imageAs a food blogger, I get invites and pitches to a variety of events and products and this one was one I wanted to share with you, my darling readers! The Dole California Cook Off is pretty simple: Submit an original recipe for your chance to compete in LA and win a$25,000 grand prize! Easy, right? Well, I’m still brainstorming on what recipe I want to enter but in the meantime, interviewed Chef Ben Ford, who will once again lead the judging and crown the winner (hopefully one of us!)


A little more about Chef Ben Ford: The distinguished chef is the son of actor Harrison Ford, a father of two and devoted family man, and will be releasing his first cookbook in June 2014 which focuses on adventurous outdoor cooking and festive events. He is honored to once again be named the celebrity judge for the 5th Annual Dole California Cook Off. His restaurant, Ford’s Filling Station, is in Culver City, CA

Be sure to check out this link, where I interviewed Chef Ford and asked him some questions regarding his favorite Latin spices, what he brings as dessert to outdoor parties, and more! View video by clicking this link: Chef Ben Ford for Dole Cook Off 2013

Read the rules online, but remember the deadline is May 15, 2013 – so get those recipes entered! As long as the recipe can be prepared in 60 minutes or less on a gas grill, uses at least one Dole product and up to seven additional ingredients, you’re set! Now, check out this delicious ceviche recipe by Chef Ford to get your creative juices flowing!

Shrimp and DOLE Mandarin Orange Ceviche

Created by Chef Ben Ford
Print Recipe


  • 2 ½ lb. shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion sliced thin into half circles
  • 1 large cucumber peeled and diced
  • 10 limes juiced
  • 4 lemons juiced
  • 1 can 6 oz. DOLE Pineapple Juice
  • 2 Serrano peppers finely chopped (add 1-2 red jalapeños or Fresno peppers to taste)
  • 2 cans 15 oz. DOLE Mandarin Oranges, drained
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 5 garlic cloves finely chopped or grated
  • ½ Tbs. chipotle puree
  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo chili powder or Ancho chili powder
  • Black pepper


  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Add the shrimp and turn them until pink on both sides, approximately five minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Remove from heat, and chill shrimp in the refrigerator while you complete the next couple steps.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the garlic and citrus juices. Slice half the red onion into circles, and then cut those circles into halves. Douse the slices with salt and set aside. Wash, peal, and dice the cucumber into half-inch cubes and set aside.
  • Chop a small bunch of cilantro until you have approximately four tablespoons and set aside. Cut off the stems of the Serrano peppers and finely chop, then set aside.
  • Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator and add to the citrus and garlic mixture.
  • Stir in the chipotle puree; DOLE mandarin wedges, cucumbers, onion slices, Serrano peppers, and cilantro. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator until chilled. Garnish with tortilla or plantain chips.
Servings: 6 servings

Disclosure: Sharing this because it sounds like a fun opportunity, not sponsored by Dole. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One Comment

  1. I was lucky enough to serve as sous-chef to Jeanette Nelson during last year’s DOLE California Cook-Off, and she won the $10,000 grand prize! I helped her make her DOLE Island Pork Sliders during the competition. A really fun event. I will be there again this year (not cooking though, just as DOLE’s guest) so get your recipe in and make it a good one!