Dennis Harrigan, president of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, said the festival’s purpose is to promote California garlic.
“It’s one of the longest running food festivals in the U.S., and it’s a great place for some really high-quality, gourmet food,” Harrigan said.
The festival, which just finished its 35th year, highlights garlic through multiple gourmet food options and cooking demonstrations and competitions.
This year marked the first Garlic Bowl, a cooking competition for university chefs, who represented their respective institutions.
Executive chef Erik Debaude and sous chef Bryan Kramer, California State University, Fresno, alumni, won the July 26 competition, according to the Gilroy Garlic Festival’s website.
The University of California-Berkeley, Fresno State and San Jose State participated.
Harrigan hoped the contestants, historic rivals, would spark the interest of festival-goers, all in the name of a good cause.
“We’re giving a $5,000 scholarship to the winner of the bowl to give to a student at that university. We want to give back to the community,” Harrigan said.
Other attractions included live music and a revamped children’s area.
Another first this year was the use of credit cards in several locations, which allowed for easier purchases.