Main Dish Salads and Cheesecakes headed the competitions during the Monday, May 18 meeting of the Culinary Arts Society in Ajijic (CASA) in the group’s new location, La Mision Restaurant on Rio Bravo. The afternoon’s judging was completed by Alfonso Perez, Marcela Gonzalez and Barbara Passarello.
Guest speaker Greg Ochs, an expert in hydroponics (the technology of growing plants in nutrient-rich water), runs a blossoming enterprise, hydroponically growing between 6,000 and 7,000 lettuce plants. During his talk he explained how CASA members can quickly begin growing fresh herbs for their entrees.
In the salads category, Kinna Bilavarn took first place with her vermicelli salad with pork barbecue. Keith Sofka’s Thai Beef Salad came in second and there was a tie for third place between Amy Friend’s layered cobb salad and Wendy Hamblin’s nicoise salad with grilled shrimp. Friend and Hamblin also tied for the salad presentation nod.
Marina Benz’s chocolate cheesecake took the first place award in that category. Mary Ann Waite won second place, the people’s choice award and the cheesecake presentation award with her white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. Paulette Coburn finished in third place with gingerbread cheesecake.
The categories for the Monday, June 15, 4 p.m. meeting at La Mision will be savory brunch main dishes and cakes and tortes.
In addition to the monthly meeting, the group is now also hosting more casual events. The CASA Coffees are designed to introduce and inform possible new members about the organization and how it works.