2018 Wild & Crazy Taco Night

25th Annual Wild & Crazy Taco Night


With 23 chefs and approximately 650 guests, the 25th SOS Annual Wild & Crazy Taco Night on Thursday, April 12th, was a delicious success! Orange County’s finest chefs came to the SOS main campus in Costa Mesa to lend their amazing gourmet talents to this popular community event, which netted approximately $82,800 to support the SOS Food Pantry! These funds will help feed Orange County residents at risk of going hungry.

The VIP pre-event party gave guests early access to all of the food and drinks, and a chance to mingle with chefs. All of the tacos offered are exclusive to this event, and it is always a treat to hear the chefs talk about their inspirations. Margaritas featuring DesMaDre Tequila, and beers from Barley Forge Brewing Co. and Sol were in hot demand as well. Partygoers had a blast taking selfies in front of a festive photo backdrop, as DJ Drew Pierce dropped the beats.

The general event was as wild & crazy as ever! Back by popular demand was the “People’s Choice Taco Award Presented by Yelp.” Every attendee got the chance to vote for their favorite taco – and the competition was fierce! Orange Hill Restaurant’s Chef Eric Mickle ended up as the winner with his Adobo Prime Rib Double Decker Taco. As a fun way to raise funds to support the SOS Food Pantry, SOS asked guests to participate in the “Fill the Food Bag Challenge.” Guests generously participated, raising $4,739 by the end of the night, which will provide almost 950 bags of food for our community.

All of the proceeds from the event benefit the SOS Food Pantry, which collects food from restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, caterers, and donors to distribute to low-income and homeless Orange County residents. Five days a week, volunteers package the food for distribution, with an average of 235 food-insecure families and individuals getting bags of groceries a day.

A huge thank you to our generous chefs, sponsors, event sponsors, Wild & Crazy Taco Night Committee & volunteers for making this event a huge success:

Participating Chefs and Menu

Shachi Mehra
Shrimp & Potato Balchao with Avocado Raita, Cilantro & Tequila
Blackmarket Bakery,
Rachel Klemek
Strawberry Stweet Taco – Croissant Shell, Vanilla Coconut Pastry Cream, Passion-glazed Strawberries and Sweetened Condensed Milk
Culinary Innovation,
Paul Squicciarini
Coconut Ceviche, Taro Tostada, Habanero-Carrot Emulsion
Driftwood Kitchen, Hendrix, The Deck on Laguna,
Rainer Schwarz
Suckling Pig Taco – Pickled Shallots, Apple Slaw, Tomatillo Salsa, Avocado & Oaxaca Cheese
Rich Mead
Cauliflower, Cauliflower, Cauliflower – Caramelized Cauliflower and Chimichurri, Pureed Cauliflower and Satsumaimo Sweet Potatoes, Cauliflower and Green Garlic Tortillas, Spicy Greens, Crispy Potatoes and Homemade Hot Sauces
Fashion Island Hotel Newport Beach,
David Man
Fried Chicken Tikka Masala, Peri Peri Sauce, Cilantro Slaw & Spiced Crema
Filomena’s Italian Kitchen & Market,
Linda Johnsen
Fried Shrimp & Calamari topped with our Roasted Garlic Basil Aioli
GoodFellas Taco Catering,
Scott Troupe
Mexico Loco Octo Taco: Manchego A La Plancha Stuffed with Tender Octopus & House Made Chorizo. Salsa Macha, Tropics Puree, Crema, Purslane on a Squid Ink Tortilla with a Pork and Ebi Broth Chaser/Frito Jalapeno Queso Pescado Taco: Seaweed Battered Fish, With a Fried Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno, Broccoli Slaw, Pico De Gallo, Avocado, Pickled Onion, Smoked Habanero Crema, AKA – La Bomba!
Haven Gastropub & Provisions Market,
Greg Daniels & Landon Pulizzi
Lamb neck, Harissa, Pickles
Melissa’s Produce,
Marco Zapien
Jackfruit Tinga Tacos – Jackfruit Braised in a Chipotle Broth with Onions, Bell Peppers and Cilantro. Topped with Kool Cabbage Slaw and Pixie Tangerine Crema
Orange Hill,
Eric Mickle
Adobo Prime Rib Double Decker Tacos
Paséa Hotel & Spa,
Kevin Meyer
Salmon Belly and Pork Sisig, Handmade Tortillas, Calmansi-Avocado Vinaigrette
Pete’s Sunset Grille at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach,
Jose Rodriguez
Jicama Taco Mixto – Shrimp, Crab, Octopus, Japanese Pico de Gallo, Wasabi Crèma, Tobiko
Pirozzi Corona del Mar, Alessá Laguna & Salerno,
Alessandro Pirozzi
Crocodile Sisig – Braised Crocodile Brasato with Crispy Fried Shallots Wrapped in an Amaroni Wine-Infused Taco
Primal Alchemy Catering,
Paul Buchanan
Guajilio Chili Potato Tacos with Pickled Fresnos, Scallion Ash Crema & House Cured Brown Sugar Bacon Lardons
David Andrade
Shredded Wild Boar Barbacoa, Spanish Escabeche with Sweet Chili & Mojo Verde Sauces
Katy Smith
Rice Battered Soft Shell Crab, Fresno Salsa, Cabbage, Red Onion, Cilantro Vinaigrette, Crema
Alejandra Padilla
“Baja Meets Britain” – Fish & Chip Taco, Caesar Salad
Andrew Gruel
Surf & Turf Taco
SOL Cocina,
Andres Miramontes
Chicharron Taco – Corn Tortilla, Grilled Cactus, Crispy Pig Skins, Pico de Gallo, Green Tomatillo Salsa Relish
solita tacos & margaritas,
Deborah Schneider & Josemaria ‘Chema’ Velasquez
Chicken Tinga, Blue Corn Tortilla, Shredded Lettuce, Pickled Red Onion, Cotija Cheese


Premiere Sponsor
Piñata Sponsor

Klatte, Budensiek & Young-Agriesti, LLP

Cactus Sponsor
Mr. & Mrs. R.L. Augustine
Anne & Bob Cress
Frome Foundation
MUFG Union Bank Foundation
The Thompson Family Foundation

Sombrero Sponsor
Mark & Julie Askelson
Dr. Richard & Mrs. Sandra Haskell
Michael & Diane Stephens
Tom & Marilyn Sutton
Allen & Kimberley Yourman

Fiesta Sponsor
US Storage Centers

Jim & Diane Bailey
Blue C Advertising
Brett & Earle Craig
Jay Donoghue
Ganahl Lumber
PIMCO Foundation
Michael & Marja Dawn Selna
Lisa Wetzel

Event Donation
Dale Lechtman
Richard & Vicki Lee
Sylvia Michler
Kevin & Linda Pitts

Food Bag Challenge
Brett & Earle Craig
Frome Family Foundation
Gregg Thomas

Beverage Sponsors

Event Sponsors
Andy Templeton Photography
Ballard Electrical
Burns & Associates
Dr. Swami Bone Daddy Top Shelf Margarita Mix
Hi-Time Wine Cellars
Melissa’s Produce
SOL Cocina
Signature Party Rentals
Gaye Besler, Kara Demostene, Maggie Hayes, Elizabeth Hopkins, Helen Kinsey, Marie Macaulay, Mary Moyer, Julie Neja, Karen McGlinn, Katie Santore, Debbie Springer, Cindy Tuch