Oaktown Spice Shop Helping Competitors Bring the Flavor

Oaktown Spice Shop
Viva Tamales’ tamale entries just got spicier! Thanks to a generous sponsorship by Oaktown Spice Shop, each competitor will have the opportunity to work directly with an expert to create a special spice blend that will take their tamales over the edge.  Oaktown Spice Shop, located on Lake Merritt, has an incredible variety of high quality spices from around the world.   Those making a more traditional tamale can select from a wide variety of dried chiles, herbs, and other spices common to Mexico and Latin America.   While our wildcard entries may choose to incorporate more exotic options like those found in the shop’s custom spice blends such as Persian Lime Curry or St. Basil’s BBQ Rub.   Regardless of their choice, the result will be delicious and you won’t want to miss it!   Have you gotten your tickets yet?!  $5 discount if you purchase in advance.

Oaktown Spice Shop - John & Erica

John Beaver opened Oaktown Spice Shop in January 2012 with Erica, his then girlfriend (now wife) and received East Bay Express’ Best Specialty Food Shop in 2013.  He and his staff have a wealth of knowledge about the herbs and spices they stock and will happily assist customers find just the right one to meet their needs.

Oaktown Spice Shop, 530 Grand Avenue, Oakland CA 94610
Be sure to like them on Facebook, their posts are frequent and spicy

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

¡Viva Tamales! – Guidelines for Competitors


¡VIVA Tamales! is a tamale cook-off and fiesta celebrating Mexican Independence Day with the iconic tamal. This friendly cooking competition is for tamales from anywhere they are celebrated —  Mexico, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Ultimately, we will name the true Master of Masa.

The event benefits an amazing non-profit, La Clinica, an organization that provides health care services for over 80,000 patients a year and was founded in Oakland 42 years ago.

Here’s a little more about the logistics of the event:

We are expecting around 200 attendees.  Each competitor will submit 200 tasting portions (approx. 5 doz tamales). You will prepare your tamales in advance and we can provide space to do final prep on site, if needed.  Prizes will be awarded for People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice for best Meat, Vegetarian/Vegan and Wildcard (creative) tamales. This fun event will provide a great way for you to promote your business.  Each competitor will be given $50 to offset costs.

If you think it might be a good fit for you, get in touch with Krista at Oakland Food Events (oaklandfoodevents@gmail.com). She can answer any questions you have and get you signed up.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment