How far can you push the boundaries of the humble avocado? The World Avocado Organization wanted to find out and challenged some of the world’s leading chefs to create new recipes. The winning dish will have a pallet of avocados donated in the chef’s name to the NHS Charities Trust.
Avocados are funny old things, aside from spooning out and eating the contents, most people have little idea what else you can do with them.
Avocados are considered by many to be a bit of a superfood. Surprisingly, they contain more potassium than bananas, are said to be able to lower cholesterol, are loaded with Fibre, and they might even help to prevent cancer.
All of this probably explains why more than 6,000 are sold every hour in the UK.
To celebrate its incredible versatility, the World Avocado Organization (WAO) challenged some of the UK’s top chefs to create a dish with the avocado as the star ingredient. The winning chef will have a pallet of avocados donated to the NHS Charities Trust in their name.
The competition was fierce as the inspired chefs smashed, grilled, piped and puréed their avocados. WAO chose the winning recipes as a testament to the chefs’ creativity and flair as well as the avocado’s unique versatility as an ingredient.
COYA’s Sanjay Dwivedi created a great avocado mousse with coconut, passion fruit sorbet and rice crackers which can be seen above, while Tom Aikens from Muse reinvented a classic with his avocado cannelloni.
Who took part and what did they create with an avocado?
- Tom Aikens from MUSE: Avocado Cannelloni
- Sanjay Dwivedi from COYA: Avocado Mousse, Coconut, Passion Fruit Sorbet, Rice Crackers
- Joe Grant from ISSHO: Dragon Rolls with Tempura Tiger Prawns, Avocado and Spicy Mayonnaise
- Ruth Hansom from PRINCESS OF SHOREDITCH: Gin Cured Sea Trout and Bream, Nori, Avocado Purée Coriander and Citrus
- Atul Kochhar from VAASU: Hawkyns’ Crispy Soft-shell Crab with Avocado Panna Cottas
- Cyrus Tosiwali from CAFÉ SPICE NAMASTÉ: Avocado and Parsee Wedding Pickle Cake
- Chris & Jeffery Galvin from GALVIN RESTAURANTS: Avocado Puree
- John Williams from RITZ LONDON: Roast Scallops Bergamont and Avocado
- Paulo De Tarso from MARGOT: Guacamole
- Theo Randall from THEO RANDALL AT THE INTERCONTINENTAL: Toasted Sourdough with Smashed Avocado, Poached Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Chill and Parsley
- Rich Henderson from CORNISH ARMS TAVISTOCK: Salmon Avocado Pink Grapefruit Fermented Cucumber Nasturtium
- Jodie Kidd from THE HALF MOON: The Half Moon King Prawn and Avocadotini
- Sophie Michell: Salmon Yuzu Ceviche with Avocado and Crab
- Ben Bartlett: Grilled Avocado Salad with 21 Aged D Rump Steak
- Brian Turner: Avocado & Asparagus Salad
- Thomas Leatherbarrow: Avocado Toast with Poached Egg
- Ching-He Huang: Ying-Yang Chilli Eggs
- Chris Prow from the CAPITAL HOTEL: Avocado Chocolate Mousse with Avocado Coconut Frozen Yoghurt
- Alfredo Russo from THE FRANKLIN LONDON: Cocktail di Gamberi con Emulsion di Avocado
- Oliver Marlowe from THE HUNTER’S MOON: Scallop Ceviche with Whipped Avocado, Pickled Ginger and Ponzu
- Robert Walton (PRESIDENT OF THE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION): Avocado Rose Toast
- Diane Kochkilas: Greek Guacamole
Avocados: the pandemic-proof superfood
The chefs aren’t the only ones making the most of the avocado’s health benefits. So far this year, Europe has consumed 700 million kilos of avocados, 100 million kilos more than last year. During the pandemic, the avocado has become the new healthy comfort food both for the body and mind. It was a key part of embracing a healthier lifestyle under lockdown, along with sourdough starters and the boom in YouTube fitness videos.
Avocado consumption across Europe has been steadily growing for years, with the United Kingdom and France being the two biggest markets. Over 6,000 avocados are now sold every hour in the UK! The combination of an unexpectedly sunny spring and lockdown measures across the UK meant that searches for “avocado” peaked at the start of May, as more and more people are going for the superfood for its health benefits and versatility as an ingredient.
“During the pandemic, many people have started to pay more attention to their diets and are turning to foods that will strengthen their immune systems. The avocado, along with a balanced diet and an active lifestyle, is our body’s best friend, ideally matched to new consumer habits and needs in 2020”, said Xavier Equihua, CEO of WAO.
About the World Avocado Organization
WAO is a non-profit organisation founded in 2016 that represents the main producers, exporters and importers of avocados around the world. WAO promotes the consumption of avocados based on their nutritional value and recognised health benefits. More information can be found on their website www.avocadofruitoflife.com.
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