On April 11th, 2016 Chef’s Plate, the ultimate traveling cooking competition, was all about Avocados from Mexico. The final round of our Avocado Madness recipe competition, sponsored by Avocados From Mexico, took place at Mess Hall inside the newly-opened Liberty Public Market in San Diego, California. Chef’s Roll started with 64 specially selected chefs from across the United States to compete over a period of 5 weeks. Each week, the number of chefs was trimmed down in half until the Final Four remained. After a month of submitting avocado-inspired recipes from tacos, sandwiches, to appetizers, Chef’s Roll had their Final Four chefs: Luis A. Santos of Puerto Rico, Ashleigh Fleming Scherman from North Carolina, Joshua Ingraham from Ohio and Mark Betram from Idaho. After much deliberation and emphasis on creativity, originality, and presentation, the Chef’s Roll judging panel chose Joshua Ingraham (Delaware North Executive Chef of the Cleveland Indians baseball team) and Ashleigh Fleming Scherman (Executive Chef of the Carolina Club at UNC) to advance to the final round.
They competed in front of a LIVE audience and celebrated judging panel including: Chef Ricardo Heredia – Avocado Madness winner 2015 and World Food Champion 2015, Chef Drew Deckman – Michelin-starred chef and propietor of Deckman’s in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico, Chef Claudia Sandoval – MasterChef 6 winner, Chef Mark Garcia – Avocados From Mexico Director of Food Service Marketing, Chef Javier Plascencia – award-winning Executive Chef of Bracero and Grupo Plascencia and Chef Colin Murray – Chef De Cuisine of Mess Hall.
To start, guests enjoyed an Avocados From Mexico signature cocktail by Blue Bridge Hospitality Wine Director Greg Majors and Little Brother Citra Session IPA from Bitter Brothers Brewing Co., before being invited to watch and taste as the chefs created an avocado-inspired appetizer, entree and dessert for all in attendance. The first course’s required ingredient was Opah loin provided by Catalina Offshore Products, which was paired with a 2013 Chardonnay from Dutton Ranch in the Russian River Valley. The second course’s required ingredient was Aussie lamb loin provided my Meat Livestock Australia, which was paired with a 2012 Laki’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the Oak Knoll District in Napa Valley. Both wines were courtesy of Eleven Eleven Wines.
Photography by Rob Forsyth.