It’s that time of year again, when the best home cooks gather in Oxnard, Calif. to show off their family recipes for the best pot of mouth-watering greens in Southern California. Oxnard may be the “Strawberry Capital of the World,” but leafy, nutrient-rich kale, mustard and collard greens are the stars of the show, and take center stage at the third annual Mess-O-Green Festival held June 16-17, 2017 in Oxnard, Calif.
The two-day festival is set to kick off on Friday, June 16, 2017 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. with community voting and a tasting reception at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, located at 800 Hobson Way in Oxnard, Calif. Tickets are $5. The festivities continue on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 11 a.m. with a “Greens-4-Life” panel discussion, followed by the highly-anticipated Mess-O-Greens Cookoff at 1 p.m at the Oxnard Plaza Park, located at 500 S C St. in Oxnard, Calif. The grand-prize winner of the cookoff will walk away with $500 for the best greens recipe.
The Mess-O-Greens Festival is part of the city’s 27th annual Juneteenth Celebration. Registration for the Mess-O-Greens Cookoff is open through June 2, 2017. To register online, visit Mess-O-Greens.com. For more information, contact or 805.628.2929. Except for the tasting reception, the event is free and open to the public.
The Mess-O-Greens Festival is the brainchild of Kelcey Newman, the event producer and founder of Attain Design and Marketing Communications (ATTAIN+), an Oxnard-based marketing, graphic design and brand development company. The Mess-O-Greens Festival attracts families from the Ventura County community, amateur chefs, foodies, food bloggers, health and wellness educators, exhibitors, tourists and others interested in learning more about the importance of eating green. “We must take time to recognize that while good recipes can be passed down through generations, so can good health and eating habits,” said Norman.
“The Mess-O-Greens Cook-off is a chance to promote healthy habits to minority groups through food and diet, while celebrating the rich, cultural traditions of cooking greens.” Last year’s winner created the most impressive and original greens recipe – that is, a dish made with Indian yellow curry, red potatoes, and savory smoked lamb.
MESS-O-GREENS FESTIVAL | at a glance
Community Voting & Tasting Reception
Friday, June 16 | 6 to 8:30 | Oxnard Performing Arts Center
The public will have a say in crowing the next winner of the Mess-O-Greens Cookoff. Contestants will prepare their greens at home and bring their finished dish to the tasting reception. The public is invited to take part in tastings from all of the contestants. Eight finalists will be selected, and they will move on to the final competition. Tickets are $5.
Greens-4-Life Panel Discussion
Saturday, June 17, 2017 | 11 a.m. | The Oxnard Plaza Park
The festival will feature a panel discussion from leaders in the culinary world as well as health and fitness, discussing the benefits of power greens and offering various techniques in prepping them for a heart-healthy diet. The organizers have tapped vegan and soul food Chef Babette, who specializes in vegan comfort food and creating mouth-watering, healthy entrees and desserts at her LA-based restaurant, called Stuff I Eat. Chef Babette will be joined by Jessica Jacobus, a fitness trainer, featured on A&E's "Fit To Fat to Fit," as well as guest panelists from Ventura County Health Care Agency and the American Cancer Society.
Mess-O-Greens Cookoff | 1 p.m. | The Oxnard Plaza
The eight finalists will compete for bragging rights at the Mess-O-Greens Cookoff. Five judges will have the tough job of tasting all of the servings of greens – and pot liquor too – and deciding the 2017 winner. This year’s judges are Greg Dulan, owner of the soul food eatery Dulan's restaurant in LA; celebrity Chef Shawnae Marie Dixon, cookbook author and owner of “SayGraceNYC;” Veronica Hendrix, food blogger, cookbook author and contestant on Food Network’s “Clash of the Grandmas;” actress KiKi Haynes of Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse” on OWN; and Sheree Williams, publisher of the online food publication, Cuisine Noir Magazine.
The Mess-o-Greens Festival is sponsored by San Miguel Produce/Cut-N-Clean Greens. Additional promotional support from Rhythm Superfoods (the maker of Kale Chips snacks) and We Olive (Ventura store).
There are more than 15 types of cooking greens, including kale, chard, mustard, turnip and collards. They are becoming increasingly recognized for their exceptional nutritional richness, health benefits and delicious flavor. These greens belong to the cruciferous family of vegetables and provide significant health benefits, including cancer prevention, eye health, bone strength and lowered cholesterol.
Ventura County is the gateway to California’s central coast. Oxnard’s vibrant and culturally diverse community celebrates many of its historical, recreational and environmental assets. Already known as the “Strawberry Capital of the World,” Oxnard is home to some of the most fertile soil in the country and is a major producer of celery, lima beans, lettuce, onions, lemons and of course, greens.
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Date: June 16-17, 2017 12:00 AM
Location: Oxnard Plaza Park | 500 S C St. , Oxnard, CA 93030 | 805-628-2929
Event website: mess-o-greens.com