A Center of Innovation

Avocados from Mexico—a nonprofit marketing organization promoting the benefits of avocados—held a celebration Tuesday honoring its revamped AvoLab in Irving, Texas. 

The company refers to it as a “culinary playground and think tank for professionals to encourage collaboration, education, networking, and culinary ideation.” 

FSR attended the event and came away with five key points to know. 

Image credits:Ben Coley

The Influence of Pati Jinich

Avocados from Mexico has a close relationship with Pati Jinich, a James Beard Award-winning chef and Emmy-nominated television host. (Pictured on the far left). 

She is known for her long-running PBS series, “Pati’s Mexican Table,” where she introduces authentic Mexican flavors to her audience. 

“We work together tightly in developing recipes and innovating the ingredient,” says Jinich, describing her partnership with Avocados from Mexico. “We walk two paths at the same time. One is honoring everything that we’ve inherited, the dishes, the traditions that have been passed on to us, and also walking a path of innovation and seeing what else is new.”

Image credits:Ben Coley

What Avocados Represent

Jinich says avocados represent many qualities that mirror Mexican culture—accommodating, versatile, easy. 

She also notes that the fruit is “incredibly nutritious” because of its non-saturated fats. 

“These are the fats that we need and [the avocado] has minerals and vitamins and it’s just so nutrient dense,” Jinich says. “It’s irresistible, it’s exotic, it’s sensual, it’s delicious.”

Image credits:Ben Coley

The ‘Why’ Behind the AvoLab

The AvoLab opened six years ago, and in that time, several clients of Avocados from Mexico have used the culinary center to test recipes and innovations. 

It proved so successful that the company wanted to go bigger. The AvoLab now has three stages—one dedicated for chefs, a central section for events, and a bar area. 

“This is a company that is based on creativity and innovation and thinking outside of the box,” says president and CEO Alvaro Luque. “And this is exactly what we’re trying to do here.” 

Image credits:Ben Coley

Avocados Can Be Whatever They Want to Be

Jinich praises avocado’s ability to be used in several ways. 

Pictured above is the fruit being used as part of a poke dish. 

“You can go sweet, you can go savory, you can go mashed, you can go diced, you can go sliced, you can be atop and you can be the crown of a dish,” Jinich says. “But it can also be a sidekick and a team player.”

Image credits:Ben Coley

Avocados Can Quench Your Thirst

Avocados are increasingly becoming part of the beverage scene. 

Pictured above is an avocado margarita. 

“Avocados are getting stronger and stronger in beverages and cocktails and even coffees,” Luque says. 

Image credits:Ben Coley
Menu Innovations, Slideshow