The Hungry Travelers Video- A California Avocado Story & Guacamole Recipe

by on June 6, 2010

Can’t believe it’s been one year since we first talked about launching our online documentaries: The Hungry Travelers! Well it’s finally here and we’re proud to launch it with this one: A California Avocado Story.

The California avocado growers are a close, tight knit and hardworking group of growers who are dedicated to producing some of the best avocados in the world.

The California Avocado Commission recently had a guacamole contest and we were one of the lucky judges on their panel of 6 judges, which included 2 growers, 2 representatives from the commission. Tasting 6 different guacamole recipes was a tough job, but someone had to do it and we were up for the challenge!


( Pineapple chipotle mango guacamole winner for the most creative recipe ! It was so good & it was so tough to leave some behind for the photograph. Lucky there was some left and catch this photo before it was eaten up! )

As part of the day, we photographed the gorgeous groves and were taken on a tour of the avocado groves of growers Mike Sanders and his son-in-law Chris Ambuul of Rancho Santo Thomas.

This project was an especially personal one for us because during this visit we saw how dedicated and passionate they were about their groves, their families and their long, passionate tradition of sharing high quality avocados to everyone around them.

Rather than write a long post detailing what we saw and the powerful impact that Mike and Chris had on us that day, we decided to document their story in our video series, The Hungry Travelers.

Here’s what we saw and why were were so connected to their story. We hope you enjoy what we captured that day in both images and video.

Thank You,

Diane and Todd

If you’d like to find out more about California avocados, please visit:

We were so touched by Chris’ happy children (we only met 3 of his 5 kids). Watching them play in the groves was the inspiration to this episode of The Hungry Travelers. ¬†This video is dedicated to them.

Little Sean was always so happy & his toes are equally adorable

Julia is the best avocado tree climber! She knew exactly which trees were best for playing in.

The Hungry Travelers Video

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This video was produced, filmed and edited by us, Todd and Diane. We’ve had lots of interest and emails in knowing how we go about producing and filming these our videos. Here’s some info for you curious kats.

We filmed this avocado story on a Nikon D300s, on 24-70 mm and 85 mm lenses. The photographs were shot on a the same lenses and a few others. The video was edited in Final Cut Pro and Soundtrack Pro.

Hopefully this will answer some of the basic questions about the production! Please ask your questions in the comments below, rather than email. That way, everyone can benefit from the questions and answers. THANK YOU!

Bountiful-Ad

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nisrine@Dinners & Dreams June 7, 2010 at 3:25 am

Such pretty shots of the avocado tree and children!

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2 Migration Mark June 7, 2010 at 3:35 am

Very nice, I am jealous that you guys were able to sample these avocadoes. I am a huge fanatic of wonderful creamy avocadoes. I have been living in Thailand for the last 8 months where everything about the food is incredible, except 1 thing, there are barely any avocadoes. It is quite heartbreaking that they are not very popular in a place that loves food so much. I am longing for a supply…

Amazing photos and hope you were able to eat a lot of avocadoes!

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3 Nate June 7, 2010 at 5:00 am

Oh man, I miss those good California avocados! Besides guacamole, we’d turn them into avocado shakes, eat them in salads, or just halve them, drizzle a little soy sauce inside the “bowl”, and eat with a spoon! Thanks for taking us along with you.

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4 White on Rice Couple June 7, 2010 at 5:55 am

Nate- oh gosh, we love soy sauce in avocados and do the exact same thing! Spread it on some crusty bread or toast and it’s an amazing meal.

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5 Kelly June 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Great video and story! What is the song in the background?

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6 White on Rice Couple June 7, 2010 at 5:53 am

Kelly- the song is an instrumental accompaniment of “Halo” by Beyonce Knowles

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7 bunkycooks June 7, 2010 at 7:21 am

What a great family. I really enjoyed seeing the video and hearing how personal the avocado business is to them and how it involves everyone in the family. Thank you for sharing that.

BTW, that looks like some incredible guacamole. I am sure the tasting part was pretty awesome, too!

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8 Ken June 7, 2010 at 7:27 am

Avocados are my favorite. I would love to eat some right off the tree. Thank you for showing the beauty of avocados and the love and care these people put into them.

