Where to Eat Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner
Photo by Tim King

Thanksgiving is almost here and if laboring in the kitchen all day doesn’t sound like your ideal holiday, leave it to the professionals to prepare a festive and delicious Thanksgiving dinner meal. From special buffets to easy catering options, we’ve included the top restaurants in San Diego to celebrate the holiday!

Rancho Bernardo Inn: Tucked away on a lush 18-hole golf course, Rancho Bernardo Inn is tranquil oasis offering multiple options for Thanksgiving this year. For the true foodies, the on-property restaurant, AVANT is offering an elevated 3-course Thanksgiving menu from 2 – 7 p.m. With sophisticated offerings by Chef Tomas Baistrocchi, AVANT is the perfect choice for food-lovers who want a break from the kitchen. For fun with the whole family, the Aragon Ballroom will serve Thanksgiving classics with a special holiday buffet from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The entire family will be entertained, as the event is featuring live music on the terrace and a petting zoo & pony rides on the lawn. For Thanksgiving sweets to-go, patrons can delight in delicious mini-pies by Chef Margaret Nolan, the well-known pasty expert. www.ranchobernardoinn.com.

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Thanksgiving Meals To Go

This year, both Waters Fine Foods & Catering and Whisknladle Hospitality are doing the prep for your Thanksgiving Meals To Go, giving you more time with family and friends and less time in the kitchen!

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New San Diego Italian Food Book

New San Diego Italian Food Book Explores Little Italy!

San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond (American Palate) Paperback

San Diego Italian Food BookAs ethnic neighborhoods in other cities assimilate to American life, the exuberant local flavor of San Diego’s Little Italy remains both culturally and culinarily distinct. Tucked between Interstate 5 and San Diego Bay southeast of San Diego International Airport, the blocks surrounding the landmark Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church contain many of the most notable eateries and gourmet cafés in “America’s Finest City.” In her new Italian book, Join Maria Desiderata Montana, a daughter of that Italian heritage and one of the city’s most notable food writers, on this savory tour through the zesty Italian food traditions, businesses and recipes both in Little Italy and across San Diego.

Maria Desiderata Montana is a nationally published and award-winning author, freelance food and wine journalist and editor and photographer who learned how to cook and appreciate European cuisine from her parents who were born and raised in southern Italy. In her new San Diego Italian book, learn how to easily make 25 recipes from her Italian kitchen including ravioli, cannoli, tiramisu and biscotti. In addition, each dish has a matching full-color photo.

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Get Napizza in Little Italy

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Napizza is in my new book

Perched on the corner of Date and India Streets, Napizza is not only one of the newest establishments in Little Italy, but it also has a new concept that is gaining attention. Green-certified and committed to utilizing locally sourced, organic ingredients with no preservatives or chemicals, this is not your typical pizza joint. But that new philosophy is underscored by one of the oldest traditions in pizza-making techniques. Pizza la taglio is the centuries-old art of utilizing special flour, yeast and water and allowing for a slow rise, creating a product with no equal. The large, square-cut pieces are familiar to anyone who’s sampled street food from Italy’s larger cities. Produce is sourced daily from local and organic farmers, whether you enjoy it on a pizza or sample it from the organic salad bar.Read more about Napizza in my new book: San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond.

click on the images to buy my books on AMAZON

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Cerveteca Downtown LA Now Open

Cerveteca Downtown LA Opens in Arts District’s Former R23 Digs

cerveteca downtown LA
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Oscar Hermosillo, owner of Venice Beach Wines and Oscar’s Cerveteca Venice Beach has brought his concept of what he calls “L.A. comfort food” to Downtown’s Arts District with the opening of Cerveteca Downtown LA.

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Mexican Fare at Puesto La Jolla

Puesto La Jolla
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Wider Food Selection at Puesto La Jolla

Taking elements from their second location at The Headquarters, which opened in November to stellar reviews, Puesto La Jolla offers the expanded version of their popular taco haven in an adjoining 1,000 square feet space, featuring a sidewalk patio, a 15-foot ceiling that is anchored with large industrial skylights, and walls painted with brightly colored murals.

La Jolla Puesto echos the look and feel of the Headquarters location with stunning design, a lively atmosphere and a wider selection of modern Mexican fare

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Gazpacho at The Patio on Goldfinch

The Patio on Goldfinch
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Gazpacho on Goldfinch

Executive Chef John Medall of The Patio on Goldfinch (and Lamont Street) makes good use of ‘unusable portions’. Get his recipe here for Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Basil Oil Garnish. His number one rule in the kitchen: “Nothing goes in the trash!”

Q&A with Executive Chef John Medall of The Patio on Lamont Street

By Maria Desiderata Montana

Q: What is your cooking background and how did you come up with the idea of  putting good use to otherwise ‘unusable portions’ ?

JM: I was born into the hotel business. Money matters and I figured, hey, if I can save the restaurant a ton of money by recycling ingredients while in turn helping the environment, why not? The more I can use, the less I take from Mother Nature. Farmers work really hard to provide products for us, if we respect that, the products will be around longer.

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New Sonata Bistro Downtown

sonata bistro
Sonata Bistro (Photos by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Chef Giuseppe Ciuffa Opens High Note Cafe and Sonata Bistro in the Symphony Towers

Acclaimed restaurateur and chef, Giuseppe Ciuffa, of Giuseppe Restaurants & Fine Catering, opens Sonata Bistro and High Note Café at Symphony Towers in downtown San Diego. The newest additions to his growing collection of restaurants, including the highly anticipated Bottega Americano in which he is a partner, Sonata Bistro and High Note Café will offer a fresh and creative selection of dishes sourced from local ingredients for breakfast and lunch.

“Downtown diners are hungry for more trend-forward eateries,” said Giuseppe Ciuffa. “When the spaces became available at Symphony Towers it was music to my ears. I love to locate my restaurants within centers of entertainment and culture.” An avid art and music lover, Giuseppe believes that every dining experience should be a cultural one, and the menus at Sonata Bistro and High Note Cafe will celebrate his appreciation for the culinary arts as well.

A native of Italy, Giuseppe was inspired to pursue his culinary career by growing up in the family business: selling wine, olive oil and cultivating organic gardens. After working his way up through the local dining scene, he started Giuseppe Restaurants & Fine Catering, which delivers chic and creative dining and catering experiences to San Diego’s glitterati at private events and culturally centered venues including: The Museum of Contemporary Art, Scripps Seaside Forum and the San Diego Museum of Art. At Sonata Bistro and High Note Café, Giuseppe’s will showcase his signature style of innovative dishes that celebrate the pure taste of fresh ingredients and blend modern techniques and presentation.

sonata bistro
High Note Cafe (Photos by Maria Desiderata Montana)

High Note Café The chic, yet casual, coffee shop will be located on the 12th floor of Symphony Towers and boasts views of downtown San Diego.  Offerings will include “farm to cup” coffee and espresso drinks from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, fresh baked pastries from Bread & Cie and other convenient and delicious to-go items.

Sonata Bistro – At Sonata Bistro, guests will be treated to American fare with an international twist for breakfast and lunch. Following Giuseppe’s successful restaurant model, the restaurant will offer counter service and food will be delivered to guests tableside. Breakfast options include healthful scrambles, slow cooked oatmeal and breakfast parfaits with house-made granola and a selection of traditional breakfast favorites. Signature lunch items include Urban Tacos, Rotisserie Chicken and Wok’d Entrée Bowls as well as from-scratch soups, fresh tossed salads and classic sandwiches and wraps.

sonata bistro
Sonata Bistro (Photos by Maria Desiderata Montana)

The Design – With contemporary Italian elements weaved in throughout the concept, Sonata Bistro and High Note Café pay tribute to Giuseppe’s love of modern design, a common theme in his restaurants. Designed by renowned Gensler Architects, the restaurant and coffee shop will feature bright interiors and a vibrant color palette of green, white and grey complemented by glass and stainless steel accents.

Sonata Bistro and High Note Café will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sonata Bistro is located on the first floor of Symphony Towers at 750 B Street, San Diego, CA. High Note Café is located on the 12th floor of Symphony Towers. For details, visit www.giuseppecatering.com or connect on Facebook.

About Giuseppe Restaurants & Fine Catering
Founded in 2001, the award-winning Giuseppe Restaurants & Fine Catering was created with the belief that fresh ingredients should speak for themselves. Founder and chef, Giuseppe Ciuffa, illustrates his culinary talent and culture through his collection of restaurants and food services which include: Museum Café at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Sonata Bistro and High Note Café at Symphony Towers; Caroline’s Seaside Café at the Scripps Forum; Giuseppe’s Pronto Corporate Service, Giuseppe’s Home Entertainment and Giuseppe’s Bar Services. He is also a partner in the Thomas Schoos designed Bottega Americano in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood. For more information, please visit www.giuseppecatering.com or call (858) 581-2205.

Sonata Bistro on Urbanspoon

High Note Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Thanksgiving Menu at A.R. Valentien

Thanksgiving menu
Courtesy photo

The Lodge at Torrey Pines is home to A.R. Valentien, one of San Diego’s most notable and refined restaurants. You will certainly feel transported whiling away the hours in a charming dining room with a beautiful view of the Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean just off the bluffs in the distance. Acclaimed Chef Jeff Jackson will be preparing a seasonal Thanksgiving menu for this year’s celebration.

Thanksgiving Menu

Thursday November 27th, 2014

Adults: $95 – $45 (Children under 12)

First Course

  • Fall Salad
    Shaved Beets, Red Grapes, Pomegranate, Pink Lady Apple
    Watercress, Frisée, Citrus Vinaigrette
  • Parsnip and Potato Soup
    Crispy Five Spice Brussels Sprouts
  • Chicken Liver Pâté with Whole Grain and Dijon Mustards, Pickled Cauliflower
  • Apple Wood Smoked Ruby Trout
    Arugula, Radish, Creamy Salsa Verde, Crispy Sunchokes
  • Hand Rolled Canestri Pasta with Braised Short Rib
    Carrot, Sweet Onion, Garlic, Parmesan, Gremolata

Second Course

  • Roasted Turkey with Traditional “Fixins”
    Cornbread Pecan Stuffing, Cranberry Orange Relish and Giblet Gravy
  • Oak Roasted Beef Tenderloin
    Horseradish Dauphinoise, Young Broccoli with Laurel, Bordelaise
  • Liberty Duck Breast and Confit Leg
    Warm Salad of Fuyu Persimmon, Tangerine and Autumn Greens
    Red Walnuts, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Duck Jus
  • Seared Sea Scallops
    Wilted Bloomsdale Spinach, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Shallots, Crispy Pork Belly
  • Crispy Skin Salmon
    Farro Verde with Braised Savoy Cabbage, Preserved Orange, Pine Nut


  • Pumpkin Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Pear Steamed Pudding with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Pecan Florentine
  • Chocolate Pot de Crème with Chocolate Meringue
  • Passion Fruit Cake, White Chocolate Mousse, Tropical Gelée, Sesame and Black Pepper Tuile

Menu is subject to change due to product availability

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A Taste of Elusive Bourbon Whiskey

Bourbon Whiskey
Courtesy photos

Pappy’s Coming to Dinner

The legendary Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery (Lexington, KY) is internationally famed for producing some of the most sought after bourbons in existence. While most bars that receive a special allocation choose to stash their supply, the cocktail industry heavyweights behind Craft & Commerce have chosen instead to celebrate theirs with friends. To honor the highly anticipated arrival of Pappy’s 2014 release, Little Italy’s most celebrated cocktail haven will host an intimate Pappy pairing experience, aptly titled “Pappy’s coming to Dinner.”

High in demand, hard to find and coveted by aficionados everywhere, Pappy Van Winkle is one of the hottest bourbons in America. Thanks to a tightly controlled state-by-state allocation (a small international share also makes its way to London) Pappy’s image has quickly risen from ‘old guy’ whisky, to bona fide celebrity stalker status. With two of the distillery’s six expressions that fall under the “Family Reserve banner” set to feature at Craft & Commerce’s exclusive event, this is one dinner with Pappy you won’t want to miss!

Elusive Bourbon Whiskey

A three-course collaboration menu will feature an individual pour of Pappy’s elusive 12-Year, 15-Year and 20-Year Vintages. Executive Chef Jason McLeod (Ironside Fish & Oyster, Soda & Swine) and Chef Julio Castillo (Craft & Commerce) have put together plates to pair perfectly alongside each whiskey. Adding an extra layer of depth to the pairings, a few of San Diego’s top rated breweries (Stone Brewing Co., The Lost Abbey, AleSmith, Modern Times) will pair one of their exclusive suds alongside each course as well.

Dedicated Bourbon lovers will have a chance to sample what some call the most elusive whiskey in the world

The evening kicks off with a welcome cocktail while guests mingle with fellow food & beverage enthusiasts before taking their seats. “Dr. Bill” Sysak (craft beer ambassador for Stone Brewing Co.) will be in attendance to offer attendees insight into the menu pairings at hand. Bill is respected worldwide for his limitless knowledge of beer and food pairings from every corner of the globe.

Thursday, December 4 at 6:00 p.m.


About Craft & Commerce: Selected as one of Food & Wine’s “Top 50 Bars in the Country” in 2011 and “Best Bar Food in the US” in 2012, featured in GQ, The Los Angeles Times, Imbibe, and the recipient of the 2011 “Grand Orchid” Design Award– the highest honor of the annual Orchid & Onion awards, sponsored by the San Diego Architectural Foundation– Craft & Commerce, has consistently garnered recognition as a pioneer in San Diego’s evolving urban movement.

Unequivocally equal parts restaurant and conversational destination, its unique aesthetic resembles that of a dimly-lit, industrial literary cabin swathed in the din of exuberant communication. Craft & Commerce offers a contemporary take on seasonal American cuisine, which is complemented by a diverse craft cocktail and beer program born from months of collaboration with New York City bartending giant Phil Ward (Death & Co., Mayahuel). The deliberately eclectic, thought-provoking décor conceptualized by notable San Diego brick-and-mortar guru Paul Basile all embody the owners’ core philosophy that a casual dining space should also inspire the resurgence of real human interaction, thoughtful dialogue and the exchange of ideas.

