Boy, you can't argue with the caliber of guest chef talent that Tavernita and Mercadito have been drawing since Ryan Poli joined up. It helps that it's all for charity, but that's not the only reason other chefs like to come and play at their Latin-flavored parties. First up, for April 1 and no foolin', Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia and Phillip Foss of EL Ideas will be the guest chefs for the latest Amigos of Pintxo event at Barcito (inside Tavernita), benefiting Pilot Light, an organization started by culinary professionals to help teach kids about better nutrition in the schools and via other organizations. The drill is that from 8 to 10 p.m., $25 gets you all you can eat pintxos, including the special ones conjured up by the guest chefs; beer, wine and kegged cocktails are available for purchase.
Meanwhile, at Mercadito, they invite a guest chef over each month to invent a new taco for Tacos For Strength, benefiting Share Our Strength; 5% of the proceeds of that item go to Share Our Strength, which has amounted to over $7,000 since the program started. This month's is from a chef whose name is almost an anagram for taco: Gene Kato of Sumi Robata Bar. His Soy-Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly Tacos with pickled daikon salad will be available all through the month of April.