South Philly Barbacoa and Chris’ Jazz Cafe collaborate for fundraiser

The evening of tacos and tequila will benefit the rights of undocumented workers.

South Philadelphia culinary and activism paragon Cristina Martínez. (GRACE MAIORANO/South Philly Review)

On Thursday, Jan. 17 from 6 to 10 p.m., Chris’ Jazz Café is hosting a pay-what-you-want “Tacos & Tequila” fundraising dinner with South Philly Barbacoa owners Ben Miller and Cristina Martinez who gained international praises for their critically-acclaimed cuisine and immigrant rights activism. They’ve been featured in Bon Appetit magazine, Netflix’s Chef’s Table, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and more.

The evening of tacos, tequila and Latin jazz will benefit the Philly-based P.A.U.W.R. (Popular Alliance for Undocumented Workers’ Rights), which “advocates for justice, equality, and dignity for undocumented restaurant workers.”

“We are thankful for the collaboration with the team at Chris’ to raise money to advocate for the rights of the working undocumented immigrants in this city’s professional kitchens,” said Martinez and Miller in a statement.

“We hope to use the platform of food in our social culture to bring awareness and ultimately policy change for the millions of hardworking undocumented immigrants who have helped build our country’s food system and great restaurants,” Miller continued. “We cannot continue to stay silent about the reality we see in our kitchens every day, and we are grateful for chefs who are willing to step up to the challenge of working towards a better more sustainable restaurant industry.”

The dinner will feature small plates and specialty tequila cocktails.

The menu includes Garnacha Oaxaqueña with beef picada, crema, chapulines (grasshoppers) salsa and queso fresco from Chefs Jhonny Rincon & Mark DeNinno of Chris’ Jazz Café.

Chefs Cristina Martinez and Ben Miller will be serving Tacos Dorados — their renowned crispy fried lamb tacos.

Other participants include Sous Chef Kurt Evans of South, Katie Briggs of Eclectic Domestic, Han Chiang of Han Dynasty, Chef Ari Miller of Musi BYOB, Catzie Vilayphonh of Laos in the House and Jena Harris of 1149 Cooperative.

The chefs will be preparing a variety of dishes, including vegetarian and vegan options.

The menu of tequila cocktails, which are priced at $12, includes the following:

Kernel of Truth — Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, elote shrub, lime

Captain’s MargaritaPatron Silver, Ancho Reyes Verde Poblano Liqueur, pineapple juice, lime

Chapulines — Patron Reposado, roasted cricket bitters, avocado oil, bianco vermouth

Last of the OaxacansPatron Anejo, piloncillo syrup, mole bitters

I Left My Heart in MexicoPatron XO, Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur, hot chocolate, cinnamon

Tickets cost $10 with proceeds going to the band. Donation for the dinner is pay-what-you-want. Tickets are available at the door or online at: