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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Top Fish Competition Update

What makes this Green Ceviche? 
Obvious answer: the ingredients are green in color... avocados, limes, olives, tomatillos, jalapenos, 
Not obvious answer: they are all locally grown and organic

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of preparing my Green Ceviche recipe for a distinguished panel of judges at Primal Alchemy's Kitchen in Long Beach. It was my first time cooking outside my own kitchen or competing with other home cooks. As I reflect on it, I'm thinking about how these three points can apply to life outside the kitchen.

Start With the Best Ingredients
A trip to the Alamitos Marina Market in Long Beach (which is much larger than I expected) features all organic fruits and veggies being grown from Fillmore to Riverside and around Orange County. It's not easy to navigate a new market but there are some old friends selling there too like Maggie's Farms (thanks for the cilantro). Green Ceviche ingredients to serve six cost less than $20 and there are a lot of jalapenos and tomatillos left over for next time.

Get In The Zone And Then Step Out Of It
Here's Nikol preparing her Mediterranean Stuffed Squid 
Being in a new kitchen is difficult enough so make something you KNOW how to make. A competition is not the time to test out a new recipe...or is it? This Green Ceviche dish is tried and true. I make it every couple of weeks during the summer so I don't need a recipe or notes. And when you have 90 minutes to make it you can take your time to use those knife skills and taste as you go.  When the market doesn't have tortillas you can't really make chips so then it's time to step out of your comfort zone and make pita chips for the first time.

Enjoy The Experience
The Top Fish Contestants & Chef Paul Sneaking In The Pic
I met some great people, tried some inventive sustainable seafood dishes, and won tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific and Seafare along the way.

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