Categorized | Daily Dish

How Good Are Your Tamales?

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Does your family make the best tamales in town? If so, you may have the chance to wine the Best Tamales in San Antonio competition that will be held during the Tamales! At Pearl … A Holiday Family Festival, which is set for Dec. 11.

The contest will award $1,000 prizes in each of three categories – Best Chicken Tamal, Best Pork Tamal and Best “Wild Card/Unique” Tamal. In addition, $100 H-E-B gift cards will be presented to four additional finalists in each category.

The contest is open to people 18 years of age or older.  Not restaurateurs, caterers or professional tamal manufacturers, however. The tamales must be the original recipe and must be made by the person entering the contest.  No purchased tamales may be entered.

“Tamales are such an important family tradition in San Antonio during the holidays, with recipes and techniques passed down from generation to generation,” said Shelley Grieshaber, director of culinary operations at Pearl.  “Including a competition for the public helps make Tamales! At Pearl a true community celebration.”

Registration forms and rules for the contest can be downloaded from, or are available at the Pearl Administrative Office.

Registration forms must be received no later than 5 p.m. Monday. They can be submitted in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to the Pearl Administrative Office, Full Goods Building, 200 E. Grayson St.

Contestants will be asked to deliver six cooked tamales for each category entered between noon and 3.m. on Sunday, Nov. 28, to Suite 103 of the Full Goods Building.

Five finalists in each of the three categories will be selected for the final competition, and will be invited to deliver 12 cooked tamales to the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio building during the festival for the 4 p.m. final judging.

For more information on the contest and the “Tamales! At Pearl” festival, go to, or call 210-212-7260 ext. 201.

Photo by Tracey Maurer.

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