Calling All Queso Enthusiasts: Quesoff and Hot Luck Fest

Celebrate melted cheese and compete to win Best Queso in Austin

Queso is an ultimate comfort food and people have very specific concepts of what it should be. Maybe you’re hellbent on the South Texas Velveeta and Ro-tel tradition or maybe it’s queso flameado served flambé with tortillas that cures your raging hangover.

No matter your preference, on Saturday, August 25, Austin will be floating on a river of gooey cheese at Quesoff 2018.

Courtesy of Quesoff

At the event (2-4:30pm), around 30 vendors – from top chefs to home cooks – will bring their version of the most perfect food to Mohawk to compete for titles in four categories: Meaty, Spicy, Veggie, and Wild Card. The best overall queso dish will win Best in Show according to a panel of people who know about food (stay tuned for those judges’ names later this summer).

Courtesy of Quesoff

This is a bonafide cheese party, so you don’t have to just stand around and eat and drink and listen to excellent tunes (although that's cool, too). If you’ve been waiting for the opportunity to debut your mom’s best Crockpot queso recipe or your own vegan queso flan, now is your chance. Quesoff is opening up the call for entries to the public, and they want all kinds of contestants to participate. Email to sign up, and include your preferred category (multiple categories is allowed). It’s free to enter.

It’s also free to attend this melted cheese extravaganza with the donation of two canned food items (or a $2 donation) benefitting the Central Texas Food Bank.

Blackillac at Austin Chronicle's Hair of the 3-Legged Dog Day Party for SXSW 2018 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Quesoff popped up at SXSW this year, and they’ll have one more pop-up event at Hot Luck Festival, founded by Aaron Franklin, James Moody, and Mike Thelin. Speaking of Hot Luck, the fest announced this morning that they’ve added DJ Questlove, Blackillac (emcees Zeale and Phranchyze), Girlpool, Los Coast, and others to the roster that already includes Hot Snakes. Alejandro Escalante, John and Kendall Antonelli, and Doug Adams were just added to the hot list of food biz names. This food and music extravaganza is May 24-27 at Mohawk, Barracuda, Antone’s, The White Horse, and Hotel Vegas, among other locations around town. Events will also happen at Cisco’s and Weather Up, and tickets are available at

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