Craft & Commerce is located at 675 W. Beech St. in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. For more information, please call 619-269-2202 and visit www.craft-commerce.com.

*Courtesy information H2PublicRelations
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Local Habit Gumbo Recipe

Pacific Shrimp and Oyster Gumbo recipe from Local Habit

Local Habit

Pacific Shrimp and Oyster Gumbo (Courtesy of Local Habit)

  • 1-¼ pounds shrimp
  • ¾ pound oysters
  • 1-¼ pounds Andouille susage
  • ½ pound Tasso
  • 1-¼ pounds yellow Onion
  • 1 lb green bell peppers
  • 1/8 cup garlic
  • 1 celery stalk
  • ¼ bunch green onions
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon toasted coriander
  • 1-½ teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1-½ tablespoons smoked paprika
  • ¾ tablespoons cayenne
  • 6 tablespoons rice bran oil
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup serrano vinegar
  • 1 quart shrimp stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Salt and pepper


  • P&D Shrimp
  • Cut Andouille
  • Cut Tasso
  • Dice Onions
  • Dice Peppers
  • Mince Garlic
  • Chop Celery
  • Grind Allspice and Coriander
  • Make Creole Seasoning (paprika, cayenne, allspice, coriander)


Begin by adding the oil to a large thick bottom pot, heating it for 2 minutes on medium high heat. Proceed to add the flour to the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon until the oil and flour are well combined. Continue to stir the roux for about 20 to 30 minutes, until it becomes chocolate brown in color. Add the onions, peppers, celery, and garlic to the pot; season the mixture with Creole spices and stir well. Afterward, cover the pot with a lid and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are extremely tender and have released their liquids. Next, add in the sausage, tasso, ¼ of the shrimp, and the bay leaf. Mix well and cook covered for another 15 minutes. Finally, add the wine, vinegar, and shrimp broth to the pot, stirring well. Cover, and cook everything on low heat for 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. Remove the lid and cook the mixture for an additional 30 minutes. Let the Gumbo cool to room temperature and then refrigerate (for up to 5 days). The Gumbo is best if served the day after it is made.


Bring the Gumbo to a boil and add in 5 or 6 shrimp and 4 oysters. Once the seafood is cooked through, pour the Gumbo over rice and serve with sliced bread.

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New Oregon Rye Whiskey

Rogue is a small revolution, which expresses itself through handcrafted Ales, Porters, Stouts, Lagers and Spirits. A Rogue Ale, Porter, Stout, Lager or Spirit is crafted to give it unique character, innovative in its makeup and brewing, a process that has not compromised quality.

Oregon Rye Whiskey

Rogue Ales and Spirits announces the release of Oregon Rye Whiskey which is brewed and distilled using Rogue Farms DreamTM Rye that is grown and malted by Rogue on its proprietary farms in Oregon.

oregon rye whiskeyRogue Brewmaster John Maier comments, “From start to finish, we had control over the entire process. It has been an amazing journey to learn what it takes to turn dirt and seeds into a bright, beautiful whiskey. It has been a real labor of love and we are excited to finally share it.”

The first harvest of DreamTM Rye produced just 374 cases of whiskey, which will be released to retailers nationwide in limited quantities on December 1, 2014.

Rogue Ales and Spirits is an agri-fermenter founded in Oregon in 1988, as one of America’s first microbreweries. Rogue has won more than 1,700 awards for taste, quality and packaging and is available in all 50 states and 48 countries.

Since 2008, Rogue has remained committed to saving the terroir of Oregon hops, barley, rye, wheat, honey, jalapenos and pumpkins one acre at a time by growing their own. (503) 241-3800 // ROGUE.com.

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San Diego Downtown News

San Diego Italian FoodNotable San Diego Journalist Frank Sabatini, Jr. writes about my new book in the San Diego Downtown News!

For the Love of Pasta

The time was riper than a mid-summer tomato to chronicle the recent explosion of Italian restaurants in San Diego and to frame the history of the long-established ones that still thrive. 

Locally based author and food blogger Maria Desiderata Montana has done exactly that (and more) in her latest book, “San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond,” published by The History Press.

As a first-generation Italian who was born and raised in Spokane, WA, she approached the eight-month project armed with a family background steeped in enviable culinary traditions.

Weekends meant rolling out batches of ravioli with her mother, whom she refers to as “the quintessential Italian wife,” while summers signaled the arrival of fresh vegetables that her father cultivated in their large backyard. She goes on to describe snacking on home-cured meats that were hang drying from the rafters of her uncle’s basement.

Her passion for cooking, she recalls, began at 7 years old when helping her mother prepare Christmas Eve dinner at the crack of dawn — hence a collection of favorite recipes from her own kitchen that are included in the book.

