Manhattan Beach Mayor Wayne Powell and Chef Chris Garasic from Zinc @ Shade Hotel beat out two other mayor/chef partnerships to win the Blue Zones Project's Mayors' Cook-Off Wednesday night.
Before a crowd of about 200 in Abigaile Restaurant in Hermosa Beach, each team crafted their healthy, tasty dish in an Iron Chef style competition.
The winning dish created by Powell and Garasic consisted was Crisp Jicama Enchiladas filled with a raw almond coconut cheese resting on a green lentil purée topped with tropical slaw finished with cilantro pesto and guajillo enchilada sauce, said Brianna Chavez, spokesperson for the event.
Powell competed against Hermosa Beach Mayor Jeff Duclos and Executive Chef Tin Vuong of Abigaile Restaurant and Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin and Chef Bert Agor from Kincaid’s.
Gin and Agor made a Forest Scallops (King Oyster Mushrooms) and Lentil Taboulie entree salad accompanied by a savory avocado chocolate mousse and ripe California strawberries.
Duclos and Vuong crafted Jicama "Ravioli" that included feta, olives and raisins, served with marinated Maitake N' Fennel, tomato vin, kale pesto and shaved walnuts.
The Mayors' Cook-Off was the final event in the Mayors' Challenge, a competition to see which of the Beach Cities—Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach—can achieve Blue Zones Citizen Certification first. Citizen Certification is reached when a city gets 20 percent or more of its citizens to sign up with Blue Zones and complete at least one action toward improving their well-being.
The challenge began Sept. 2 at a Manhattan Beach Concerts in the Park. Redondo Beach has won the challenge, according to a Blue Zones spokesperson.
Residents are encouraged to take a pledge to improve their well-being by signing up on the Blue Zones website.
The ultimate goal, according to Blue Zones, is to push the Beach Cities to become the first ever certified "Blue Zones Community." Obtaining that certification involves community involvement on all levels.
"We don’t rely on individual behavior change. Instead we focus on making the healthy choice the easy choice," the Blue Zones website states. "Rather than nagging residents to walk more, we make walking easier and more desirable than driving...By making wholesome foods more prevalent and accessible and less expensive than junk foods, more people will begin to eat healthier naturally."
—John Schreiber contributed to this report.