THE LIQUID MUSE, also known as mixologist and author Natalie Bovis, launched Taco Wars in 2017 as part of the annual Cocktails & Culture Festival, in Santa Fe. A dozen chefs compete for the Top Taco award determined by popular vote of the roughly 400 attendees. This year, the eighth annual Taco Wars goes down May 31, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Pavilion. ¡Buen provecho!

➤ What makes a championship taco?
The most important thing is flavor. The tacos that win over and over are the ones that have big, bold flavor.

➤ What are some of the most important components of New Mexico’s taco scene?
I’m a huge fan of taco trucks. A lot of the people who have taco trucks are running really small businesses that may not have financial backing, but they have a dream of owning their own business. There’s a lot of heart in the owners of these businesses that often reflects their own personal culture.

➤ Can you recall some of the most memorable Taco Wars entries?
Rowley Farmhouse Ales brought a fantastic cauliflower vegan taco, which placed third the first year of Taco Wars. They even put it on their menu because it was so popular. One year, Sassella chef Cristian Pontiggia, who was at Osteria d’Assisi at the time, did a chicken Parmesan taco, reflecting his Italian heritage.

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