The 5th Annual Oxnard Tamale Festival took place on a wet Saturday, December 1, 2012. This year's overall, and now two-time winner is BG's Cafe, 428 South A Street, Oxnard. If you're looking for a great tamale, BG's apparently is where it's at! Visit their website at www.bgscafe.com or call 805.487.0700. They are open 7 days a week.
BG's Cafe has been in business for over 40 years. Originally founded by Bill and Gloria Stuart (hmm, their initials are B and G, I wonder if that's a coincidence) in 1971 and was sold to Jose and Veronica Rodriguez in 2004, who have expanded the menu and added catering services.
Top 3 savory and sweet tamales at the event as determined by a panel of hungry judges:
- First Place; Frias Catering of Oxnard
- Second Place; El Taco De Mexico of Ventura
- Third Place; Panaderia La Mexicana Bakery of Oxnard
- First Place; BG's Coffee Shop and Deli (aka BG's Cafe) of Downtown Oxnard
- Second Place; Sugarbeets Restaurant & Bar of Downtown Oxnard
- Third Place; Me Gusta Gourmet Tamales of Pacoima
This year's tamale tasting judges included: Hon. Steven Hintz, Ventura County Treasurer/Tax Collector, Catherine Hintz, Wife of Hon. Steven Hintz, Hon. Mark Lunn, Ventura County Clerk/Recorder,, Hon. Fred Bysshe, Ventura County Superior Court, Joe Mulrooney, Treasurer of Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs Association, John Ragan, ARC of Ventura County, Chef Gerard Turbush, Chef Paul Tavakoli, Nakita DiGuardi, Toni Valdez, Board Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters Ventura County, Chef Henry Patey of the Oxnard College Culinary Arts Program and Terrel Harrison, Director of Oxnard Police Activities League.
Proceeds from the Oxnard Tamale Festival supports local non-profits and recreation projects that benefit local youth. Community grants have supplemented programs for at-risk youth, veterans, prevention of homelessness, cancer research, food pantries, recreation centers and mentally disabled individuals. Past recipients have included Oxnard City Corps, Oxnard Police Activities League, Food Share of Ventura County, ARC of Ventura County, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts Troop #228, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Santa Clara Church, American Cancer Society, and Oxnard College Veterans Club.