Tustin resident Jihan Assi edged out four other contenders in Zov’s Bistro’s Eggplant Recipe Contest held recently at the critically acclaimed Tustin bistro. Assi’s stuffed eggplant took top honors over another similar dish prepared by Yuko Graham of Orange, eggplant Parmesan by Huntington Beach resident Priscilla Willis and Costa Mesa resident Mirna Bard’s eggplant salad.
“Eggplant is a widely misunderstood vegetable that evokes strong passions among gourmands (they either love or loathe it),” said Zov, owner of 3 other restaurants bearing her name and a bestselling cookbook author who frequently uses eggplant in her recipes. “All of the entries were tasty, but Jihan’s stuffed eggplant really captured all of the criteria that we were looking for – taste, texture, presentation and originality.”
The event was attended by several mommy and food bloggers, all of whom tasted the contestants’ offerings before enjoying a lunch prepared by Zov. All contestants received lunch and Assi received a plaque, $100 Zov’s gift certificate, and her recipe will be featured on Zov’s menu. Among the judges were “Fast Food Maven” Nancy Luna, Greer Wylder of Daily Dose of OC & Greer’s OC, Teri Williams of Great Taste Magazine and Zov.
Recipes from the finalists will be available for view at www.zovs.com/blog
Posted on 5/13/10.