San Antonio's United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Creative City of Gastronomy is presenting the second annual Pueblos del Maiz as part of a multicity celebration of corn as a heritage ingredient found in many foods.

A news release states the city will be sponsoring cooking demonstrations and corn—or “maiz” in Spanish—tastings, and will include special corn dishes offered by San Antonio restaurants.

Local and visiting chefs from Tucson, Arizona, and Merida, Mexico—two fellow Creative Cities—will be part of a Maiz Showcase at Pearl from 5:30-8:30 p.m. May 12.

The demonstrations will be held at the Culinary Institute of America of San Antonio's outdoor grill to provide an educational cooking demonstration using sustainable ingredients and share the impact climate change has on their local cuisine, the release states.

As part of the city’s Pueblos del Maiz celebration, chefs will also incorporate corn in their dishes and share how it connects with each city’s culinary heritage.

Colleen Swain, director of the city’s World Heritage Office, which oversees the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy designation in San Antonio, said corn is considered a local heritage ingredient that links San Antonio's rich tradition to its fellow Creative Cities.

“Pueblos del Maiz is an opportunity for San Antonio residents and visitors to get a taste of this history, learn about the role corn has played in the foods of our ancestors and explore it in creative ways,” Swain said in a statement.

On May 13, chef Johnny Hernandez and visiting chefs will prepare a “Taste of Pueblos del Maiz” at Casa Hernan, 411 E. Cevallos St., south of downtown.

This ticketed event provides an array of corn tastings, desserts and cocktails alongside a curated selection of cookbooks featuring maiz from their collection. Additionally, Andres Lobato, a photographer from Puebla, Mexico, will provide a lecture and photography exhibit: “Mazorca, Multicolored Pattern of Traditions and Culture of Maiz in Puebla, Mexico” available for purchase through a silent auction.

Additionally, 16 San Antonio restaurants and one brewery are participating by offering corn dishes and beverages as part of this monthlong program, the release states.

When visiting restaurants to purchase these special items, customers may collect free Pueblos del Maiz stickers. This year’s Pueblos del Maiz participating restaurants are:

  • Chicken N Pickle, 5215 UTSA Blvd., San Antonio
  • Cuishe Cocina Mexicana, 115 N. Loop 1604 E., Ste. 1108, San Antonio
  • Elotitos Corn Bar, 1933 Fredericksburg Road, Ste. 105, San Antonio
  • Munchies, 5602 W. Hausman Road, San Antonio
  • Naco 210 Mexican Eatery, 2015 N. Loop 410 E., San Antonio
  • Zedric’s, 9873 Colonnade Blvd., San Antonio
  • Lala’s Gordita, 1600 Roosevelt Ave., San Antonio
  • Bilia Eatery, 1900 NW Military Hwy., Castle Hills
  • Stixs & Stone, 5718 Wurzbach Road, San Antonio
  • The Fruteria, 1401 S. Flores St., Ste. 102, San Antonio
  • Santa Diabla, 906 E. Elmira St., San Antonio
  • The Good Kind, 1127 S. Mary’s St., San Antonio
  • 2M Smokehouse, 2731 W.W. White Road, San Antonio
  • Pharm Table, 611 S. Presa St., Ste. 106, San Antonio
  • Sari-Sari Filipino Restaurant, Market and Bakery, 5700 Wurzbach Road, Leon Valley
  • Sari-Sari Supper Club, 10234 Hwy. 151, Ste. 102, San Antonio
  • Freetail Brewery, 2000 S. Presa St., San Antonio

Freetail Brewery is featuring a new brew for Pueblos del Maiz called Flor del Maiz, which the brewery produced in partnership with Ancient Heirloom Grains and S.A. Colonial Tortilleria, the release states.

Stephen Paprocki, San Antonio UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy chef ambassador and president of Chef Cooperatives, said San Antonio is the prime location to celebrate Pueblos del Maiz.

“Corn is a staple ingredient and abundant in many foods and drinks in San Antonio,” Paprocki said in a statement. “It can be found in traditional foods, such as tortillas and tamales; however, thanks to the talents of our city's diverse culinary industry, we now see corn incorporated into more creative dishes.”