Read more of this story by Frank Sabatini, Jr. in the San Diego Downtown News and Gay San Diego.

San Diego Downtown News

About Frank Sabatini, Jr.

Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of Secret San Diego (ECW Press); worked at the former San Diego Tribune; and has since covered the culinary scene extensively for NBC, Pacific San Diego Magazine, San Diego Uptown News, San Diego Downtown News, Gay San Diego, Living in Style Magazine and The Gay & Lesbian Times.

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Sandbar Wins Best Fish Taco

On Tuesday, November 18th, the Fish Taco TKO & San Diego Craft Beers presented by Dining Out Magazine returned to Southern California’s largest food and wine festival for another mouthwatering showcase of the San Diego culinary classics. A signature wine and food festival event, the evening held at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station in San Diego’s Point Loma community, featured the famed Fish Taco TKO Competition.

Fish Taco Win For Sandbar Grill

A lively and palatable showdown where San Diego’s top fish taco makers go head-to-head in a crave-worthy battle to be crowned San Diego’s finest. “In San Diego, a fish taco paired with a local craft beer is a signature taste of the city, and a treasured element to local lifestyle,” said Michelle Metter, co-producer of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.

 Congratulations to Sandbar Grill – the Fish Taco TKO Champions for the second year in a row at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Liberty Station.

photos courtesy of San Diego Bay Food and Wine Festival (Facebook)

CONGRATULATIONS to all the 2014 Taco TKO winners!

First Place: Sandbar Grill
Second Place: Tequila Bar & Grille
Third Place: Cardiff Beach Bar at Tower 13

About Sandbar Sports Grill: Sandbar Sports Grill is a full-service facility serving flavorful menu items that always surprise and delight. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day. Sandbar Sports Grill is located in the heart of Mission Beach on Ventura Place, only steps from the ocean. The Sky Bar is the perfect spot to relax while savoring a tasty appetizer and a frozen drink. You will be able to enjoy a famous San Diego sunset without having to leave your seat. Quality food served in a lively atmosphere is what Sandbar Sports Grill is known to deliver.

*Courtesy information

Sandbar Sports Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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Gourmet Latin Cuisine Hits Little Italy

The newly opened Sirena restaurant offers a true gourmet Latin Cuisine inspired menu, with many dishes having roots in the food culture of South America.

Latin Cusine
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Gourmet Latin Cuisine

Located on the corner of Columbia and Fir Streets in San Diego’s Little Italy, the new Sirena restaurant boasts a neutral color palette accented with wooden walls and dark tables, making it the perfect spot for a romantic date or upscale business dinner.

The philosophy behind the menu at Sirena is to showcase fresh ingredients with simple flavors. “We wanted to bring San Diego a unique and unmatched culinary experience with a one-of-a-kind menu,” says Executive Chef Jaime Chavez.

Latin Cuisine
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Sirena stands out from other restaurants in the area by a few trademarks. First, Sirena is the only true Latin American-inspired restaurant, with many dishes having roots in the food culture of South America, while taking on a new life with modern and inventive preparations. Secondly, the caliber of their fresh, seasonal and sustainable ingredients is unmatched. “We do everything we can to feature only locally or regionally-caught seafood and in-season produce,” Chavez says. “We even grow some of the produce ourselves. The menu is creative and complex, while still allowing simple ingredients to shine through.”

Sirena utilizes a unique combination of ingredients for a distinct flavor and appearance. For example, their purple cauliflower is delicately pickled and prepared with oysters and a a fresh coconut-ginger sauce is paired with braised scallops. Additionally, even though Sirena is a seafood restaurant, they also cater to vegetarian and vegan diners. Chavez explains that several members of his kitchen team are not-meat eaters, so much time has been devoted to developing techniques to replicate some of their favorite dishes into vegan-approved options, including cauliflower that tastes like ceviche or mushrooms that imitate raw oysters. “Food can be very creative, which is our inspiration in the Sirena kitchen.”

Latin Cuisine
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

A majority of the ingredients on the menu at Sirena are not only fresh, but sustainable. Born in Puerto Montt, one of the main cities in the south of Chile, Chavez liked to go to his grandfather’s house in a little fishermen’s city called Maullín, where they had a farm. At a very young age, he learned about fish and seafood. “I was able to open clams before reading,” he says. Chavez also says his first approach with cooking was during the holiday season. “It is common in my family to slow roast a half lamb with a chimichurri lacquer. So, while it was very annoying for adults to rotate the lamb for four hours, it was a very attractive job for a little kid.”

Latin Cuisine
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

In the south of Chile, Chavez explains that there was a significant German influence, thus his family developed German pastry traditions. “I think cooking and baking is in my blood,” he says. “To be honest, while growing up, I never thought I wanted to cook for a living, but at some point what was in my blood was stronger than my own wishes.”

