2017 Tomato Festival

Luis W Award

Luis De Oliveira, CEO and President of Kagome USA a proud sponsor of the 2017 Los Banos Tomato Festival

Kagome USA products, processed not only in Los Banos but also in its plant in Osceola, Arkansas can be found across North America, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.  

"We believe in our people, products and in the community of Los Banos, " says Luis De Oliveira.  "That's one of the reasons we are a major sponsor of the Los Banos Tomato Festival and support other community activities."

New culinary activities marked this year's Tomato Festival, the first ever kids salsa competition cultivating the next generation of chefs was a resounding success.  Participants 4 to 12 years old  went to work creating a salsa using their imagination and perhaps a little help from Mom and Dad.  Available ingredients to choose from included: tomatoes, onions, red and green bell peppers, tomatillos,  jalapenos, pineapples, mangos, cucumbers, lime juice, cilantro and spices. The event aimes to get young people interested in cooking with tomatoes while having fun.

"Junior Chef" Salsa Contest crowns winners!

Round 1 Jr Salsa Winners Jazelle Meza 1St Middle Katherine Twomey 2Nd Left Kamilliannah Eserome 3Rd Right Resized

Round 1 Jr. Salsa Winners 1st place Jazelle (Middle) 2nd place Katherine (Left) Kamilliannah (Right) 3rd place

Second Round Kids Salsa Winners

Round 2 Jr. Salsa Winners 1st place Loki (Middle) 2nd place Gerry (Right) 3rd place Ren (left)

Kids Salsa Contest 1

Young contestants carefully select which ingredients to add to their salsa.

Kids Salsa 3

All smiles during this friendly competition, cooking is fun!

Kids Salsa Contest 2

Another new event this year was the Chili Relay Contest.  Six teams competed with contestants only able to add one ingredient at at time pulled from a master ingredient table. Twice during the competition each of the teams was required to pick up a "mystery" ingredient that they were required to add to the pot. The mystery ingredients could have been cocoa, cinnamon or other varies spice.  Through sight, smell and taste contestants  worked to identify what the mystery ingredient was in order to determine what quantity to add to their pot. In a flurry of 30 minutes of controlled chaos a pot of chili was created in a slow cooker.  Later after cooking for many hours the chili was judged by the public who paid one dollar to taste all of the chilies and cast one vote.  

Team Hawt 2

Chili Relay Team "Hawt"

Chili Relay 2

Contestant from Team "The Monkeys" sautées ground beef in a pan like a pro.

Team The Monkeys 3

Chili Relay Team "The Monkeys"

Loki Smelling Mystery Ingredient 2

Loki from Team Red Hot Chili Peppers, trying to determine what is the mystery ingredient.

Team The Three Resized

Chili Relay Team "The Three"

Chili Relay 3 Style Points

Justin from Chili Relay Team Tomato Tornado stylin as he adds his tomatoes to the pan!

Team Life Tree 2

Chili Relay Team "Life Tree"

Chili Relay Running 4

A fast paced relay indeed, contestants run to grab ingredients!

Chili Shot

Chili Relay Contest Winners 2

Chili Relay Contest Winners Team Tomato Tornado!

Tomato Tornado Chili Recipe


1/2 pound Ground Pork
1/2 pound Ground Beef
1/2 Cup Diced Onion
2 Tablespoons Garlic Puree
2 teaspoons ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
1 Cup Green Chili
1 Tablespoon Mystery Ingredient #1
3 Cups Diced tomatoes
1 Cup Fire Roasted Tomatoes
3 Cups Kidney Beans (soaked overnight)
2 Cups Black Beans (soaked overnight)
1 Cup Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
3 Tablespoons Mystery Ingredient #2
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 1/2 Cups Diced Red Bell Pepper
1 Cup Diced Carrots


1. Heat pan on medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and add ground meat, onion, garlic and spice. Add 1 teaspoon salt.  Cook 4-5 minutes until meat no longer pink.

2.  Add  meat to slow cooker along with remaining ingredients.  Stir until combined.  Put lid on slow cooker and turn to high for 4 hours.

3. Stir chili and taste.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and Enjoy!

Salsa Showdown AKA Salsa Throwdown!

2Nd And 3Rd Place Adult Salsa Winners

2nd and 3rd place Salsa Showdown Winners, Delores Martinez and 3rd place Johnathan Martinez. Congratulations!

Adult Salsa Tasting

The audience tasting salsas entries

Chili Relay 2Nd Place Winners 5

Those Red Hot Chili Peppers! Here today gone Tomato, we'll see you next year!

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Kagome Asia

With 10 facilities and growing, Kagome has aggressively expanded operations from its base in Japan to Taiwan, China, and Malaysia. Kagome Japan has an exceptional commitment to quality, teamwork, science and technology. Kagome Japan is home to the world's largest privately held tomato seed bank with 7,500 varieties. It is also where many of our proprietary processes were nurtured and brought to fruition. Kagome Japan's core values are shared across its family of companies.

Capabilities in Asia include a colorful variety of fruit and vegetable products such as sauces, drinks, ready-to-eat meals and probiotics.

Kagome Australia

Kagome Australia is expanding into sauce production from tomato farming and processing. The opposite growing season in Australia gives us added flexibility. It will be the first fully vertically integrated operation in the Kagome family.

Kagome Europe

HIT, a Kagome subsidiary in Portugal, is based in a superb tomato growing region. These tomatoes are highly prized for their color and sweetness, which HIT turns into unique tomato ingredients and products. A newly established Agricultural Research Center studies new seed varieties and processing technologies in collaboration with other Kagome teams.

Kagome USA

Kagome USA has manufacturing and R&D facilities on both coasts, in California and Arkansas. Capabilities have evolved from pouched tomato sauces to include cream sauces, compound butters, margarines and spreads, and portion pack. With unmatched access to consistent tomato crops and other raw materials, the US operation is highly scaled, flexible, and efficient to meet global demands. United Genetics, a seed company based in California, recently joined the Kagome family.