Initially when I got the invite to attend this “avocado week” event, I was quite perplexed. Why, you ask? Well this week is California Avocado Week here in beautiful weather-less California and this event at Downtown Disney was to show to the media (and ultimately you all we have the opportunity to write to) about how AH-SOME avocados really are. California Avocados to be exact.
Initially, that was a scary thought. A week dedicated to a green
veggie fruit. Would there be people dressed in avocado green or dressed as a life-sized avocado?? Would we sing songs about them?
I didn’t care.
As long as I got to eat some avocado, I was good with anything that could happen.
Well I ate, folks and none of that ridiculous stuff happened. So that being said, it was a great event that really highlighted the many things you can do with avocado. Among other things, we were shown many ways how to cook them by the people who really love the green
veggie fruit because they’ve dedicated their lives and careers to it.
That love for avocados lead to the creation of this event in Downtown Disney where any visitor to the Disneyland Resort can participate in a free cooking demonstration happening everyday at 5 PM from now until July 7!
During our media day, we were able to participate in one of these cooking demonstrations, and here’s how it went down!
The “Main Stage” at Downtown Disney located in front of AMC Theaters and Rainforest Cafe is the venue for these cooking demonstrations. After the event, it becomes a lonely DJ platform.
I was greeted at the media check-in table with this huge bag of goodies from a majority of the stores in Downtown Disney. All of them were too generous.
The event began a little behind schedule, but when it started, we were introduced to our host, Wendy. It got a little awkward at times as she “hosted” us and introduced the guests on stage like the chefs from the Downtown Disney restaurants. It’s ok though, she was a good DJ.
After the introduction of the chefs, including our good friend Chef Reyna from the La Brea Bakery, it was time for one of those chefs to stay on stage and make a featured dish that is being sold at their respective restaurant just for California Avocado Week!
Today’s chef was Chef Thomas Keaveny from the ESPN Zone. He showed us how to make Mini California Avocado Shrimp Clubs. Did I mention it had bacon?
In the words of Cars Land, “Here It Is.”
So if there’s one thing you all should know about these culinary demonstrations, it is this: YOU GET FREE STUFF! Yes, that beautiful bacon-laden bite was free.
You’ll also probably get FREE food recipes that feature, yes, avocado!
There was more free things to come, but not now. After Chef Keavney’s presentation, it was time for something that happens after every culinary demonstration.
It was time for the “Guac Off”.
As DJ Wendy told us, guacamole is probably the most widely known use of the green
veggie fruit and what better way to show that then by having contestants from our small crowd come up on stage and create guac…from scratch!
Long story short, the Guac Off is held every time after the culinary demos and the competition to create the best guacamole is the same. 3 contestants, 15 minutes, and 19 ingredients. The best guac will win a $100 Downtown Disney Gift Card and $85 California Avocado Gift Pack. Yes, WIN = FREE.
What I found during this whole game was that 15 minutes to create the best guacamole felt like a LONG time. DJ Wendy tried her best to entertain us by throwing us an avocado-in-a-beach-ball and pumping some smooth what felt like K-EARTH 101 tunes, but it can only do so much!
People were actually leaving as judgement took place, but I recommend staying through it even though it is awkwardly placed. You’ll end up getting more FREE stuff. Hopefully. This time it was…
FREE Guac! And Chips, of course. Thanks Tortilla Jo’s!
The winner was eventually chosen and that concluded the whole event. Again, folks, I think this demo is worth going to if you’re in the Downtown Disney area. Remember it starts everyday beginning right now at 5 PM on the Downtown Disney Main Stage in front of AMC Theaters and Rainforest Cafe. Get your FREE loot!
Although that event was done, our event was just beginning! The media was invited to attend a dinner at Catal Restaurant in Downtown Disney. FREE dinner? Sure, why not.
This dinner was a more intimate affair than the culinary demo was. We had to grab our name tags before entering the beautiful dining room at Catal. It was going to be a social affair. Time to get DisneyExaminer out there to the other media people joining tonight!
Our view from our circular dining room for the media dinner.
The menu. Filled with avocados! This special menu was created just for us. Special, we felt.
Before the actual food was to be served he had the chance to meet some important people who were responsible for creating this event. I had the wonderful opportunity to sit next to two of those people.
Jan DeLyser (L), who is the Vice President of Marketing for the California Avocado Commission and Doug O’Hara (R) an avocado farmer and board member of the California Avocado Commission.
The California Avocado Commission is basically a collection of individuals who love the green
veggie fruit so much that they’ve decided to give their lives to it…literally. Their career and objective is to pretty promote the California Avocado. Crazy? Not to them. They believe in this product and from the increasing demand of California Avocados in the last couple of years, they’re doing a great job!
After introducing ourselves to the rest of the group dining with us, it was time for dinner!
The first course was a Tartare of Japanese hamachi with green shiso, crispy wakame, agretti and California avocado-jalepeno sorbet.
The second course was a Confit of suckling pig with sweet corn, zucchini blossoms, smoked pork jus, smoked California avocado and house-made chicharrones. Goodness, it was good.
The third course, dessert, was the main attraction in my opinion. It was a double chocolate tart with California avocado mint puree, lace tuille and Harry’s Berries blackberries. The avocado mint puree was genius and it worked so well!
Dinner was so good and although not a free treat for all of you to enjoy with us, I hope that those dishes gave you some new ideas of what you can do with avocados.
That pretty much what this whole event is about, folks. The point that screamed at me throughout this whole event was the universality of the avocado. It goes beyond guacamole.
I was talking to Doug O’Hara during dinner and he told me so much that he and his family do with avocado - from putting it on bagels to putting it on burgers. It can be used anywhere in any foods.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering…why California avocados? Great question! It’s because of the awesome climate we’re in that are ideal for growing this product. That translates into good avocados.
California Avocado Week is an attempt to pretty much put it out there that California Avocados are the best because they are consistent in flavor, output, and overall quality. In doing so, the green
veggie fruit is then showcased to consumers like us at events like these to get us in the avocado craze!
And this event worked at just doing that. I remember before I knew about this event, I always came across this ad below.
I’m pretty sure ALL of you have seen this ad before on TV and you can be rest assured that the people who put this ad out mean business and you can bet that I’ll be stopping by my local market today to pick up some California avocados to put on our burgers…or hot dogs, or bagels…
Avocados are more than just guac, folks. It’s a super food.
I hope that all of you can head down to Downtown Disney sometime this week to attend one of these avocado events. It’ll be worth it. For more information on the rest of the culinary demonstrations happening this week, click HERE.
Our special thanks to the California Avocado Commission and the Disneyland Resort for such a wonderful time and all the goodies…
Yes, all the goodies.
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