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Food

Ultimate guacamole tips and tricks from 6 Vancouver chefs (RECIPES)

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Lindsay William-Ross Sep 14, 2016 2:00 am

When it comes to where you dip your tortilla chips, guacamole always hits the spot. With a base of creamy fresh avocado, an accent of salt, spice, and citrus, this cheery Mexican condiment deserves plenty of attention.

Whether you’re a purist and pair it only with chips, or you have it on hand to add extra oomph to breakfast dishes, nachos, tacos, and more, there’s much to love about guacamole.

We connected with six local chefs and guacamole enthusiasts to get their tips, tricks, and hacks for enjoying the best guacamole in Vancouver, from your home kitchen to favourite restaurants. As a delicious bonus, a couple of the pros even shared their own guacamole recipe.

Angie Quaale, food expert & BBQ champion, Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store

What are your tips and hacks to making the PERFECT guacamole?

A little bit of apple cider vinegar balances the acidity perfectly.

Where is your favourite place/restaurant to go for guacamole?

I don’t go out for guacamole, I make it at home.

How do you like to eat your guacamole?

With chips and a margarita!

Other fun guacamole tips and comments that you want to share?

Guacamole is best shared…a few drinks, a few friends and a few laughs always makes it taste even better! [It’s] great for every occasion because avocados are always in season.

Tim Evans, Executive Chef, The Cascade Room

What are your tips and hacks to making the PERFECT guacamole?

Always leave the avocado stone/pit in your guacamole once you have made it. By doing this, the guacamole will remain green and vibrant for longer.

Where is your favourite place/restaurant to go for guacamole?

Sal y Limon, located in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. It’s always fresh and has a good amount of lime.

A photo posted by @yvrcrave on

How do you like to eat your guacamole?

I like my guacamole very simple and usually eat it just with chips. Let’s be honest, chips are just a vessel to shovel the guacamole with.

Other fun guacamole tips and comments that you want to share?

I always like to add a little toasted cumin seed to my guacamole, it adds a totally different dimension to it and goes very well with lots of lime juice and fresh cilantro. See photo separately attached.

Clement Chan, Chef, Torafuku

What are your tips and hacks to making the PERFECT guacamole?

Adding any type of acidulation to the avocados always help keep the colour. Another trick I learned was to keep the pit in the avocado mix. This also helps a bit and make sure you cover the mix to prevent oxidization.

Where is your favourite place/restaurant to go for guacamole?

I don’t have a favourite restaurant in particular per se but at the top of my head, Tacofino and La Mezcaleria make a pretty mean guacamole.

How do you like to eat your guacamole?

Fresh! I can eat it with anything – chips, tacos, salads, seafood…the list goes on.

Other fun guacamole tips and comments that you want to share?

For the best results, always try to make it as fresh as possible!

Nathan Fong, chef and food stylist, Fong on Food

What are your tips and hacks to making the PERFECT guacamole?

Use ripe avocados! I like chunky so I don’t puree or mash my avocados to smooth.

For texture and colour, I like adding in pomegranate seeds. Make it an hour ahead so the flavours will meld well together. I like using both lemon and lime juices, plus an addition of ground cumin and coriander. Also, a hint of chipotle or chili powder brings out some smokiness.

Where is your favourite place/restaurant to go for guacamole?

The Mexican [on Granville]…or my kitchen at home

How do you like to eat your guacamole?

Guacamole is not just a condiment for tortilla chips, so I love adding guacamole on top of scrambled eggs, as a side for a grilled chicken or steak! You can’t go wrong with avocados/guacamole because it’s so versatile.

Dino Renaerts, owner and executive chef, Bon Vivant Catering Group

What are your tips and hacks to making the PERFECT guacamole?

You can’t really go wrong as long as you follow a couple simple steps. Picking a ripe avocado is the most essential but not so ripe that they are brown inside. I like to pick avocados that have a uniform brownish tinge, with the stem still attached, firm but will give when squeezed slightly. Then I remove the stem and if the flesh is bright green inside then I put that one in my basket.

