Super Secret Ingredient to Baffle the Best of Chefs in 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival Garlic Showdown

2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival
July 26, 27 & 28, 2019



Super Secret Ingredient to Baffle the Best of Chefs in 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival Garlic Showdown

July 9, 2019 (Gilroy, CA):

Rosewood CordeValle Executive Chef Alexander La Motte will host the 2019 Garlic Showdown on Sunday, July 28 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Four local professional chefs will prepare dishes using a basket of “secret ingredients” as they compete for a $2,500 prize on the Challenge Butter Cook-Off Stage.

Reigning two-time Garlic Showdown champion Chef Carlos Pineda will be returning to try for the three-peat. Pineda is the Program Manager and Executive Chef at the Culinary Academy and Kneaded Catering Company at Rebekah Children’s Services. Born and raised in Gilroy, he graduated with Honors from the Professional Culinary Institute in Campbell in 2007. He interned at the Inn at Spanish Bay with the Pebble Beach Company and went on to work as a chef in Monterey, Los Angeles, Morgan Hill and Gilroy. In 2010 he transitioned to Rebekah Children’s Services in Gilroy, where he helped develop the Culinary Academy. This program allows disadvantaged youth ages 15-25 to learn hands-on culinary skills and job-readiness skills in a commercial kitchen. Carlos is a huge contributor to various community and service organizations. In 2017 he received the Nob Hill Award for outstanding community service from the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce and has donated his Showdown victory earnings to the Gilroy Foundation. Carlos is passionate about the community and enjoys helping make Gilroy a better (and more delicious!) place.

Chef Steven Catalano grew up in San Ramon, California, and took a detour from playing soccer abroad to pursue his culinary passion. He made his way overseas to Brazil and France before graduating from the California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco.  Subsequently, Catalano worked along an adventurous culinary path in some incredible kitchens, including Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, Jardiniere in San Francisco, and Manresa in Los Gatos. After moving to Gilroy in 2007, Catalano had a dream to bring sophistication and quality to the local, ever-growing tech industry in the Bay Area. Catalano knew he could grow incredible food programs for large tech companies, such as LinkedIn and Zoox, and decided to pursue building relationships between small local businesses and large tech companies. Catalano also enjoys cooking for local causes and advocating for pediatric mastocytosis, a rare disease afflicting his youngest son.

Freelance chef Jonathan Toste is a Bay Area native who cooks with heart and passion, bringing a twist to modern American cuisine with a fusion flair. He was classically trained at California Culinary Academy of San Francisco and won the Gilroy Garlic Festival’s Garlic Showdown in 2015. Chef Toste has won many awards for best restaurant in the South County. He enjoys putting creativity to the test and developing innovative culinary concepts.

The final Showdown contestant for 2019 is Mark Segovia, owner of Segovia Catering in Gilroy. Segovia grew up in Gilroy and fell in love with food as a young child in a migrant family that always had fresh vegetables. Segovia graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, Texas, and has worked as a Chef for Whole Foods Flagship Store, Apple Computer, Google, and many great restaurants. He also designed and opened many restaurants in Texas before returning to Gilroy.

The format of the Garlic Showdown was inspired by competitions like Iron Chef. Each chef has to use a top-secret ingredient (not revealed until the competition begins) to prepare two entrees and side dishes. A panel of judges will determine the winner based on presentation, originality, flavor, texture, and use of the secret ingredient. The winner earns a $2,500 prize.

Judges for the 2019 Garlic Showdown include Bill Christopher, Owner & CEO of Christopher Ranch; Rahanna Bisseret Martinez, Top Chef JuniorSeason 1 Finalist; Adam Sanchez and Ann Zyburra, Owners/Chefs at The Milias Restaurant in Gilroy; and Diana Phipps, Chef at L'Aubergine Restaurant in Carmel.

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About the Gilroy Garlic Festival
Presented by St. Louise Regional Hospital, the 41st annual Gilroy Garlic Festival will be on July 26, 27, and 28, 2019, at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, California. The Gilroy Garlic Festival has been officially certified by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® as the world’s largest garlic festival and draws thousands of garlic-loving guests from around the globe every year. This three-day celebration features gourmet garlicky food, live entertainment, cooking competitions, and fun for the whole family. For more information, go to


Media Contact: Katherine Filice
Phone (408) 710-8066