Cheri Holmgren, of Homegrown Catering in Joshua Tree, Calif., won the first-ever California Wild Rice Rumble, a recipe contest for California and Nevada culinary professionals created by The California Wild Rice Advisory Board.

Holmgren's grand-prize winning recipe was a California wild rice confetti shrimp salad (recipe follows). Other award winners included: chef Michael Compean of the Culver Hotel in Culver City, Calif., for the best starter recipe with his California wild rice galettes with smoked salmon and caper tartar sauce; and to chef Mark LoRusso of Botero Steak at the Wynn Las Vegas, for the best side dish with his Manchego and California wild rice arancini with avocado.

California Wild Rice Confetti Shrimp Salad
Cheri Holmgren, chef, Homegrown Catering, Joshua Tree, Calif.;
wine pairing by Chef wine consultant Marlene Rossman

Yield: 6 servings

1 lb. medium fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked and chopped
3 c. cooked California wild rice
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
3/4 c. sweet onion, chopped
3 T. fresh cilantro, minced
2-3 T. jalapeño, seeded and minced
3 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and chopped
2 T. fresh lime juice
6 c. shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
Lime wedges, for garnish

Method (1) In a large bowl, combine shrimp, wild rice, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. (3) In a small bowl, combine avocado and lime juice, tossing gently to coat. Add to shrimp mixture, stirring gently to combine. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. (4) To serve, spoon mixture over shredded lettuce. Add walnuts, and toss gently. Garnish with lime wedges.

Wine pairing: Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante NV (California)