One of the major culinary trends in recent years has been the growth of global flavors and ethnic fare. As the leading producer of Hispanic-style cheese and dairy products in the United States, California is well positioned to take advantage of this growing trend.

To showcase these items and encourage the creation of innovative dishes using Hispanic-style cheeses and dairy products from California, the CMAB is launching a new culinary event in 2022: the Cal-Mex Invitational.

Cal-Mex is a fusion of California cuisine and traditional Mexican cooking, focusing on fresh and seasonal ingredients traditionally found in the state, lighter proteins and plant-forward dishes, as well as new takes on Mexican regional dishes like tacos, tlayudas, and alambres. Cal-Mex offers a great canvas to showcase Hispanic-style cheeses.

Building off the success of the Real California Pizza Contest and inaugural CADairy2Go event, the Cal-Mex Invitational will bring together top Hispanic-style and Tex-Mex chefs from across the country to prepare creative Cal-Mex dishes that showcase California cheese and dairy as a key ingredient. The CMAB will challenge these chefs to showcase their interpretation of the culinary and flavor fusion of California and Mexican cuisines.

The primary goal of this new competition is to increase awareness and demand for sustainably sourced California dairy products in the foodservice sector. The Cal-Mex Invitational will serve to reinforce chefs’ awareness of California as the top Hispanic-style cheese and dairy producer in the U.S., while also celebrating the creative diversity of specialty ethnic cheeses made in California.

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