Chef Brian Malarkey kicks off California avocado season with favorite recipes

Chef Brian Malarkey
(Photo by BeccaBatista

San Diego chef/restaurateur and “Top Chef: All-Stars Alumnus” Brian Malarkey kicked off California avocado season last week with a pair of his favorite recipes that feature the locally grown fruit. In a recent Zoom cooking class, he talked with food writers and bloggers about how avocados are a favorite with his wife and three children and how versatile it is in recipes.

“During my time living on the West Coast, I developed a strong appreciation for fresh, local produce and ingredients, which you’ll find throughout my menu offerings at my restaurants,” Malarkey said. “When California avocado season rolls around, I seek out these delicious avocados to shape my cuisine, adding vibrant color, creamy texture and one-of-a-kind flavor to my dishes. There’s comfort in selecting foods that are locally sourced because they’re freshly picked and at their richest flavor, all while supporting the local community.”

California growers farm about 50,000 acres of avocados each year. The majority of the crop is Hass avocados, a creamy variety that was created and patented by Hacienda Heights farmer Rudolph Hass in 1935. Avocados take 14 to 18 months to reach maturity and they only ripen when they are picked. Harvest season runs April through September.

The recipes he prepared included Dungeness crab-stuffed California avocado and cast-iron California avocado and peppercorn filet mignon with broken chipotle vinaigrette. To download the recipes, visit

Kragen writes about restaurants for The San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at