Last week, the California Avocado Commission hosted an online cooking class to celebrate the start of the California avocado season. San Diego-based chef and Top Chef All-Stars finalist Brian Malarkey put together a menu with two avocado dishes to show the attendees the versatility of avocados and give them a taste of this season’s new crop. “There are some love affairs in the world of avocado and the combination between avocado and crab is definitely one of them,” Malarkey said as he showed attendees how to prepare Dungeness Crab Stuff California Avocado.
Chef Daniella Malfitano kicked off the event and moderated throughout.
While Mexico is the largest producer of Hass avocados, the famous avocado variety was first grown in California and was patented by its creator Rudolph Hass. “This past year has really been defined by rediscovering our community, buying local – whether that means USA grown or grown in your own state – and understanding the story and history behind the product. People have a newfound appreciation of everything that went into their food, and California avocados fit perfectly with this narrative,” says Malarkey.
Brian Malarkey shows the attendees how to plate their dishes.
The next dish that Malarkey showed the attendees how to make was a Cast Iron California Avocado and Peppercorn Filet Mignon with Broken Chipotle. “We put a really nice sear on the avocado, which is something people don’t often think to do with them. The common theme here is: avocados are so versatile! As chefs, when we sit down to plan our menu, we always think up new ways to use avocados. They are a great binding agent in dressings, you can freeze overripe avocado pieces to add to smoothies later, and you can even make guacamole inside the avocado – just gently squeeze the avocado inside of its skin until it’s all mashed up, it’s nature’s own pastry bag. Doing this will keep your guacamole a beautiful fresh green until you or your guests are ready to eat it,” Malarkey shares.
After mashing the avocado inside the skin, make a small cut at the bottom and squeeze it out like toothpaste out of the tube.
California avocados are available in stores now. The season is forecasted to produce 292 million pounds of avocados throughout the state of California this year.
Some of the attendees show off their final dishes.