Saturday, August 8, 2015

Foodies

BC's First Avocado Champ

Showdown unites food lovers

By Amy Chen, Town Hall Brands

 

Avocados from Mexico hosted the first Avo Showdown in Vancouver. Photo by Mashed Thoughts.

 

n July 21st, local passionate food lovers and bloggers gathered at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) for the inaugural Avo Showdown event in Vancouver. Hosted by Avocados from Mexico, the Avo Showdown saw 19 teams to showcase their creativity and culinary talents by creating an avocado dish for competition. The dishes were blind-tasted by five prominent food and lifestyle experts as judges.

 

While there was (surprisingly) no guacamole involved in this year's competition, all competitors outweighed creativity scale with one-of-a-kind avocado dishes. From savoury to sweet, there was an avocado flavour for every palate, including the Chocolate Fudge Birthday Cake from Radiant Rachels, Mediterranean Avocado Dip from Kitchen Uncorked, Vegan Black Bean Burrito Rolls from Live Well, Live Green, Savoury Avocado Cream Bites from One Wet Foot, Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Zesty Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing from More Than Your Average Mom, and many more.

Judges:
• Angie Quaale, Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store
• Cassandra Anderton, Good Life Vancouver
• Crystal Allen, Hello Creative Family
• Dennis Pang, Pangcouver
• Lisa Bolton, Food Bloggers of Canada and Food Well Said

Winners of the Avo Showdown L to R: Alyssa Dawson, Emily Caulfield, Vicki Siu, Teresa To. Photo by Sean Neild, Flavor Town Adventures.

 

After a very intense and close competition, 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. As a food blogger and recent culinary school graduate, the recipe incorporates multiple cooking methods and is a fun twist for those who are indecisive between sweet or savoury food.

Runner-up winner was Alyssa Dawson, avid foodie and host at Novus TV, who created a Tropical No-Bake Cheesecake that is perfect for the hot summer days. 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.

 

Justin Darnes prepares the Alligator Fizz. Photo by Sean Neild, Flavor Town Adventures.

 

Cocktail master Justin Darnes of Drinks Undressed jumped behind the bar to showcase the diversity and fun of avocados beyond cooking and baking. Darnes created a delicious and refreshing New Orleans inspired cocktail called the Alligator Fizz.

 

To make this one-of-a-kind event complete, attendees were also given hands-on time in the kitchen. Executive culinary chef Darren Clay from PICA tested everyone's culinary talents by teaching them the Avocado & Side Stripe Shrimp Spring Roll with Lemongrass Dipping Sauce.

 

"Vancouver has a very vibrant and passionate food scene. The moment you enter Avo Showdown, you can immediately feel the enthusiasm. The level of creativity and time put into each dish is also phenomenal. It's nice to see more people are recognizing this and want to be a part of it all year long, like Avocados from Mexico," says Cassandra Anderton, founder of
Good Life Vancouver.

 

The winning dish: Sweet & Spicy Mole, Jalapeño Biscuit & Avocado Ice Cream. Photo by Sean Neild, Flavor Town Adventures.

 

Anderton adds, "as Avocados from Mexico are always in season and that 80% of avocados in Canada are from Mexico, the Avo Showdown is a great event to showcase the versatility and fun that we can have with avocados in many dish and drink."

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!

 

 

About Avacados from Mexico

Of all avocados consumed in Canada, 80% of avocados come from Mexico. Mexico is the world's top avocado producer (over 1, 200 growers in the Michoacán region), far outranking the United States and Chile. Currently, Canada is the second biggest importer of Mexican avocados, ranking under the United States and just above Japan.

For more recipe ideas, nutritional information and tips, visit www.avocadosfrommexico.ca

Connect with Avocados From Mexico on Facebook or Twitter.

If you're having an avocado, use the hashtags #LoveAnAvocadoToday or #AlwaysInSeason.

 

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