Inspired by one of his mother's recipes and a can of Del Monte peaches, Issaquah resident Gus Campanario was named the winner of a $10,000 grand prize this week in a contest sponsored by the US food corporation.
Campanario was announced the winner of the "Add Some Garden" contest on Feb. 19, and beat out four other finalists for is recipe, "Peachy Keen Ceviche". According to Del Monte, he will take home the contest's Grand Prize, a "Culinary Tour" worth $10,000. The contest started last fall and focused on different Del Monte canned varieties, asking contestants to share how they simply "Add Some Garden" to their favorite meals by adding a can of Del Monte green beans, corn, tomatoes, peaches or pears. Campanario called the canned products his "secret ingredient" is his own cooking.
“I like to experiment with cooking, and since Del Monte peaches always taste so fresh, I thought they would be a great way to add a pop of color and a new taste to a recipe I grew up with,” he said.
The prize winning entry was based on a rendition of shrimp ceviche created by Campanario's mother, which is a Latin American-inspired preperation of raw fish and citrus. The recipe of chopped, cooked shrimp, is marinated with red onions, salt and chiles with lime juice for several hours in the fridge. The canned peaches are then chopped and tossed in to the ceviche before serving adds color and flavor to the dish.
"It's like a burst of summer for your tase buds!" Campanario wrote on his contest entry.
“We know our Del Monte community is full of creative cooks, but we were so impressed with all of the tasty tips we received,” said Brian Ng, Del Monte Foods. “There were so many great ideas demonstrating how simple it is to make a good meal great by adding Del Monte fruits and vegetables.”
Del Monte says it produces nearly 90 percent of its food products in the United States. Other category winners and their tips include:
- Green beans - Lydia A. from New York won for her tip of adding Del Monte® green beans to her Gnocchi Alfredo
- Corn - DeAnn B. from Ohio won for her tip of adding Del Monte® corn to her bruschetta
- Tomatoes - Kadija B. from Florida won for her tip of adding Del Monte® diced tomatoes to her Mediterranean Sautéed Tilapia
- Pears - Jesse O. from California won for his tip of adding Del Monte® pears to his Caramelized Pear Potato Skins
They will all take home a $500 gift card for their ideas. To view the finalists’ tips and for additional information, visit the Del Monte Facebook Page.