Recreate last year’s winning salsas from Julio’s Barrio and Flipp’n Burgers and then be in Kensington on Sunday, July 20 to vote in this year’s salsa showdown!

Photo courtesy Kensington Sun and Salsa Festival. Photo credit: Tavis Dowling

Head down to Kensington on Sunday, July 20 to take part in the 2014 Sun and Salsa Festival. This year, 31 salsa booths will serve up over 2400 litres of salsa in hopes winning the titles of “Best Salsa” and “Most Original Salsa”.  To taste test the salsas, visitors will use over 72,000 sampling cups and 10,000 bags of chips, with proceeds from chip sales going towards the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association and Norfolk Housing Association.

This year’s competitors include Julio’s Barrio, Original Joes’s, Wine Bar Kensington, The Yardhouse, Molly Mallone’s, Sam’s Bar and Grill, Peppino’s, Flipp’n Burgers, and the brand new Taqueria El Charrito. From outside Kensington, Empanada Queen and Anejo will also compete.

Here are last year’s winning recipes from Julio’s Barrio and Flipp’n Burgers plus hints about what their salsas are going to include for 2014!

Julio’s Barrio

“The salsa that Julio’s Barrio is introducing this year for the Sun and Salsa festival is a Roasted Pineapple Salsa. This creation is sweet, colourful, with a kick of heat, “says Raymond Hajjar of Julio’s Barrio.

Salsa Chimole – A Traditional Pico de Gallo (Best Overall Salsa)

3 medium Roma tomatoes

1 medium onion

1 fresh jalapeno [seeded]

2 sprigs fresh cilantro

½ red papaya

½ mango

1 fresh habanero pepper

½ cup fresh lemon juice

Salt & pepper to taste

1. The day before assembly of the salsa, cut the fresh habanero pepper in half, and add both halves to a container with fresh lemon juice. Gloves are recommended when handling fresh peppers! Refrigerate the juice overnight.

2. Day of assembly – halve the tomatoes, and clean out the seeds. Chop to a ¼” dice.

3. Chop the onion and jalapeno to a ¼” dice. Finely chop the cilantro. Halve the papaya – remove the seeds and skin – dice to ¼”. Clean a mango – avoid the seed by cutting along the flatter sides of the mango. Cut half the pulp in to a ¼” dice.

4. Combine the diced tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, papaya & mango.

5. Removeand discard the habanero pepper from the lemon juice.

6. Add 1 oz of the lemon juice to the fruit and vegetable mix.

7. Add salt & pepper to taste.

8. Serve within 24 hours.

Flipp’n Burgers

“This year we are going to incorporate blends of spices from different regions, as well as yellow and green peppers and grilled mango. Of course, there will be items such as garlic, Serrano peppers, onions, and cilantro,” says Sarah Amery of Flipp’n Burgers.

Salsa Verde (2013 Most Original Salsa)

Serves 5-10 people

4 bunches of parsley

6 bunches cilantro

4 cloves garlic

3 bunches of green onions, using only the chives

3 green peppers

1 Poblano chili

2 jalapenos

1 Tbsp. of coriander

salt and white pepper to taste

1 cup of Olive Oil

1/2 cup of Lemon Juice


1. Chop the parsley cilantro, garlic, chives, and all peppers up fine in a deep bowl or container

2. Add spices

3. With hand blender begin blending and adding in oil and lemon juice slowly

4. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours





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