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Food mango-fi

Published on November 1st, 2013 | by Joe Pontillo


Chef Joe’s Gameday Mango Salsa

Part of being a chef by trade also means that I get to be the resident chef/caterer for family functions – mostly for my daughters’ birthday parties. That doesn’t mean that this recipe is for little girls – it’s great for football gameday parties also! When planning the menu for one of these parties, pork tenderloin with mango salsa is often my go to choice of meat. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Cost – you can get a high quality pork tenderloin for a fraction of the cost of beef tenderloin
  2. Taste – many of our guests come from out of state so I want to make sure they don’t leave hungry, and…
  3. Ease – it takes the marinade well and unlike other cuts of pork, it’s hard to screw it up unless you totally overcook it. Hey, it’s my party…I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen the whole time while everyone else is enjoying themselves. I either give it a quick marinade or dry spice rub, pop it into the oven at 400 for about 15 minutes and that’s about it.

Pork always pairs well with fruit – mango and apricot being my favorites – and mango salsa is something that just about everyone enjoys. It’s become such a hit in our home that when we begin planning a party, guests ask my wife: “Joe’s making the mango salsa, right?” Even my sister-in-law who doesn’t like pork enjoys it with mango salsa. It’s great on pork, but also makes plain old chicken way more interesting and is great for dipping chips while watching the game.


  • 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Habanero-based hot sauce to taste


  1. Add mangoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro into a medium sized mixing bowl. Toss well.
  2. Add in olive oil and vinegar and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and gradually add in the hot sauce until it’s hot enough for you.

Disclaimer: The proportions above are my wife’s and my best estimates since I’ve never actually measured any of this when making it at the restaurant or at home. It’s just something easy I throw together. Make sure you taste as you go and adjust the ingredients to your liking.

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About the Author

is an award-winning executive chef with more than 20 years experience in the hotel and restaurant industries, a devoted husband, and father to two little girls. Aside from his job as a hotel executive chef, he also serves as the CCO (Chief Culinary Officer) for his wife Rachael’s lifestyle and wellness company, Holistically Haute™. Joe and Rachael are currently collaborating on their first cookbook together.

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