This past Sunday, I participated in MANNA’s first annual Guac-Off. MANNA is an amazing organization that provides nourishing meals and nutritional counseling to people with acute and chronic illnesses. When I first heard of the Guac-Off, I signed up on a whim, because it’s a great cause and why the heck wouldn’t I sign up for a guacamole competition?
Well, a good reason would have been the fact that I did not actually have a guacamole recipe. I mean, I often make guacamole, but it’s usually more of a see-what’s-in-the-fridge-and-mix-it-up-until-it-tastes-good type of thing rather than an actual recipe. So I searched online for authentic, fun, and/or interesting guacamole recipes, had a party in my backyard, and forced my friends to taste test five different combinations (I really had to twist their arms for that…) and vote on their favorite. The clear winner was the pomegranate mango guacamole (though I was partial to the corn chipotle one myself). So I took that, continued to work on it, and came up with what I can only humbly call an awesome bowl of guac.
The mango blends in nicely with the creamy texture of the avocados, and the pomegranate seeds provide an excellent crunch and bright burst of flavor. This recipe also highlights the fruit with a ton of citrus goodness and a solid kick from red pepper flakes. It’s basically a party in your mouth. I knew it would be perfect for the competition.
|All the competitors|
There were 10 teams total at the Guac-Off, three of which included professional chefs. The judges were the head chef at MANNA, Keith Lucas, and food writer Drew Lazor, and the whole competition was MCed by drag queen extraordinaire, Miss Brittany Lynn. The event was sold out, and in the end we raised close to $3,000, enough to feed hundreds of people.
|The judges and the MC|
|The winner, Chef Robert Legget of Guerilla Ultima food truck|
I personally was overwhelmed by the fact that I was making food for so many people, in front of so many people, and being judged up against professionals. Overall, I’m super proud of how my guacamole did (I came in second place for the Peoples’ Choice Award) and am incredibly happy that I got to participate in such a fun event and help raise any kind of money and/or awareness for such an amazing organization. I will definitely be back next year, though I’m not quite sure how I’m going to top this guacamole recipe…