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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A salsa named “Buster” wins Atwater contest

A bowl of "Buster" salsa/Photos by Nathaniel Nickels

A software programmer from Angeleno Heights emerged as the winner of  the annual Atwater Farmers’ Market Salsa Dip Contest.  Ben Callaway’s mild but flavorful salsa took first place on Sunday after judges sampled seventeen entries. “I just threw a bunch of ingredients together and hoped for the best,” Callaway told Nathaniel Nickels, who photographed the event.

Callaway calls his prize winning salsa “Buster.” Here are the ingredients that go into a bowl of Buster:

Cherry tomatoes, red onions, garlic, carrots, cilantro, scallions, orange juice, lime juice, cumin seeds, habanero and jalapeno peppers with salt and pepper to finish it off.

Click on the link below for Nickels full account of the contest

Tomatoes are often one of the key elements in any good salsa. Add some fresh vegetables, fruits and spices and you have yourself the beginnings of a great salsa. The true magic of an award winning salsa is not only the ingredients but preparing the dip with the correct proportions.

On Sunday the annual Atwater Village Farmer’s Market Salsa Dip Contest was held and had a great turnout. In 2010 the first salsa contest took place with only 10 entries. This year there was an amazing 17 entries into the contest. With the stiff competition the judges had to use all their senses to determine what they considered the best salsa.

With the many salsa connoisseurs entering the contest it would seem natural for a chef to win the contest. Well hold the cilantro because this year the top salsa was created not by the next Emeril but by a software programmer! Ben Callaway, of Angeleno Heights, took home 1st place with his uniquely created salsa.  His dish, which he calls “Buster” is a mild salsa with abundance of flavor.

In creating this dish Ben says “I just threw a bunch of ingredients together and hoped for the best.” Those ingredients were cherry tomatoes, red onions, garlic, carrots, cilantro, scallions, orange juice, lime juice, cumin seeds, habanero and jalapeno peppers with salt and pepper to finish it off.

Well not only did Ben win the contest but he also walked away with a 1 hour massage from D-Tox Day Spay in Los Feliz. Prizes were awarded for the top six positions and included brunch for two at Canale, a tennis racket from The Racket Doctor, a bottle of wine from 55 Degrees Wine and gift certificates for Sweets for the Soul and Alias Books.
Click here for more Salsa Dip Contest photos.



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7 comments

  1. However he created his recipe, congrats to Callaway for just doing it … instead of just thinking about it like me.

  2. Sounds like it’s chock-full of antioxidants as well.

  3. Callaway might wanna rethink that massage if the place is indeed called D-Tox Day “Spay.” 🙂

  4. He’s lucky i didn’t enter the contest lol. no but honestly someone needs to teach that guy how to cut his ingredients properly .

  5. DeltaForce, sounds like to me you maybe a tad jealous…who cares how he cut the ingredients, REALLY? Would it be too much to offer a kind word instead of criticism? Ben I think you did great.

  6. “cut the ingredients?” Delta Force, the recipe was for salsa, not a batch of meth.

  7. Congratulations Ben! It was a fun day at the Atwater Village Farmers’ Market!!!

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