There aren’t many greater pleasures than dining outside when the weather is just right, especially here in San Diego. It was a perfect day and I was excited to see how they would fancify an avocado grove. On this evening we were invited to an avocado inspired event prepared by Chef Trey Foshee of George’s at the Cove and Galaxy Tacos. My companion on this evening was my friend J, who is 99% vegetarian. He occasionally eats chicken the other 1% of the time.
After we checked in there were a couple of bartenders who looked lonely and us being the nice guys we are, joined their conversation.
I believe J got a rosé wine while I went with a Coronado Brewing Co. Orange Ave. Wit beer. Both were refreshing and set us on the right path.
We then took our drinks with us on a tour of the avocado grove. Mike Sanders got involved in the avocado business in the 70’s and recently convinced his son-in-law, Chris, to join him at his Rancho Santo Tomas farm. Here Mike shows us some of the California Hass avocado’s off the tree. Hass avocado’s make up 95% of the total crop volume for all commercial avocado’s grown in California. We are right smack in the middle of avocado season which goes from March to October. June was officially California avocado month.
Aren’t babies so cute!?
After our tour we were hungry to taste some avocado inspired appetizers. This cup of watermelon, coconut, and avocado cooled us down.
Quite possibly the highlight of the evening, taco with black beans, corn, avocado, and cilantro with house-made corn tortillas. OMG. I know this was a nice dinner and it probably deserves more sophisticated adjectives, but that’s the best way to describe how I felt after I first sunk my teeth into this taco. Their masa was divine and me being the carnivorous beast that I am did not flinch at the lack of meat. We were also doing good for J since he could enjoy the first two things offered to him so far.
I can’t recall everything that made up this ball but I know there was lobster in it with an avocado puree underneath and on top. There might have been corn inside as well. It was nice and I ate J’s portion.
Another fun thing they had was a guacamole making station where you choose different ingredients and they add it to make your own fresh guacamole.
I know I just said I didn’t need meat in my taco, but the bacon isn’t going to eat itself now is it!?
Here my guac is getting the proper stir and loving mish mash treatment it deserves.
For my guacamole I added onions, corn, salt, pepper, bacon, cilantro, lime juice, and a little hot sauce. In hindsight I should have been more adventurous and added wasabi and maybe soy sauce. It didn’t occur to me until after that I probably would really enjoy that combination. Fun side anecdote. My family has always sliced avocado’s in half, removed the seed, and then what are you left with? An edible bowl with a hollow center. What did we put in it? Soy sauce! Now I’m pretty sure we would get a lot of odd looks from people if they found out how we were eating our avocado’s. But it’s just one of those things we grew up doing. Am I alone here or has anyone ever done that before?
Jan DeLyser of the California Avocado Commission said a few words before our meal got underway.
Our first course was an appetizer of chilled shrimp, California avocado, spicy carrot dressing, and cilantro. I loved the clean and crisp flavors. Thinly shaved and perfectly cubed vegetables is a sign of an elegant and meticulous meal to come.
Chef Foshee came out to greet us and say hello.
The main course was a wood grilled Niman Ranch pork chop with a spicy California avocado puree, and Chino Farms stone fruit salad. The pork chop couldn’t have been cooked any better. The distinct smokiness popped, yet remained in perfect harmony with the light greens and fruit salad.
J received a vegetable medley since he doesn’t eat pork. He seemed to enjoy his main course and cleaned off his plate.
It got really dark very fast. It isn’t the best representation of our dessert but you get an idea of what we had. It’s a crepe cake with vanilla bean & California avocado cream, strawberries, and hoja santa dust. I could barely make out the avocado in the dessert. This was my first crepe cake. It was okay, but really I couldn’t get my mind off that guacamole station and the taco.
I’m so happy to have attended this event. I’ve been apple picking in Julian, vegetable picking at Suzie’s Farm’s, and seafood perusing at Catalina Offshore Products, but never have I been to an avocado grove. Events like these are so much fun because you get to see the source of something you consume very often (at least I do) and learn about the process that drives their fruit. Plus you get to hang out with other cool food bloggers, old and new! Shout out to Jinxi and Shelley! Thanks so much to the California Avocado Commission for hosting us and to the chefs who prepared an amazing meal.