Hobby Chefs Dish Up Avocado Recipes In A Tough Culinary Competition – The Avocado Showdown!
It’s been a rough life being an Avocados from Mexico in the past few months. I’ve been creating delicious avocado-based dishes, interviewing sports royalty and celebrity chefs, giving myself avocado facials, and the worst yet, having to sample through tasty avocado dishes to judge the Avocado Showdown at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA)! There were nineteen dishes in all and we had to sample them all, at least once!
My awesome co-judges were Angie Quaale, from Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store, Crystal Allen, blogger from Hello Creative Family, Dennis Pang, new father extraordinaire and Pangcouver blogger and Lisa Bolton, from Food Bloggers of Canada and Food Well Said.
There was everything from drinks to desserts and of course some guacamole! Kitchen Uncorked produced a Mediterranean Avocado Dip, Live Well, Live Green rolled up a Vegan Black Bean Burrito Roll topped with with guac, and More Than Your Average Mom dished up a Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Zesty Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing; and that was just the start.
It truly was a tough competition as we judged based on appearance, creativity and taste. Avocado can be a tough one as it browns and softens quickly, and, since dishes had to be prepared in advance, it’s tricky to present them looking fresh.
There were a few dishes that really shone and one thing I must mention to anyone cooking is don’t be afraid to season. Salt and acid are your friends when used correctly and a little can go a long way in elevating a dish. Sprinkle, splash and spritz away!
Recipes were submitted blindly, so there was no way of knowing who made what, but a couple of my pals ended up grabbing the first and second place. Emily Caulfield, blogger of The Fat Pigs and front of house manager at The Portly Chef, won the ultimate avocado championship with a Sweet & Spicy Mole, Jalapeño Biscuit and Avocado Ice Cream dish.
Runner-up winner was Alyssa Dawson, avid foodie and host at Novus TV, who created a Tropical No-Bake Cheesecake.
Vicki Siu and Teresa To, local food enthusiasts, took home third-place with a Chipotle Chicado Soup that had a great spicy kick to it!
Emily Caulfield was on Global TV as well, showcasing her award-winning recipe.
The winners and their prizes – Pro shots from Sean Neild!
Justin Darnes of Drinks Undressed created an avocado drink called the Alligator Fizz; creative and refreshing.
PICA served up a plethora of appies and while we judged chef Darren Clay cooked up Avocado & Side Stripe Shrimp Spring Roll with Lemongrass Dipping Sauce and then each attendee made their own roll.
For event photos and recipes, please visit Avocados from Mexico Facebook page.
If you missed the event, watch the video from Novus TV to join in on the fiesta!
For more recipe ideas, nutritional information and tips, visit MY avocado section at GOOD LIFE VANCOUVER or www.avocadosfrommexico.ca
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