No. 1: Did you guess? The Gilroy Garlic Festival, of course! More specifically, The Great Garlic Cookoff! I’m here in Gilroy getting ready for all the action. Last night, I had the honor of attending the contestants’ welcome dinner at the home of Tom and Valerie Obata. I got to meet all the contestants–it’s going to be quite a cookoff! The list of recipes reads like a fine restaurant menu. Check it out:
Robin Kessler (Sarasota, FL): Afrikaner Butternut Tart with Roasted Chickpeas and Sweet Chili Drizzle.
Mary Edwards (Long Beach, CA): Scampi Style Seafood Bisque with Garlic & Herb Breadsticks
Renata Stanko (Lebanon, OR): Roasted Garlic Berry Gazpacho with Feta Cheese and Green Peppercorns
Karen Harris (Castle Rock, CO): Carnival Style Fish Sticks with Lemony Jalapeno Mayonnaise and Spicy Apple Kohlrabi Slaw
Kristine Snyder (Kihei, HI): Mahi Mahi Laulau with Shitaki Risotto, Candied Garlic and Coconut Cream
Stacey Clayton (Sechelt B.C., Canada): West Coast Glazed Wild Salmon, Dungeness Dilled Crabcakes ontop Wasabi Garlic Mashed Potatoes finished with a Lemon Beurre Blanc Sauce
Bryan Moiles (Morgan Hills, CA): Chardonnay, Dijon, Garlic and Herb Basted Rotisserie Leg of Lamb served with Roasted Garlic Tapenade and Quinoa Tabouli
Mary Shivers (Ada, OK): Monviso & Espresso Rubbed Steaks with Maître d’hôtel Butter and Smoky Tarragon & Garlic-Braised Pearl Onions
Seriously, can I have one of each?
I really need to sneak a taste of Karen’s fish sticks–I asked her last night about her recipe. Fish sticks? Like the little fishy things we would throw in the oven for the kids? No way. It’s actually a hunk of fresh halibut on a skewer and fried with a light panko-type coating. Sort of like a fish “corn dog.” I gotta get me one of those!
Kristine’s dish is based on a traditional Hawaiian method of cooking meats and fish wrapped in banana leaves and cooked underground. It will be interesting to see how she’s going to pull that off on stage. Yum.
Mary told me she purchased fresh lobster, shrimp and crab on the way up the Coast in Morro Bay. That bisque is going to be off the hook.
Renata’s got a chilled berry gazpacho. Sweet and savory with a bite from the green peppercorns. How can you go wrong with that?
Stacey’s got a seafood feast going on–she’s definitely going to need her full 2 hours to get the perfect salmon and crabcakes on the plates. And wasabi mashed potatoes with a lemon buerre blanc? Over the top. I’m guessing she’ll go down to the wire on the clock.
Bryan’s doing a leg of lamb. I love lamb. And he’s a local–will that work to his advantage?
Mary’s doing steak to round out our “surf and turf” menu. LOL. Who doesn’t love a good steak? She’s rubbing it with espresso and Monviso heriloom garlic. I’m going to have to find some of this special garlic to take home. It’s cultivated and grown here in Gilroy by Christopher Ranch.
Time to get my butt to the Fest. I do have some lovely pictures of the Obata’s home and the contestants having fun and letting lose a little before the cookoff–I’ll have to post those Sunday when I get home, along with pics from the cookoff. Internet access is sketchy here in Gilroy, and nonexistent in our funky hotel in San Juan Bautista (I’m at a Starbucks right now, fueling up before the cookoff in a couple of hours!) .
I’m really excited to be here. I’ll be tweeting live from the stage in just a little while! Stay tuned!