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9 Jen Yu June 7, 2010 at 7:38 am

Beautiful work, as always, my dear friends. I am LOVIN’ on that shot of Todd (good work, D). Can’t wait till you get to Boulder so I can give each of you a big squeeze and kiss. xo

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10 White on Rice Couple June 14, 2010 at 10:42 am

Jen- Todd is blushing right now, thanks! see ya soon.

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11 Fran June 7, 2010 at 8:19 am

It’s so nice to see this side of farming and the food that goes to market. The clip of those adorable kids put a big, fat smile on my face this morning. I look forward to more Hungry Travelers episodes.

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12 Ravenouscouple June 7, 2010 at 9:00 am

can’t watch this right now since at work, but will def check it out..those folks at the commission are so nice and they really exude the family atmosphere of this business we have right here in our backyard.

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13 Nancy@acommunaltable June 7, 2010 at 10:13 am

Absolutely loved it – the photos, the music, the story – what a wonderful idea!!! It really is amazing how much food we produce in this state and I am looking forward to learning more as the Hungry Travelers continue their tour!!!
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful piece!!!

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14 Helen (Fuss Free Flavours) June 7, 2010 at 11:11 am

Lovely film.

What utter bliss to be able to eat an avocado straight from the tree and still warm. I need to add that to my list of food things to do!

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15 Maria June 7, 2010 at 11:43 am

Beautiful work like always. Loved the video and photos.

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16 Nicole June 7, 2010 at 11:50 am

so beautiful. I love it.
I love avocados and this has stirred my interest for CA avocados.
And I love the song you put to it.

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17 White on Rice Couple June 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Nicole- definitely try to get your hands on some CA avocados, especially the hass or lamb hass varieties. They’re so creamy, and good!

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18 Brooke@foodwoolf June 7, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Well, that was an unexpected source for tears so early in the afternoon…I absolutely LOVED your video and think it’s so great you shot it on your Nikon Camera. It was a gorgeous documentary and you really captured the passions of the Avocado Growers. Brought tears to my eyes.

You’ve got skillz, T&D. Skillz.

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19 Andrea Meyers June 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Judging guacamole contest is a tough job, I’m sure! Yes, I’m looking at all those beautiful avocados and wishing we had some trees in our back yard. Lovely job on the video, as always!

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20 Jamie @ My Baking Addiction June 7, 2010 at 2:31 pm

You are both such incredibly talented photographers. This video is fantastic…I actually found myself a little teary eyed, it’s awesome to see people with such a passion for food & you captured that element perfectly!

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21 Dawn (KitchenTravels) June 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm

D&T – Your videos really bring the viewer into the scene. I can’t believe you shot this vid with a regular (albeit professional) digital camera – the quality is amazing. And really, is there anything cuter than toddler toes? I think not.

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22 Garrett June 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Phenomenal work, you two. I loved it. Great job humanizing a product I have taken for granted. =)

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23 Cookin' Canuck June 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

What an inspiring and heartfelt video! Stories like these remind us of the hard-working, dedicated people behind the food that we serve to our families. Well done!

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24 Charles G Thompson June 8, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Really nice video piece – congrats! I grew up eating California avocados right here in California. We even had a tree in the backyard. They are one my most favorite foods ever. :-)

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25 Nabeela June 10, 2010 at 1:16 pm

That was a beautiful video. Thank you for sharing :)

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26 Brigette June 11, 2010 at 12:07 am

I love your video, ‘a california avocado story.’ Everything about it is perfect, from the sound to picture quality. :)

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27 Steve-Anna June 11, 2010 at 11:47 am

OK, I admit it. Tears over here, too! I love getting the chance to see the world through Todd & Diane’s eyes – always beautiful. What a skill to find people and stories like this and capture the essence on film. What a gift to share them with all of us – lucky us!

Love to you both~

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28 colleen June 12, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Oh, how wonderful. I love avocados!!! Great presentation too.
Have you tried the chocolate avocado recipe yet?

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29 White on Rice Couple June 14, 2010 at 10:42 am

colleen- no, we haven’t tried chocolate avocado recipes yet, but we’ll look into it!

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30 Nancy June 12, 2010 at 7:26 pm

If this doesn’t inspire you to eat avocados I dont know what will! They are just passing out of season here in Texas, and will be sorely missed until next year! Maybe I need to look up some of my local farmers! Great article!

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31 Kristen June 18, 2010 at 7:04 am

Judging an guac contest… rough life, rough life :)
What a fantastic video and photographs. Inspiring!

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