Mercadito Takes On Childhood Hunger with National “Tacos for Strength” Campaign

Mercadito Takes On Childhood Hunger with National "Tacos for Strength" Campaign
All Mercadito restaurants in New York City, Chicago and Las Vegas kick off 2015 with the most exclusive roster of guest chefs to date, showcasing their culinary skills and abilities to “think outside the tortilla” for the 5th Annual Tacos for Strength campaign (Photo courtesy:

From Top Chef Masters and James Beard winners to several Food & Wine Best New Chefs and celebrated television culinary personalities, the highly regarded chefs join Mercadito’s Chef Patricio Sandoval in his initiative to support Share Our Strength and its mission to end childhood hunger.

The 2015 Tacos for Strength campaign features:

  • January: John Gremo (17◦ South, Las Vegas)
  • February: Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot Bistro in Chicago, judge on “MasterChef” and “MasterChef Junior” and Culinary Director of Lollapalooza)
  • March: Guillermo Tellez (Tippling Hall, Chicago)
  • April: Radhika Desai (contestant on “Top Chef”)
  • May: Rick Moonen (Rick Moonen’s rm Seafood and Rx Boiler Room in Las Vegas, runner-up on “Top Chef Masters”)
  • June: Sammy “D” DeMarco (host of “Chowmasters”)
  • July: Joe Farina (Rosebud, Chicago)
  • August: Kurt Guzowski (TETE, Chicago)
  • September: Kim Canteenwalla (Made L.V., Honey Salt and Andiron, Las Vegas)
  • October: Alex Stratta (Tapas by Alex Stratta, Las Vegas)
  • November: John Tesar (Knife, Dallas)
  • December: Patricio Sandoval (Mercadito; Chicago, Las Vegas and New York City)

Each month, Sandoval invites a different chef to create a taco inspired by their culinary or personal passions, which will be served in all Mercadito restaurants with a portion of proceeds going to Share Our Strength. Since its inception, Tacos for Strength has sold more than 3,500 tacos and raised thousands of dollars to benefit Share Our Strength.

“Since we started the Tacos for Strength campaign, I’ve had the honor of working with the best in the business, from a variety of different culinary backgrounds and restaurants,” Sandoval says. “I’m so excited for the 2015 campaign, we have some of the most talented and notable chefs from across the country participating. In fact, I’m so impressed by the talent participating this year, I will create a special taco in December for Mercadito, something I haven’t done in the entire campaign.”

The 2015 Tacos for Strength program launches with Chef John Gremo of 17◦ South in Las Vegas and his New England Fish and Chips Taco with New England fresh haddock, diced tomato, cilantro, lemon and a fresh dill caper tartar. Born and raised in New England, Chef Gremo stays true to his roots and his love of New England cuisine with his take on the taco for January.

February continues with Chef Graham Elliot, “MasterChef” favorite, owner of Graham Elliot Bistro in Chicago and Culinary Director of Lollapalooza. For the second month of Tacos for Strength, Elliot chose to create a Smoked Salmon Taco with pickled shallots, fried capers and dill crème fraiche.

Additional chef creations for Tacos for Strength will be announced at a later date.

Tacos for Strength are available for dinner for (four per order) for $17.50 or for lunch (three per order) for $14.50. Tacos for Strength are available at Mercadito Avenue B (212-529-6490, located at179 Ave. B between 11th and 12th Streets in New York, Mercadito Chicago (312-329-9555, located at 108 W. Kinzie St. in Chicago) or Mercadito Red Rock (702-979-3609, located in Red Rock Resort and Casino at 11011 W. Charleston Blvd. in Las Vegas). For additional information, please visit