First-ever Habla Tamale Cook-off exceeds expectations

Michael and Johnese Turri and Jo Mixon offer a warm welcome to the first-ever Habla Tamle event Saturday (aug. 8) in Angel Fire.
Michael and Johnese Turri and Jo Mixon offer a warm welcome to the first-ever Habla Tamle event Saturday (aug. 8) in Angel Fire.

By Ellen Miller-Goins

The first-ever Habla Tamale Cook-off Festival, Saturday (Aug. 8) in Angel Fire, was so successful latecomers missed their chance to sample all the delicious entries.

“We apologize for running out of tamales so early but we were not expecting to sell 1,215 tamale-tasting tickets before 1:30 p.m.,” Jo Mixon, executive director of the Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce wrote in her Weekly Chamber E-Blast today (Aug. 10). “We will certainly be more prepared for the size of the crowd next year!

“People stopped by the voters booth and the Chamber of Commerce to tell us they came from Albuquerque, Gallup, Farmington, Springer, Santa Fe, Española, Belen, Clovis, Carlsbad, Taos, Raton, and Eagle Nest in New Mexico; Amarillo, Lubbock, Georgetown, Austin, Witchita Falls, and Dallas in Texas; and from Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, North Carolina, and New Jersey.

“Most of them said they intend to come again next year.”

And the winners are…

1st Place, Traditional Tamales: Annette Duran/Rogue Traditional Tamales of Santa Fe, New Mexico; 1st Place, Gourmet Tamales and also People’s Choice Award: Wendy Hail/Hail’s Holy Smoked BarBQue.

Molly and Wally Tamales, Diane and Kevin Doherty
Molly and Wally Tamales, Diane and Kevin Doherty
According to Jo Mixon, executive director Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce, Len, the winner of the Tamale Eating Contest, ate 18 Pedros tamales in three seconds and came all the way from New Jersey to enter. (Photo courtesy Michael Turri)
According to Jo Mixon, executive director Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce, Len, the winner of the Tamale Eating Contest, ate 18 Pedros tamales in three seconds and came all the way from New Jersey to enter. (Photo courtesy Michael Turri)
Mr. Taco, aka Albert Herron from Georgetown, Texas. (Photo courtesy Johnese Turri)
Mr. Taco, aka Albert Herron from Georgetown, Texas. (Photo courtesy Johnese Turri)
The Oklahoma Kid (Marty Tipton), World Champion Trick Roper and Wild West Comedian, entertains kids of all ages during Habla Tamale.
The Oklahoma Kid (Marty Tipton), World Champion Trick Roper and Wild West Comedian, entertains kids of all ages during Habla Tamale.
Wende Hail/Hail’s Holy Smoked BarBQue and Moreis awarded the People's Choice award for her Young Guns Green Chili Chicken Tamales, which were also awarded 1st Place for Gourmet Tamales.
Wende Hail/Hail’s Holy Smoked BarBQue and Moreis awarded the People’s Choice award for her Young Guns Green Chili Chicken Tamales, which were also awarded 1st Place for Gourmet Tamales.
Annette Duran (center) of Santa Fe won for Traditional Tamales. With helpers Manuel Gonzales (left) and Amy Chavez (right), also of Santa Fe, Duran blew through 35 dozen tamales by about 12:20 p.m. This is all the more remarkable considering Duran is not a restauranteur.
Annette Duran (center) of Santa Fe won for Traditional Tamales. With helpers Manuel Gonzales (left) and Amy Chavez (right), also of Santa Fe, Duran blew through 35 dozen tamales by about 12:20 p.m. This is all the more remarkable considering Duran is not a restauranteur.
Left to right: Manuel Gonzales, Annette Duran and Amy Chavez of Santa Fe have fun with the first-ever tamale cookoff.
Left to right: Manuel Gonzales, Annette Duran and Amy Chavez of Santa Fe have fun with the first-ever tamale cookoff.
Shop (and taste) 'til you drop!
Shop (and taste) ’til you drop!
Tru Creations, created by Leroy Trujillo of Chimayo, New Mexico, are a reflection of faith… and loss. "I imagined living in a time where we're totally stripped of everything and all you have is your faith," Trujillo says, adding he pictured someone re-creating from memory the images of their faith using found materials like burlap and wood from the forest. "That's the idea behind these."
Tru Creations, created by Leroy Trujillo of Chimayo, New Mexico, are a reflection of faith… and loss. “I imagined living in a time where we’re totally stripped of everything and all you have is your faith,” Trujillo says, adding he pictured someone re-creating from memory the images of their faith using found materials like burlap and wood from the forest. “That’s the idea behind these.”
Local artists Sandy Fuehr and Ginger Lagasse partnered to sell their hand created jewelry and other wares for Habla Tamale.
Local artists Sandy Fuehr and Ginger Lagasse partnered to sell their hand created jewelry and other wares for Habla Tamale.
Anna Phillips, owner of AP Designs in Springer, was happy to joint the fun.
Anna Phillips, owner of AP Designs in Springer, was happy to joint the fun.
Allen Turley of Raton creates these hand-carved wagons and windmills, among other art that captures the spirit of the Old West.
Allen Turley of Raton creates these hand-carved wagons and windmills, among other art that captures the spirit of the Old West.
DJ Geoffroy (top right) and Layna Harvey (bottom right) advise Mauricio Solano on how to make a bird feeder out of a pine cone, peanut butter and bird seed.
DJ Geoffroy (top right) and Layna Harvey (bottom right) advise Mauricio Solano on how to make a bird feeder out of a pine cone, peanut butter and bird seed.
Simone Mills (not pictured) offered face painting during Habla Tamale.
Simone Mills (not pictured) offered face painting during Habla Tamale.
Bubbles were part of the celebration.
Bubbles were part of the celebration.
Fun For Kids
Fun For Kids
A perfect day!
A perfect day!