Chavez attended Inacap, in Santiago de Chile, the oldest culinary school in Chile. He started in 2004, studying in the daytime, and working in different places at night. From fast food to taco shops, Asian eateries to sushi restaurants, he’s worked all of them, gaining invaluable skills, techniques and experience.

Latin Cuisine
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

In October 2006, Chavez moved for an internship to Peralada a little village in Alt Empurdá Barcelona in a little boutique hotel. He learned there the importance of respecting the ingredients. During his internship, he spent a couple of weeks at El Cingle, a Michelin star restaurant. It was there he received his training in contemporary Catalan cuisine with Montse Estruch; a revolutionary in the field.

Eventually, Chavez headed back to Chile to finish school. Looking for new experiences he moved to a restaurant called Emilio, the best Peruvian fine dining restaurant in Santiago. He started there as line cook and in less than three months, he was promoted to sous chef. He stayed there for a couple of months, until he received an offer to open a Peruvian restaurant in his home city. “It was a beautiful and hard experience, but it was there that I realized that I really loved this life,” he says.

Latin Cuisine
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

One day, Chavez was in his office and received a call offering him a pastry position at El Cingle, the Michelin star restaurant he had trained at. It was an opportunity he could not turn down, pastry or not. When he arrived at the restaurant, he was informed that there was actually no chef de cuisine at the restaurant, so he jumped from pastry to chef de cuisine in a couple of minutes!

Chavez explains that managing a Michelin star-awarded restaurant was very different than managing other any of the other restaurants he had worked for at that time. At El Cingle, there was no space for mistakes and the place was very demanding. We worked eighteen hours a day, almost every day. “There are so many details to take care of, that you can’t even imagine,” he says. “I had so much to read about, invested several hours in research, practiced my plating skills, and developed a creative process for making new dishes. That place made me who I am now.”

Eventually, Chavez left Spain to follow his my wife to Tijuana, Mexico. There he was an instructor at a cooking school, teaching students how to experience food and cooking. From Tijuana, Chavez and his wife came to San Diego, where they have worked in several hotels and restaurants in the city, finally bringing him me to Sirena as the new Executive Chef. “Now, I wish to provide a way for anyone to enjoy and experience those possibilities through my culinary creations,” he says.

Latin Cuisine
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

The menu at Sirena is inspired by Chavez’s background and by the food culture of South America. Many of the dishes are inspired by things his mother would make, but with a special spin. “I love simple, clean flavors with a complex preparation,” he says. “But, there are also other menu items that play up the quality of seafood we are able to get here in San Diego. Nekkei, our take on a “sushi-style” dish, spotlights how fresh and flavorful our seafood is, even when served raw.”

One of Chavez’s favorite dishes on the menu is the Peruvian Ceviche where the flavors are very fresh and clean with a hint of spice. The fresh oysters are also a favorite, offering a unique presentation, served with pickled vegetables and toasted squid-inked black bread. As a main dish, the braised scallops set atop a fresh coconut-ginger sauce, mirasol chili oil and a cauliflower puree is absolute perfection. “I love every dish we have on the menu,” says Chavez. “When I started, I was convinced about the flavors but I had to test the textures. I especially love the scallops because it’s a simple dish and the flavors are amazing. There are so many textures, that every bite is a difference experience.”

*Written by Maria Desiderata Montana

Sirena Gourmet Latin Seafood on Urbanspoon

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Kid Friendly Restaurants

You already know there are countless reasons to celebrate the little ones in your life. Kids add laughter and zest to our lives, and never cease to surprise us with their amusing insights and witty observations. Their chocolate-smeared smiles serve as a reminder that even on the gloomiest of days, there is something worth grinning about. Head on over to one of your favorite San Diego restaurants where small tummies are happily fed and welcomed every day.

Kid Friendly Restaurants

No need to ship the youngsters off to Grandma’s house this evening. At Lumberyard Tavern, you can enjoy a craft beer and a delicious meal while still keeping the kids happy and right by your side. They’ll love the Tavern Tenders or the Pepperoni & Sausage Flatbread, and they’ll keep juice where it should be with a spill-proof cup with a lid and straw. Whether or not you can get them to finish their side of steamed broccoli…well, that’s another story.

When you’re grabbing lunch, dinner or breakfast at Liberty Station’s Fig Tree Café, don’t worry that Junior insisted on wearing his Spiderman costume out of the house. The large, outdoor patio seating is anything but stuffy, and makes for a fun and casual family atmosphere. After your meal, take a stroll together to the nearby playground where you can relax while the kids frolic and run off some steam.

kid friendly restaurants
Courtesy photo

Your babysitter bailed at the last minute, and suddenly you’ve got the kiddies back in your hands. Luckily, there’s no better place to turn date night into family night than Ortega’s Bistro. Located in Hillcrest on the corner of University and Third, Ortega’s says “niños welcome too!” The kids’ Chicken Quesadilla is made with love, melted jack cheese and chicken breast in a homemade flour tortilla. For breakfast, order them the French toast or Niño Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese and potatoes.

