animal Shelter. This year, Mulberry Street Cantina doubled that and raised $2,000. The donation will be made in the name and honor of Kathy Orr, said Jeff Doyle, managing partner of Mulberry Street Cantina. Orr was a founding member of the Denton Benefit League and on the board of Thin Line.

“When it comes to entry, we try to work with local restaurants, bars and businesses to let them come out and show their brand, show some of their creativity and some of their product,” said Spencer McFarling, majority owner of Mulberry Cantina. “It’s a good, fun time on Sunday.”

First place for “Best Tasting” and “Best Presentation” received a $150 prize, and second place winners received a $75 prize.

Ragland’s Tin Can Kitchen won first place for “Best Tasting,” and there was a tie between Queso Peligroso and Eastside. After a game of rock, paper, scissors, Queso Peligroso captured second place. In the “Best Presentation” category, Queso Peligroso won first place and II Charlie’s won second place.

Katy Portillo, queso competitor and owner of Susie’s Snack Shop – a new gourmet dog treat and pet accessory store on the Square – said she ran out of queso just 45 minutes after the event officially started.

“I entered the competition purely because I thought it was ironic that the dog treats person would make queso for humans,” Portillo said. “I’m consistently getting told that my dog treats look good enough for a human to eat, so I decided to join a competition that was for humans.”

Ragland’s Tin Can Kitchen’s presentation of their first-place-winning brisket queso. Emily Olkkola

Operation specialist for RealPage Cynthia Govea, salesman for a local beer company Adam Leichinger, salesman for a local beer distributor Eddy Govea and 12th grade student at Billy Ryan High School John Govea entered the Annual Queso Competition as a group of friends. They call their group “Queso Peligroso.”

This was their first year competing at the Annual Queso Competition.

“We love eating Tex-Mex foods,” Cynthia said. “We love eating queso, so we just know what we like to eat, and [we] just kinda went off of that.”

The group decided to keep things traditional by making a queso with Oaxaca cheese.

“From watching enough food shows, we know that Oaxaca cheese – which is a very common [in] Mexican cuisine – absorbs flavors very well,” Leichinger said. “That’s why we went with some smoky cheeses and then some of the hotter cheeses to absorb some of those flavors.”

IT coordinator Brian Waldrop and data entry specialist Loori Walker both attended the Annual Queso Competition.

“It’s amazing,” Walker said. “[There’s] so much cheese.”

Walker and Waldrop both enjoyed Komodo Loco’s Spicy Dragon sauce within their queso.

“[I’m] really liking the Komodo Loco one the best I think.” Waldrop said. “It’s really, really good.”

Waldrop and Walker both said they learned about the Annual Queso Competition through Facebook.

“A lot of [the other quesos] are really good,” Waldrop said. “In fact, all of the queso is good, but it’s just hard to choose a favorite, honestly.”

Featured Image: Salesman for a local beer distributor, John Govea of Queso Peligroso, first place winner of presentation, serving some of his team’s queso. Emily Olkkola

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Emily Olkkola

Emily Olkkola

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