Sometimes if I have time, I prefer to buy a bag of unripened avocados from Mexico (you can find these in the stores year round) and allow them a day or two to ripen on the window sill. Next, there are a couple of techniques I use.

Cut the avocado in half, scoop out the flesh with a spoon, carefully remove the pit by using the heel of a French knife to impale the centre of the pit and if successful twist the knife clockwise and remove pit. Note: Never try to stab the pit with the point! Most plastic surgeons will tell you that 50 % of their patients have cut themselves trying to remove an avocado pit!

Next, you can slightly mash guacamole with a fork or a whisk, rasp in 1-2 cloves of garlic, 1 lime squeezed, salt to taste (I like to add cilantro and finely diced serrano or jalapeño chili and a pinch of cumin to mine)

Where is your favourite place/restaurant to go for guacamole?

Bandidas or Sal y limon

How do you like to eat your guacamole?

With grilled halibut and soft white corn tortillas or as an accompaniment to pasilla or ancho chili rubbed grilled chicken. Another alternative is grilled rib eye steak with chimichurri with garnish for lime. Or on top of chicken posole soup.

Other fun guacamole tips and comments that you want to share?

If you aren’t going to eat the guacamole right away, you can pour a drizzle of olive oil to keep oxygen from turning the avocado surface brown. You can also add the pit to your guacamole, as it’s supposed to keep the guacamole from browning.

Do you have a guacamole recipe to share?

This one is super easy and anyone can make it!

Guacamole on the go, Dino Renaerts, Bon Vivant Catering Group

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro – rough chopped
  • 1 lime- juiced
  • 1 tsp – extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp – cumin
  • 1 -2 tsp – kosher salt
  • 1 serrano chilli ‘green flesh only’

Method
Place avocado in a bowl and lightly break up with a fork, add remaining ingredients and adjust seasoning.

Jonathan Kinney, chef and culinary instructor, Northwest Culinary Academy

What are your tips and hacks to making the PERFECT guacamole?

A perfectly ripe avocado! The top should be slightly soft to the touch. Another tip is to use acid (lemons and limes are awesome) to keep it as vibrant green as possible. The last thing I would say is small and perfect knife cuts. There’s nothing worse than eating a big chunk of onion that overpowers all the other flavours in your guacamole.

Where is your favourite place/restaurant to go for guacamole?

Lolita’s on Davie Street was a guilty late night pleasure when I worked in the West End. Of all the places I’ve eaten guacamole, my favourite is a traditional Mexican restaurant in Omak, Washington called Rancho Chico. It’s not fine dining, but an amazing guacamole, especially paired with their margaritas.

How do you like to eat your guacamole?

Most of the time I love it with fresh tortilla chips dusted with lime powder (dried lime zest finely ground) and salt. Every once in a while, I’ll spread it on a nicely toasted ciabatta bun with roasted chicken, jalapeño Havarti and oven dried tomatoes.

Other fun guacamole tips and comments that you want to share?

Guacamole can be irresistible so be careful of how much you eat! Even though guacamole is made with healthily ingredients you still need to consume in moderation.

A photo posted by Lolita's (@lolitascantina) on

Do you have a guacamole recipe to share?

This recipe is very simple and a must try for your next fiesta because really, who doesn’t love avocados? They’re fun and versatile!

A feisty guacamole for your fiesta, Jonathan Kinney, Northwest Culinary Academy

Ingredients

  • 2 Mexican avocados (diced and then mashed, but still a little chunky)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onions or shallots
  • 1 teaspoon very finely diced Jalapeño
  • 3 cloves of ROASTED garlic
  • Pinch hot smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • As an option, you can add chopped tomatoes as well.

Method
Combine all ingredients. Stir well.


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Lindsay William-Ross
Lindsay is a former Daily Hive Food Editor. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she has also lived in Toronto, NYC, and LA.

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