Carne Asada Cookoff Draws Crowd, Raises Funds For Homeless
Tempting smells lured in visitors as soon as they neared Stark Field in El Centro last Saturday morning as the grills were fired up for the Second Annual Imperial Valley Carne Asada Cookoff.
Nearly a dozen teams were competing for the title of best carne in the county at the fundraiser sponsored by Spread The Love Charity. The winner was Las Chabelas, taking home the $1,000 top prize. Second place went to Asadero Neighborhood and third was won by Fat Boys Kitchen and Catering.
To no one’s surprise, perennial favorite Kennedy’s Karne won the People’s Choice Award and $500.
Holtville resident Fernando Cueto was there representing Holtville with his El Rey del Taco booth. He didn’t place in the judging but that may be because the carne was taken to the judges and cooled down by the time it got to them. His meat was always fresh off the grille and was hot and juicy for attendees who ate it right there.
The cookoff returned last year after an absence of several years. Spread The Love founder Jessica Solorio got together with Edward Morales of EM Digital Marketing to bring it back and raise funds for the foundation’s efforts to feed and help the area’s homeless population.
The group has been doing everything it can to help the less fortunate with a dedicated group of volunteers and donors, and Saturday’s cookoff exposed the cause to a new group of people.
A monthly calendar is created and donors can commit to serving either dinner or dessert on the date of their choice to a large group of homeless that gathers in the park on Adams Avenue every evening. Donations are also sought to provide water and snacks during the day to get them by. The money raised from the carne cookoff tickets will go a long ways towards helping those efforts.
Other donations have assisted the homeless in bus fair so that homeless persons are able to get closer to family and friends. And then there are those who have transitioned from a life on the streets to an apartment and a job, but just needed a little help getting there and making ends meet until things came together.