Food Tacopacolypse chef and creator Sam Auen. (Juice File Photo)

Tacopacolypse chef and creator Sam Auen. (Juice File Photo)

Tacopocalypse to handle homeless shelter’s Thanksgiving meal

Published on November 20th, 2013 | by Josh Hafner

Chef Sam Auen and his crew behind Tacopocalypse will serve up turkey tacos and more traditional holiday fare on Thanksgiving Day  for guests of  Central Iowa Shelter and Services in Des Moines.

The meal, made up of food collected and donated by the recently-opened East Village restaurant, will be served by volunteers in conjunction with the Young Professionals Connection.

“It’s in the true Thanksgiving experience to provide for people who can’t provide for themselves,” Auen said. “The day is supposed to be a special day so I and my staff really want to be a part of it.”

Auen stepped in last-minute to assist on the project after a previous food provider backed out. He said serving 300-plus clients and staffers won’t quality as the largest event he’s catered. It is, however, the first he’s served with donated food.

Auen’s accepting anything — think bags of potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkeys and canned green beans — at Tacopocalypse’s storefront at 621 Des Moines St. in the East Village as he plots what should be a unique Thanksgiving meal.

“That’s kind of what my team and I worked out: We would see what we get donated and we would work out the menu around that,” he said.

The cooks at Tacopocalypse will stuff most anything into a tortilla if it tastes good and have been serving up fall flavors for weeks now. A turkey confit taco recently proved popular, the chef said.

Auen hopes to serve his standard street-food style tacos along with turkey versions as well as Tacopocalypse’s take on the classics including cranberries, mashed potatoes, stuffing — “the whole nine yards.”

Just one request was made by staff, Auen said: Please don’t make spaghetti.

“Ninety percent of the church groups (that volunteer at the shelter) serve spaghetti  and everyone is sick with it,” he said.

For more information on the event, visit the Young Professionals Connection. Food donations can be made at Tacopocalypse.  Email the restaurant for details. 


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About the Author

covers young professionals for The Des Moines Register. Josh can be reached at or on Twitter via @joshhafner.

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