New Hires, Departures, and Projects in Tacolicious Land

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Telmo Faria at the Ferry Plaza with a taco. Photo from Facebook.

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Donnie Masterson. Photo courtesy Tacolicious.

There are some changes to report from the ~TACOLICIOUS~ crew: after working with the team as executive chef/operations since 2009 (just one month after founder Joe Hargrave started the Tacolicious stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market), chef Telmo Faria is going to be diminishing his role with the company so he can start to focus more on launching his Portuguese project (he was born in the Azores, and this is a project he has been thinking about and planning for a long time).

You may have noticed the pop-up Faria has been hosting at Merigan Sub Shop, Uma Casa. His event on May 24th is sold out, but he’ll be hosting more on June 7th and 21st. We’ll keep you posted in the coming months as his concept takes shape. And to be clear, Faria will still be involved with Tacolicious and appearing at special events, but is working in a different capacity now.

A lot has happened for Tacolicious since those market days: there are now four locations, plus a line of Williams-Sonoma products and a cookbook. And now there is going to be a new project in San Miguel de Allende opening in late 2015 called the Tacolicious Taco Lab. Hargrave and Sara Deseran are going to partner with chef Donnie Masterson, who worked with Hargrave for four years when they were at Rose Pistola, LuLu, Zibibbo, and Azie. Masterson, who is half Mexican, lives in San Miguel and has a restaurant there called The Restaurant and his own farm. His extensive culinary background includes working for chef David Bouley and Patrick Clark, as well as the executive chef for Joachim Splichal’s Patina Group. He will now also be the executive chef of the Taco Lab and will function as the company’s overall culinary consultant.

Hargrave and Masterson plan to “tinker with new dishes” at the lab every quarter, and then have Masterson come up to SF to integrate the dishes at the Tacolicious locations. (Tacolicious team members will also have the opportunity to travel to San Miguel de Allende to work.) At the moment, they’re working on a new ceviche program, plus gorditas and panuchos.

If you happen to be in San Miguel de Allende for the Sabores San Miguel food festival in June (which is largely put on by Masterson), you’ll see Hargrave and Deseran there, along with Neal Fraser (Redbird and Vibiana, both in LA), and Carlo Mirarchi (Roberta’s, NYC) and about 15,000 attendees.