All that and a bag of chips

Austin's best queso to be crowned at cheesy downtown competition

Austin's best queso to be crowned at cheesy downtown competition

Central Texas Food Bank presents Sixth Annual Quesoff
Dip into Quesoff on August 25. Photo courtesy of Central Texas Food Bank

Go ahead, break out that “In Queso Emergency” T-shirt your mom found at T.J. Maxx. Dust off that Cheesehead hat you’ve had hiding in your closet since Brett Favre was a thing. If there was ever a gouda time (sorry) for such dubious sartorial gestures, it’s the eighth annual Quesoff.

According to a release, the cheesy competition is returning to The Mohawk on August 25 from 1-4 pm with a fresh batch of contestants duking it out in four categories: meat, spicy, veggie, and wild card. This year promises to be better than ever with tons of newcomers joining the fun.

Among those competing are some of Austin food’s biggest names like Dai Due, Micklethewait Craft Meats, Central Standard, Il Brutto, Better Half, Scholz Garten, and Trudy’s. The home teams, often the most entertaining of the crews, include Downtown Cheesy Brown, Wing-A-Licious, and Gooey.

This year the stakes are even higher for Quesoff. The organizers have partnered with Alamo City’s Queso Meltdown for a chance to stoke the flames of the San Antonio-Austin rivalry. The grand prize winner will get a chance to rep the Capital City at the November 10 event.

The difficult task of weighing in on the melted creations goes to barbecue maestro Aaron Franklin, Yeti’s LeighAnn Bakunas. Arlo Grey chef Kristen Kish, Austin American Statesman’s Matthew Odam, and the Austin Food & Wine Alliance’s Mariam Parker. (As a judge for the 2015 edition, I can assure you that cheese sweats are real.)

As usual, the event is a benefit for the Central Texas Food Bank. Entry is free with a donation of two canned foods or a $2 donation at the door. But be warned, chip bags each cost $5 and smuggling in your own bag or dipping your fingers into the cheese is generally considered a faux pas.

While you are busy mapping out your plan of attack, send some good vibes into the universe that the weather cooperates this year. A rare summer deluge forced the Quesoff team to cancel last year’s event.