What’s for Dinner? California Avocados! Catal Restaurant in Downtown Disney District: California Avocado Week Part 2

Avocado dinner entree

Confit of suckling pig with sweet corn, zucchini blossoms, smoked pork jus, smoked California avocado and house made chicharrones

Are you an Avocadophile?  Do you love California avocados?  From July 1st to 7th,  Downtown Disney District is celebrating California Avocado Week with the California Avocado Commission.   I  was completely  thrilled to be invited to the Media Dinner at Catal Restaurant with a group of bloggers from all over Southern California.   Although we have  avocados with almost every meal  at the ranch,  I  had never tasted dishes like these special culinary creations at Catal Restaurant.

California Avocado Commission

The California Avocado Commission was  organized  in 1978,  in the early days of  planting our ranch.   When I married The Farmer in 1982,  I began attending the annual meetings for growers.    The California Avocado Commission is the marketing organization and trade association for California avocado growers.   Over the past 30 years ,  I have seen the tremendous work that the commission staff has done in educating the public,  and  promoting avocados as delicious and healthy fruit.    It has been exciting to watch the demand for California avocados  grow!   As a Vermont native, I used to visit my home state and spend most of my time explaining avocados to friends and relatives who had never seen one or eaten one.   Now,  everyone knows about them…and I spend just as much time listening to my friends and relatives tell me how much they love them and their favorite ways to enjoy them!   California avocado growers are justifiably proud of the California Avocado Commission,  whose exemplary work has become the envy of the produce industry.

avocado poster

Avocado growers have come to rely on the California Avocado Commission for much more than marketing and promotion of  avocados.   The Commission also provides on-going education for growers in areas such as  agricultural practices,  pest management,  water,  tree diseases, and  food safety.  They do production research,  collect and report avocado industry data,  and interface with our elected officials  to help guide  decisions affecting the industry.  The Commission  even maintains an online library of avocado knowledge! 

If you have any questions about avocados or growing avocados, you will probably find the answer somewhere on their site.

As growers we have seen photos and heard reports about the events that the Commission puts on for the various groups who can help spread the word about California avocados…so it was especially exciting to actually be invited to participate…as  a blogger…and as a grower!   Most of us  slice our avocados on sandwiches, burgers and soups,  mash them into dip,  add chunks to our salads,  and eat them with a spoon right out of the skin.

 

first course avocado dinner

First Course: Tartare of Japanese hamachi with gree shiso, crispy wakame, agretti and California avocado-jalapeno sorbet

I can safely say that most avocado growers probably  do not make avocado sorbet,  have not tried to smoke an avocado, and have never  created an avocado mint puree!   Not to mention the perfect wine pairings with each course that we all enjoyed!

avocado dinner at Catal restaurant

 

Vice President of Marketing,  Jan DeLyser,  provided information about the avocado industry and grower Doug O’Hara answered questions about growing avocados.    Here in southern California  it’s not unusual for folks to have an avocado tree or two in their back yards.   Avocados can be tricky to grow,  and there are always questions about the best way to care for avocado trees.  (Hint: give them plenty of water!)

Jan DeLyser and Doug O'Hara

It was fun to see  Laura of  Family Spice and Carolyn of The Healthy Voyager again…we first met at Camp Blogaway  in May.

Laura and Carolyn

Laura and Reza of Family Spice, signing in at the media table.  Carolyn of The Healthy Voyager sampling guacamole!

Throughout the evening,  Chef Mary answered questions and offered information about the ingredients and flavors we were experiencing.  Although most of us were familiar with avocados,  there was at least one person who had never tasted an avocado before!    I was wishing that we could offer her a perfect ripe California avocado on the half shell with a little seasoning and a spoon!

menu Californa avocado dinner

 

 Thank you to the California Avocado Commission for inviting me to this event.    It was an honor to be included as a blogger,  and  to have the chance to experience this exceptional dinner  showcasing the  fruit that our family takes such pride in growing…California avocados.

And now (drumroll…….):   The Dessert!  Trust me,   it was avocado-licious!

dessert with California avocados

Double chocolate tart with Calfornia avocado mint puree, lace tuille and Harry’s Berries’ blackberries

It’s California Avocado Week at Downtown Disney! Part 1

California Avocado Week Downtown Disney

If you are a lover of California Avocados and  looking for some summer fun this week,  head to Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California for the California Avocado Week celebration! If you’ve never been to Downtown Disney, it’s the exciting  shopping district connected to the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure  parks,  with no admission fee required.   Each day from July 1st through July 7th,  free  interactive events sponsored by the California Avocado Commission take place at the main stage near ESPN Zone.   All of the Downtown Disney premiere restaurants are serving menu items featuring California Avocados… you can spend the day tasting their specialties and  get a free mini facial at Sephora in the afternoon.

signs at Downtown Disney

All the restaurants and shops celebrating California Avocado Week have a placard in front …just reading the names of the avocado specialties is exciting!

 

At 5 pm take a seat for a  cooking demonstration  by a different chef each day, with free tasting for the audience.    Three lucky contestants  participate in a guacamole contest with fantastic prizes every day…and the audience enjoys  free guacamole and chips.   They even have California Avocado beach balls and dancing until 10 pm with a fantastic DJ.    Get all the details about California Avocado Week at Downtown Disney here.

California Avocado Beach Ball

Have you ever seen a California Avocado Beach Ball? I want one!

California Avocado Dancing

California Avocado Dancing at Downtown Disney!

Free Samples at California Avocado Week

Sample the food that the chef prepared for the cooking demo!

I had a great time and I hope that you and your family will be able to go to Downtown Disney this week for some Avocado Fun!   In fact,  I hope to go back later this week!  So many avocado dishes to try!   The California Avocado Week celebration continues until Saturday July 7th…there’s still time to join in the fun!

Want to hear more?  I was invited to a  fabulous Avocado Theme Dinner at Catal Restaurant with the California Avocado Commission and some fellow bloggers…can’t wait to share it with you!    Stay tuned!

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