New Orleans wasn't the only team that earned a hard fought victory on Sunday. While the Saints stomped the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, nearly 40 men and women faced off in a crueler and definitely more gut-busting competition: Guac Bowl X. (Or is that Guac Bowl IX? No one knows for sure.) Year after year, these gladiators put their bodies, their pride, on the line. Why? Because the only thing sweeter than watching Peyton Manning weep on national TV is watching him do it with your mouth full of guacamole.
1st place in the Best Tasting Traditional Guac category went to Julie Halton for Thug Life (a.k.a. TuGuac Shakur), while Tim McKeon swept the Best Tasting Alternative Guac and Best Presentation categories with his late entry, The Guacapellas. Rather than an elaborate, handcrafted display, McKeon hired four member of the USC Sirens, an a capella group, to sing guac-themed songs like "Guacmaker" to the tune of the Pat Benatar hit "Heartbreaker." It's not the first time McKeon's been on the Guac Bowl podium. He previously won Best Presentation and Best Alternative in 2005, making him the only Guac Bowl contestant to twice achieve this amazing feat. (Full list of Guac Bowl X winners available here.)
The Best Alternative category featured several liquid guacamole concoctions including a savory guacamole smoothie, a sweet guacamole smoothie and an alcohol-laced guacamole margarita. Guacamole was also a featured ingredient in a pair of surprisingly edible desserts: Guac Krispie treats and Guac-Cannollis.
But for sheer size and devotion to the craft of guac-art, it would have been hard to top Icarus Award winner GWAR-camole inspired by thrash metal band GWAR. Husband and wife team Michelle and Greg Steele dreamed up the idea three years ago. "But we weren't prepared to unleash it until now," Greg says. Based on bass player Beefcake the Mighty, the entry featured a life-size mannequin that wears Roman gladiator attire and spits guacamole out of its mouth.
"We've entered [Guac Bowl] many years," Michelle says. "We had what we thought were winning ideas, but we always got outshined." Not this year.
The couple began working on GWAR-camole eight months ago, buying supplies at post-Halloween clearance sales and finding the mannequin on Craigslist. Michelle, who's a food scientist specializing in texturizing agents, used a positive displacement pump connected to a clear plastic tube to defy gravity and achieve the impressive "vomiting guacamole" effect.
"Sure, we could be curing cancer or something," says Greg. "But we wanted to make guacamole come out of a mannequin's mouth."
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