The Making of the Biggest Enchilada
Estrada’s creation, an enchilada 10.5 feet in diameter, was included in the Guinness Book of World Records when he cooked it in October 2000. It was then considered the world’s largest three-layered flat enchilada. However, a 230-foot rolled enchilada was made a few years later in Mexico, and Guinness officials now recognize that as the biggest enchilada ever made in the world.
Estrada, owner of Roberto’s Restaurant and Roberto’s Mexican Foods, was approached by the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce to add his cooking skills to the event that was then called “Vaquero Days.” Estrada has made the giant enchilada every year since 1980. “Over more than 30 years, he has shared his talents and enthusiasm with us and made The Whole Enchilada Fiesta such a success. We’re grateful for his continued contributions to our community, and wish him well as he continues feeding New Mexicans through his restaurant and tortilla factory. Roberto really does represent the best New Mexico has to offer.”
It was Estrada’s willingness to create the humongous enchilada that led to the start of The Whole Enchilada Fiesta. The fiesta had become one of the largest public events in New Mexico. “Originally, I said I would make the enchilada for 20 years,” Estrada said. “Then, I thought it would be historic to go to 25 years, and then 30. So, I think I went way past what I intended 34 years ago.
“It has been a wonderful experience for me, and hopefully, something that this community and all who have attended all these years will remember for many years to come.” Estrada also emphasized the making of the world’s largest flat enchilada couldn’t have happened without a lot of help from friends and family, and support from Las Cruces. “I thank and appreciate everyone and anyone that has worked the fiesta in any capacity, especially the volunteers without whose commitment and hard work the fiesta could not happen,” Estrada said. “To the community of Las Cruces, I especially owe my gratitude for their continued support by attending the fiesta year after year.”