Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia has focused on the celebration of Latin flavors. Her flagship is CHICA, an innovative destination restaurant in Miami, Las Vegas or Aspen.
Thanks to Mr. Obando, who runs an establishment with a welcoming vibe (at CHICA Las Vegas) we had a personal invitation to a grand re-opening celebration. At The Venetian, we have a blast getting ready to embrace the amazing Latin inspired culinary delights. Isn’t it fun making family memories? It’s especially appreciated as Chef Garcia makes sure to host in a manner that supports connecting with loved ones, family and friends.
We were thrilled to celebrate the re-opening of CHICA at The Venetian, Las Vegas.
I was able to connect with Chef Garcia at a VIP event at the Pebble Beach Food and Wine. Since then I have been a major fan of her gastronomical talents.
Inspired by the warm flavors of CHICA I have refined my basic guacamole recipe. I’m excited to share this as I believe that the addition of good quality ground cumin adds a warming tone. My husband Eric LOVES eating organic chips, fresh salsa and guacamole. As a matter of fact, chips and fresh salsa are a daily snack for him. Guacamole is a crowd pleaser. On a busy night, I have found that homemade guacamole with chips and a Cesar salad makes for an easy meal.
At Huckleberry Hill we have a basic guacamole and then add ‘mix in’s’ based on what is available in our kitchen.
Basic Guacamole Recipe
3 ripe Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime juiced
Sprinkle of Himalayan Salt
Sprinkle of Fresh Ground Pepper
Sprinkle of good quality ground cumin spice
That’s it! Combine and enjoy. That’s my basic guacamole. Serve with high quality tortilla chips, or Chef Garcia ‘CHICA style’ with crisp plantain chips.
Add these ‘mix-in’s’ if available and to suit your taste. I use these to add flavor and texture, especially if I have these ingredients in my kitchen:
½ tsp. of minced garlic
2 seeded and drained heirloom or Roma tomato, small diced
1 TBS. diced organic cilantro
1TBS. diced organic basil
¼ diced white, yellow or red onion
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
Lemon juice (if lime is not available)
1 diced jalapeno
Red radish sliced or diced is very pretty and flavorful if you have this on hand.
Whew! Guacamole is fun and easy. What do you add to your basic guacamole recipe? My dear friend uses my basic recipe and mixes in two heaping tablespoons of fresh salsa, this sure is a great idea. I would love to hear your ideas on how to customize guacamole, reach me at email@example.com.
By the way, if you are in Vegas, Miami or Aspen I highly recommend stopping by CHICA to enjoy a high quality celebrity chef meal. The love, care and ingredients make it a forever culinary memory. Here are some highlights of our CHICA experience, enjoyed with my husband Eric, Godson Ashton and daughter Sophia. By the way, if you visit The Venetian location say hello to the CHICA manager Mr. Luis Obando, his warm hospitality is not to be missed.
Amazing plantain chips accompany CHICA’s Haas avocado guacamole with lime, cilantro and chili.
Wood oven roasted Peruvian octopus was enjoyed by Sophia. The Amarillo sauce and Brazilian pico round out the flavor profile.
Melt in your mouth Venezuelan braised short ribs with addictively smooth Huancaina mash.
CHICA has a wood oven and high end rotisserie that develops the flavors of the spit roasted Peruvian Rotisserie chicken. It’s prepared in the ‘pollo a la brass’ style with plantains, watercress and amazing verde or amarillo sauce.
Prime skirt steak melts in your mouth, served with watercress and decadent black garlic mole.
The croquet lobster mac and cheese with Tasso mornay bread crumbs is a side dish that comforts.
Fire roasted street corn is amazingly sweet. The avocado and mango from the market greens salad is delicious and ample enough to share, a house made Meyer lemon cilantro dressing is wonderfully balanced.
The show stoppers include the amazingly thoughtful desserts. The corn is actually visually a corn cob, made of creamy strawberry flan cheesecake.
The tres leches cake is Chef Loraine’s family recipe, the toasted meringue, exotic fruit and passion fruit sorbet are perfect.
Celebrate an amazing evening with a signature dessert; The flaming Skull.
This happened to be our final night in Vegas and it sure made our night fun.
Besides a showstopper with flames and smells that delight the warm lava cake and handmade marshmallows along with the quality dark chocolate make it a sensation. The flaming skull is hand painted with gold dust, so that it shines brightly, then glows in amber colors once the flame catches the chocolate skull.