Tonight, Top Chef season 12 comes to an end in Mexico. Chefs Gregory Gourdet and Mei Lin will face off in a four-course menu throwdown judged by star chefs like Hugh Acheson, Richard Blais, Traci Des Jardins, Gavin Kaysen and Sean Brock. Here, 12 delicious viewing party snacks inspired by the finale’s locale.
1. Spicy Guacamole
Kick up classic guacamole with a little jalapeño and crushed red chili flakes.
2. Roasted Fresh Chile Salsa
The roastiness of the chiles adds sweet richness to this salsa. The level of heat depends on which chiles you choose.
3. Mango Margarita
Coating the rim of the glass with chile powder gives this fruity margarita a fun kick.
4. Mexican Pizza
Deconstructed nachos were the inspiration behind this fun pizza.
Related: Top 100 Mexican Recipes
5. Bayless’s Queso Fundido al Tequila
Chef Rick Bayless’s simple, 20-minute dip of melted cheese flavored with tomatoes, chiles, onion and a hit of tequila is just the thing to satisfy any cheesy cravings.
6. Chips in Salsa
In this best possible version of flavored tortilla chips, chef (and guest judge on the Top Chef finale) Tracis Des Jardins tosses the just-fried chips with homemade salsa, then sprinkles them with a little Mexican Cotija cheese.
7. Green Chile Chicken Quesadillas
Green chiles add a subtle spice to these easy-to-make chicken quesadillas.
This is mixologist Philip Ward’s take on what might be Mexico’s most popular tequila drink. Instead of using the typical bottled grapefruit soda, he combines grapefruit juice, simple syrup and club soda.
9. Avocado Toasts with Oaxacan Sesame Sauce
Food writer and stylist Karen Gillingham makes this spicy, fragrant sauce inspired by a version she discovered at a hole-in-the-wall café in Mexico.
10. Crispy Corn Tortillas with Chicken and Cheddar
For these flautas, tortillas are rolled around a savory filling and pan-fried until crisp.
11. Spicy Black Bean Dip with Cotija Cheese
This easy dip comes together in just ten minutes.
12. Red Sangrita
In Mexico, sangrita, a mix of tomato juice, citrus juices and spices, is served well chilled and accompanied by a good tequila served neat.