Tacos. Seems easy to make, right? All you need is a tortilla, some meat, cheese and salsa, and you’re ready to eat. But, here in Arizona, tacos are much more than that. It takes a true culinary artist to create a taco that’s unique — craved, even. And this weekend, in a two-day event, some of Arizona’s best culinary artists are battling it out to create the perfect taco.

The annual Arizona Taco Festival features taco specialists statewide competing against one another in the taco competition. More than 50 judges will taste every taco presented at the festival and cast their votes for the competition’s best taco.

Ralph Rubio, owner of Rubio'sOne of the fan favorites is Rubio’s, a returner to the Arizona Taco Festival. So, we spoke with owner Ralph Rubio, who shared his thoughts about the competition:

Q. What is your favorite part of the competition?

A. Our favorite part of the competition is sampling our favorite tacos to all of the guests that attend the event. This year we will be sampling our Mango Habanero Pacific Mahi Mahi taco as well as our Salsa Verde Shrimp taco. We love seeing the reaction of the guests who are trying our tacos for the first time or who are so excited to see their favorite taco at the festival. We also love presenting our tacos to the judges and the anticipation to see if we won in any of the categories.Rubio's Logo

Q. What tacos will you be entering into the contest?

A. Chicken – Grilled Gourmet Taco with Chicken
Steak – Grilled Gourmet Taco with Steak
Seafood – Mango Habanero Pacific Mahi Mahi Taco
Anything Goes – Salsa Verde Shrimp Taco

We will also be entering in the competition for salsa, guacamole and booth design.

Q. What is your favorite Rubio’s taco?

A. My favorite Rubio’s taco is the Original Fish Taco on a corn tortilla with picante salsa. I am also a huge fan of our shrimp grilled gourmet taco.

Q. How would you describe Rubio’s?

A. Rubio’s is a fun, friendly, colorful place to get amazing, delicious seafood dishes like the Original Fish Taco.

Q. What makes Rubio’s tacos different than other competitors at the AZ Taco Festival?

A. While there are a lot of fresh, Mexican grill concepts out there, Rubio’s is the world leader in fish taco sales; and while we do sell a lot of chicken burritos, we are focused on seafood, and we’re doing it like no one else. That’s what differentiates us.

We are also known for our flavorful food, and we take great pride in our passion for flavor, which is represented in our menu options.

The AZ Taco Festival takes place on October 20-21 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Salt River Fields in Scottsdale and is open to the public.  General admission costs $12, and all tacos cost $2. The event will feature live entertainment and more than 50,000 tacos.

For more information about the Arizona Taco Festival, visit aztacofestival.com.