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The best contest yet


Last updated 4/26/2007 at Noon

If last week I felt I was in the movie “Carrie,” then today I feel like Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life” when all of his friends arrive to bail him out.

As the contestants lined up early Sunday to register their entries, all I could think was how much the people in this town pull through in the end. Thank you to all of the participants. As much as we do as organizers, there is no contest without you.

All of you deserve a prize for responding on such short notice to my desperate call for entries. So, here are your names: Forrest Breese, Tim Coen, Hector Covarrubias, Imelda Estrella, Elaine Fountain, Colleen Garot, Victoria Jones, Sascha La Russo, Harriett Oppenborn, Matt Petrash, Johnny Sesma, David Smissen, Bruce Taylor, Elise Trouw. The professional contestants were Holy Guaca-Moly, Rocky Peak Farms, Albertson’s and Estrella’s Family Restaurant. If you know one of these people, you’re lucky. If you are one of these people, you make a difference.

And speaking of making a difference, the culinary team of volunteers was flawless. They were: Kathy Leonard (the real organizer), Diane Hagen (contest registration and organization), Nikki Welhaven (demonstration assistant and masseuse for Yujiro Masuda) and Bret Ginther (husband and doer of whatever needs to be done).

The judges had a tough job. Many of the final placements were quite close. In fact, the professional best overall ended in a tie, even when George Archibald, the festival president, was brought in to break it. And Holy Guaca-Moly, watch out – Rocky Peak Farms was right behind you.

And now, the best part: the results and the recipes.

Professional Results

Best Guacamole

First place: Holy Guaca-Moly

Second place: Rocky Peak Farms

Third place: Estrella’s Family Restaurant

Best Salsa

Estrella’s Family Restaurant

Most Creative Avocado Dish

Yujiro Masuda

Best Overall (tie)

Yujiro Masuda and Estrella’s Family Restaurant

Amateur Results

Best Guacamole

First place: Imelda Estrella

Second place: The David Smissen Family

Third place: Victoria Jones

Honorable Mention: Colleen Garot (for her use of basil)

Honorable Mention: Forrest Breese (audience favorite)

Best Salsa

First place: Dr. Tim Coen

Second place: Imelda Estrella

Third place: Elaine Fountain

Most Creative Avocado Dish

First place: Colleen Garot, Avocado Crab Cakes

Second place: Elise Trouw, Trouw Family Avocitrus Pie

Third place: Sascha La Russo, Bean and Avocado

Extravahamza Soup

Best Dish Using Fallbrook Fruit

First place: Colleen Garot, Raspberry Tiramisu

Second place: Imelda Estrella, Orange Flan

Best Overall ($100 cash prize)

Dr. Tim Coen, Mango Salsa

Congratulations to all! And if you did not win this year, know that many of the people who won were previous entrants who are now winning for the first time, so keep showing up.

Bean and Avocado

Extravahamza Soup

(Compliments of Sascha La Russo)

7 cups water

4 cups chicken broth

1 ham bone

1/2 cup ham pieces

5 ripe tomatoes OR 1 (28-oz.) can diced stewed


3 ripe Fallbrook avocados

1 package dry bean assortment

1 package black beans

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

1 celery bunch

2 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. salt

1-10 grinds of fresh black pepper (from


1 tsp. marjoram

1/2 tsp. ground cayenne

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

This wonderful soup can also be made into a dip. You must presoak the beans overnight (or at least 8 hours) and then rinse thoroughly. You may use a crock-pot or a large saucepan.

To begin, sauté the chopped onion with some garlic and olive oil. Then cut up all vegetables and set aside. Add water, broth and ham bone to pot. Bring to boil. Add beans; turn temperature to a low simmer. Add sautéed onions. Slowly add ham pieces and veggies, plus dry ingredients.

Simmer for 3-4 hours or on low in a crock-pot. Top soup with sour cream and sliced avocado.

Trouw Family Avocitrus Pie

Makes two pies

2 (9-inch) prepared graham

cracker pie crusts

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 envelope lime gelatin

5 (14-oz.) cans sweetened

condensed milk

5 avocados

1 cup heavy cream

In bowl, mix lemon juice and lime gelatin. Add condensed milk to mixture and mix.

Peel and pit the avocados and fully mix in. Add heavy cream and mix in. Pour in crusts, level using spoon.

Chill for at least 2 hours.

Guacamole Del Diablo

(Compliments of Forrest Breese)

4-5 Fallbrook avocados

1/2 tbsp. Fallbrook lime juice

1 tsp. salt

1/8 onion

4 pinches white pepper

1 pinch celery salt

4 pinches black pepper

1/4 olive oil

1/4 cup Fallbrook Red Serrano pepper mash

Forrest made his guac with Serrano peppers he fermented at home. His guacamole is pureed.


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