Guac Bowl 2009 crowns its king [UPDATED]
Two-hundred and forty-three avocados, 32 entries and countless stomachaches later, Guac Bowl 2009 has crowned its king. After years of spectacularly failed attempts, Guac Bowl co-founder and host Adam Pava finally walked away with the Best Presentation trophy for "Ms. Guac Man," an arcade-table-sized replica of Ms. Pac Man complete with chips shaped like ghosts, custom-made graphics and an annoying audio stinger repeating, "Guaca, guaca, guaca."
He bested favorite Rob Saccenti, a 28-year-old art director who won last year's presentation award with a carefully detailed Guac Alien. Saccenti once again wowed spectators with "He's No Guac to Me Dead," a life-size replica of Han Solo encased in carbonite and guacamole, but the only trophy his Guac Solo came close to winning was the Icarus Award.
A shadow clouded the victory as participants lobbed accusation of vote-rigging at Pava, who also counted the votes. "I'm not above rigging the votes," Pava admitted, "but no, I did not rig it!"
Pava remained jubilant, the comeback kid of the Guac Bowl after last year's disastrous "Guacweiler Beach" entry, a 4-foot-by-4-foot box of guacamole beach that had to be staged outside. Unfortunately, it was a rainy day, and a neighborhood cat walked through the piece. "It's like a monkey off my back. It feels like I'm seeing the sun for the first time," he said.
"Guac, Paper, Scissors" won the sparsely entered Best Traditional Guacamole category, while "Deep-Fried Guac" won the Best Alternative Guacamole category. This year's least coveted trophy, the Icarus Award, "for the guac that soars closest to the sun, only to fall the farthest," went to Michael Zimmer for his "Gueer," a.k.a. guacamole beer.
"It's like you've been hazed when you try my Gueer," he said.
Zimmer was hoping to bring together the two most wonderful things about the Super Bowl before they enter the digestive tract, but said, "It came out horribly. It's like somebody threw up in the bottle. But it was the best I could have done with the concept, and I'm proud."
Updated, 5:08 p.m. The original version of this story stated that Rob Saccenti only came close to winning the Icarus Award. In fact, his entry "He's No Guac To Me Dead" was a runner-up for both the Icarus Award and Best Presentation.
Updated, 12:35 p.m., Thurs. The earlier version of the story failed to mention some of the winning creators at Guac Bowl 2009. Christine Landry’s "Guac, Paper, Scissors” won Best Traditional Guac, while Craig Anderson’s "Fried Guac" won Best Alternative Guac. Click here for the official roundup.
— Elina Shatkin
Photos: (top) He's No Guac to Me Dead a.k.a. Guac Solo; (middle) Ms. Guac Man; (bottom) a decoration from "Ms. Guac Man," creator Rob Saccenti kisses Guac Solo, Guac Lobster. (Rob Takata / For The Times)