The Competition Heats up for the 2011 CasaQ Best Darn Tamale Contest Airing Saturday, December 17 on NBC Bay Area

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The 7th Annual Best Darn Tamale contest is a nationwide competition amongst professional tamale-makers in the USA. Winners will be chosen by celebrity guest judges Cheryl Forberg, Biggest Loser's award winning chef & nutritionist, International Irish Tenor Michael Londra of Beyond Celtic and River Dance, Hip Hop recording artist Royalty, Rock Cartwright Oakland Raiders Running Back and Nina Rodriguez of Golf Channel’s Big Break Ireland

The 7th annual CasaQ & NBC Bay Area Best Darn Tamale contest is a national competition amongst professional tamale makers across America to compete for the title of Best Darn Tamale in the USA. The contest originally began 7 years ago as a local contest judging tamale locations in the San Francisco Bay Area but quickly grew as the competition heated up.

“Once the Best Darn Tamale list of USA locations was place on we began to get an incredible amount of requests to taste tamales everywhere”, says Darlene Tenes, CasaQ President and Founder. “Three years ago we decided to open the contest up to all tamale makers across the USA and the entries starting flowing in from Mississippi to California.”

Today tamale-makers across the country fly their wrapped wonders in to be scrutinized by the CasaQ staff and tamale connoisseurs. After plowing through over a hundred tamales from goat meat to guava, veggie to venison, pork to pumpkin, the lists gets narrowed down to the chosen few which will compete in the 7th Annual Best Darn Tamale Contest this week.

The finalists are narrowed down to five tamales in each of the five categories; Traditional Pork/Beef, Traditional Chicken, Gourmet/Exotic, Cheese/Vegetarian and Dulce/Sweet. The Best Darn Tamale show hosted by Damian Trujillo, host of NBC’s Comunidad de Valle and Darlene Tenes of CasaQ will welcome celebrity guest judges who will taste each of the finalists tamale and pick a winner in each category.

The 2011 Celebrity guest judges are:
Cheryl Forberg, The Biggest Loser's Award Winning Chef & Nutritionist
Michael Londra - International Irish Tenor of Beyond Celtic and River Dance,
Rock Cartwright – Oakland Raiders Running Back
Royalty - Hip Hop Recording Artist
Nina Rodriguez - Golf Channel’s Big Break Ireland Contestant

For the first time ever the Best Darn Tamale Show will be taped on location with a live audience on December 13, 2011 at 11:30am PST in San Jose, CA. The public is invited to attend for free when making a non-perishable food donation to Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen. A limited amount of tickets are also available for those who wish to taste the 25 finalist tamales and be able to cast a vote.

Best Darn Tamale Contest results will air on NBC Bay Area on Saturday, December 17 at 11:30am, repeating on Sunday, January 1 at 10:30am. For more information or to purchase tickets visit

About CasaQ
CasaQ is a San Jose-based Hispanic lifestyle company, founded in 2005 by Darlene Tenes that is dedicated to providing unique products, services and content geared toward people who embrace the Latino culture. For over a decade Ms. Tenes is renown for planning festive and creative Hispanic events, which incorporate the traditions and customs of Spain, Mexico and Latin America.


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