Citizens, every year, TFD looks forward with eager anticipation to his favorite food mega-event – The Gilroy Garlic Festival!
The Gilroy Garlic Festival is one of the largest food festivals in the United States, held annually in Gilroy, California on the last full weekend in July at Christmas Hill Park. The 38th Garlic Festival will be held on July 19–31, 2016.
The festival was founded in 1979 by Dr. Rudy Melone, Don Christopher, and Val Filice, and has been a fundraiser for local charities, raising a total of about nine million dollars for assorted causes. Individual groups and charities also run booths at the festival, raising additional funds for their causes. The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association is a non-profit organization that is intended to support non-profit groups and projects throughout the city.
Typically, 150,000+ people attend, sampling such diverse creations as garlic flavored ice cream and garlic french fries. Attendees enjoy three stages full of musical entertainment, a Great Garlic Cook-off, celebrity cooking demonstrations, a garlic braiding workshop, a children’s area, arts and crafts, and many interactive displays.
A Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen is crowned yearly, chosen by a panel of five judges, based on her interview, talent, garlic speech and evening gown. Her court is chosen to represent Gilroy at festivities and “having a garlicy good time with fellow lovers of the pungent bulb.” The 2012 Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen was Julia Brewka.
Over 4,000 volunteers from more than 150 non-profit groups make the festival possible, and over three million people have reportedly come to the festival since it began.
My favorite part of the Festival is the “Gourmet Alley” and its world-class “Pyro Chefs”!
My favorite meal at Gourmet Alley is this fantastic garlic shrimp dish – this is the actual recipe for it, as cribbed from a very early edition of the Gilroy Garlic Festival cookbook!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
½ to 1 cup butter
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh garlic
8 ounces clam juice – TFD prefers Bar Harbor brand
¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
⅓ cup white wine
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup half and half
2 tablespoons butter
⅓ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh basil
¼ cup white wine
Dash dry vermouth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds large shrimp, deveined and cleaned
Melt butter with garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. DO NOT LET BUTTER BROWN.
In a separarte bowl, mix clam juice, flour and parsley, blending until mixture is smooth. Pour flour mixture into garlic butter, stir until smooth and well blended. Stir in wine, lemon juice, herbs and spices, stirring constantly. Gradually add half and half and stir until thickened. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes.
To make the scampi:
Melt butter in a large saucepan on high heat and add oil. Combine remaining ingredients, keeping scampi aside until the last minute. Add scampi and saute until firm and slightly pink. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
Pour 1 cup of scampi butter over scampi.
Refrigerate the rest for later use.