BREAKING NEWS: KC tortilleria wins James Beard Award  

Yoli Tortilleria / Photo by Rebecca Norden and Caleb Condit

It’s time to pop some champagne and stock up on some award-winning tortillas! The James Beard Awards were held last night in Chicago and KC’s beloved Yoli Tortilleria (1668 Jefferson St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
) took home the award for Outstanding Bakery. 

When Yoli owner Marissa Gencarelli took to the stage to accept the award from Chef and TV personality Carla Hall. In Gencarelli’s speech, she thanked the James Beard organization and Kansas City community for “helping [her and her husband] honor the very humble tortilla.”

The Westside tortilleria was one of two Kansas City establishments who attended the awards. Shawnee-based cocktail bar Drastic Measures was also a finalist for Outstanding Bar but Bar Leather Apron in Honolulu, Hawaii ultimately took the win. 

The stone ground non-GMO corn tortillas and Sonoran-style flour tortillas are products inspired by Marissa’s roots in Sonora, Mexico. She and her husband Mark began selling them as a vendor at the Overland Park Farmer’s Market in 2018. The Yoli storefront opened in July of 2020. 

While you can find Yoli’s tortillas in restaurants and grocery stores across the metro (and at their vendor booth on Saturdays at the Overland Park Farmers Market), they’re not the only product the Gencarellis excel in. Their quaint shop constantly rotates with seasonal delights like horchatas, breakfast burritos, paletas, blue corn tamales and salsas. 

If you like some heat, the Taco Stand salsa a personal favorite and a fridge staple. The creamy spring green salsa has a bright base of jalapenos, habaneros, tomatillos and serranos. 

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