Our Story
Benchmark Institute

We served tamales at Benchmark Institute's first fundraising dinner in 1999.  We wanted a celebratory food that was affordable.  Tamales are part of the tradition of so many people that they were a natural choice.  Then came the challenge of finding wonderful tamales commercially prepared.  Everyone who loves tamales has the story of someone who sells from a bucket at a BART station, outside of a certain store or church.  Most of these are delicious and are made in someone's home kitchen.

We tried tamales from several different sources over the years. Last year we realized that a lot of people would want to know what we were learning.  A Taste of Tamales by the Bay was conceived as an enjoyable way to learn more about tamales, sample excellent tamales and have a great time.

So we expanded our search efforts.  We scoured the internet, blogs, restaurant listings, even the phone book and checked with friends! We have tasted a lot of tamales in every style and source that we could find from Los Angeles to Healdsburg.  We even invited a dozen friends over to help us with tamale tasting.  It was fun and we learned a lot.  We want the people who come to this event to have that same kind of experience

We were pleased when we learned of La Cocina Community Kitchen because their mission of working with low-income entrepreneurs with food businesses dovetails with our own goal of assisting low-income communities.  And the quality of the entrepreneurs working with them is excellent.

Our thanks go to the tamale makers who make this event possible. Please support them by purchasing their tamales at the event, ordering from them in the future or visiting their establishments.

There are more excellent tamales available. Not all of the tamale makers that we invited could come this year. That's why this is now an annual event!

Tamales are more than just good food. They're about community. We hope that you will enjoy the results of our labors.

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