At Brazen BBQ, meals are kid-tested and parent-approved. “Little cowhands” will love the Pulled Pork Slider, or the Mac & Cheese bowl. For a helping of what the big kids are eating in little-kid size, try the BBQ plate. Add a regular side like cowboy beans or mashed potatoes and a small drink, and your little helpers will be stuffed and happy.

For kids (and parents) with a boundless sweet tooth, Le Parfait Paris caters to every sugar-coated whim. Colorful little macaroons are fun to pick out, fun to eat and just the right size for tiny hands. French pastry chef Jean-Francois Fays creates authentic breads, pastries, sandwiches and quiches the whole family will delight in. Wash down your pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) with a creamy latte macchiato while the enfants sip on a hot chocolate viennois.

Kids have a lot of habits, and sometimes one of them is refusing to sit still. If yours protest sitting through an entire meal, they can safely wiggle around the outdoor patio tables at Pacific Beach Fish Shop. Kids are welcomed with their own menu that includes items like a half order of fish & chips or popcorn shrimp. For junior sailors with a strict no-fish policy, chicken fingers and corndogs are always a safe bet. Each meal is served joyfully with fries and a Capri Sun.

*Courtesy information Alternative Strategies
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Cooking with Friends in Coronado

Executive Chef Tim Kolanko of Blue Bridge Hospitality (the Coronado based restaurant collective) launches a new dinner series at Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge dubbed Cooking with Friends”.

Cooking With Friends
Courtesy images

 Cooking with Friends Dinner Series Lineup

December 9th, 2014

Executive Chef Carmine Lopez, Great Maple + Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

$75.00 per person

Menu as follows

Seafood Croquette, smoke trout, trout roe, preserved lemon aioli
Fresh Ricotta Crostini, persimmon jam
Short Rib Terrine, duck liver mousse, crispy smashed red potato
Wine Paired: Meyer-Fonné, Cremant d’Alsace Brut, N.V., Alsace, France

Beets with hazelnut, chicory, truffle vinaigrette
Wine Paired: Sylvaner, Domaine Ostertag, Les Vieilles Vignes, 2013, Alsace, France

Seared Scallop, apple, onion, horseradish, celery
Wine Paired: Chardonnay, Olivier Savary, 2013, Chablis, France

Braised Beef Cheek Pot Au Feu, winter vegetables
Wine Paired: Grenache/Syrah, Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux, Cuvee Azalais, 2012, Vacqueyras, France

Warm Poached Pear Tartlet
Wine Paired: Sémillon, Château Roûmieu-Lacoste, 2011, Sauternes, France

January 13, 2015

Executive Chef Amy DiBiase & Sous Chef Kyle Bergman, Tidal + Tasting Room Manager Dave Adams of Green Flash Brewing Co.

February 03, 2015

Chef-Owner Fred Piehl, The Smoking Goat

March 03, 2015

Executive Chef Paul Arias, The Fishery

April 07, 2015

Executive Chef Steven Riemer, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

May 05, 2015

Executive Chef/Partner Jason McLeod, Ironside Fish & Oyster

TIME: Each dinner will take place at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Leroy’s Kitchen & Lounge | 1015 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118 | 619.437.6087 | leroyskitchenandlounge.com

RESERVATIONS: Can be made by calling the restaurant at 619.437.6087 or making a reservation online at www.opentable.com or leroyskitchenandlounge.com

COST: The cost and course breakdown for each dinner will very. Seating is limited to 40 attendees.

About Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge

An authentic neighborhood destination with a warm and welcoming appeal, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge raises the bar on Coronado’s chef-driven dining scene by delivering a truly locavore experience. Executive Chef Tim Kolanko has crafted a passionately sustainable, ingredient-driven menu consisting of approachable, gastro-fare cuisine. Kolanko’s made-from-scratch culinary ethos presents diners with diverse flavors through a menu that changes to reflect the season’s freshest ingredients. The restaurant is named after Blue Bridge Hospitality’s well-traveled co-founder, Leroy Mossel, who alongside his Blue Bridge partner and cousin, David Spatafore—both long-time residents of Coronado— launched the restaurant group in 1998. Spatafore found his cousin’s eclectic background to be the perfect inspiration for this restaurant’s design and menu. Proudly partnering with neighboring farmers, brewers and producers, Leroy’s Kitchen + Bar also features an eclectic array of artwork from the surrounding artist’s community, presenting unique charm for locals and tourists alike. The beverage program showcases San Diego’s rich craft beer movement, highlighting the city’s best microbreweries with a diverse selection of on-tap options and craft beer flights. Leroy’s also offers a rotating menu of seasonal craft cocktails prepared with fresh herbs and spices. The restaurant boasts a private dining room that seats 10-12 and serves as the ideal space for small parties, business meetings or intimate dinners.

Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge is located at 1015 Orange Avenue. More information can be found at LeroysKitchenandLounge.com or by calling 619-437-6087.

*Courtesy information H2 Public Relations
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Holiday Sweets in San Diego

Holiday Sweets
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With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, sweet smells of pumpkin and spice are in the air. Be the most popular party host this holiday season with Flower Hill Promenade’s charming array of seasonal dessert offerings. Get the first glance at these irresistible seasonal specials that are perfect for everyone in your family – even your dogs!

We’ve included information of the top seasonal desserts that can be found at the Flower Hill Promenade, all offering unique flavors this season.

 Holiday Sweets

Nothing Bundt Cakes
No Seasonal gathering is complete without one of Nothing Bundt Cake’s Holly Jolly Holiday Cakes. This famous San Diego bakery is keeping their holiday desserts classic and delicious using gingerbread as their feature flavor throughout the season.

Three Dog Bakery
All dog owners know that this joyous season isn’t just for people. Deck the halls with your dog at Three Dog Bakery -an all-natural bakery of dog-friendly treats. Warm your pets’ tummies with the PUP-permint mocha treats, made with real carob and mint flavor, or satisfy their sweet tooth with their famous dog-friendly christmas cake.

Venissimo Cheese
Combine the rich flavors of your favorite cheese with the sweet taste of traditional pastries for the perfect holiday hors d’oeuvre or dessert. Try the Speziato al Tartufo, a truffled Italian cheese rolled in cinnamon, nutmeg and clovers for just $15 a pound, or their famous Fourme au Sauternes, an aged French blue cheese soaked in sweet Sauternes wine for $28.50 per half pound.

Their signature desserts include the Brillat with Cranberries, a decadent triple creme brie from France topped with sweet cranberries, their handmade Panettone, and the Tannenbaum Kuchen – their very own pressed fruit cake made with dried pears, pine nuts, and rosemary.

For an additional flare to your holiday festivities, take home their Fondue for Two – a bread and cie sourdough bread bowl ready to made to take and bake, filled with the blend of delightful alpine cheeses, herbs de provence and white wine for just $15 each.

*Courtesy information jpublicrelations
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Family Friendly Waypoint Public

Waypoint Public
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Family Friendly Waypoint Public

Nestled in the heart of North Park. Waypoint Public highlights their commitment and enthusiasm for great food and beer pairings while trying to hit the trifecta of great food, great beer, and a determination to appeal to a neighborhood demographic, which includes a growing number of young families. “There’s a growing demand for dining environments that cater to both children and adults and being family-friendly was an essential element when conceptualizing Waypoint Public from the get go,” says John Pani, co-owner of Waypoint Public. “I’m the father of three young children, and like many other families around our Kensington neighborhood, I want to enjoy great food and drink without sacrificing quality time with my family.” For group dining, Waypoint Public can accommodate larger groups in the main dining room, or the private “Bear Den” in the back of the restaurant. Executive Chef Amanda Baumgarten satisfies the hunger pangs of diners by delivering a menu that reinterprets comfort food classics while highlighting regional flavors. (www.waypointpublic.com)

Written by Maria Desiderata Montana

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Taco Tuesday Reinvented

Variety is the Spice of Life, Even on Tuesdays in San Diego!

Taco Tuesday
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Don’t get us wrong, Taco Tuesday will always be near and dear to our hearts. It’s a tradition integral to the San Diego culture and way of life, and will always worth celebrating with a salty-rimmed margarita. But Tuesdays aren’t just for tacos anymore. The old Mexican-American favorite takes a back seat to these awesome weekly happenings going down right in our backyard.

Taco Tuesday

Feeling the weekend blues and it’s only Tuesday? The folks at Tavern, know exactly what the doctor ordered. Gone Postal Tuesdays offer $4 Jäger shots as well as $4 American Harvest vodka. Mix that with table taps and half off all drinks from 3 to 7 p.m., and you’ve got a night that gives Taco Tuesday a run for its money.

At True North Tavern, “craft” is for the arts- and also for beer. Every Tuesday, get crafty the adult way with live performances and $3-4-5 drafts. True North’s weekly “Arts & Crafts” festivities bring local talent and craft beer specials to those who are tired of the same taco every Tuesday.

Can you say Tapas Tuesday? At Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro, it has an especially charming ring to it. Tapas are a variety of appetizers in Spanish cuisine, and on Tuesdays they’re half off all day inside Romesco’s Tapas Bar. Choose from a long list of cold or hot small plates like Antipasto Romesco, seared yellow fin tuna sashimi, calamari fritti and plenty more.

Taco Tuesday
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The second day of the working week wouldn’t be complete without Neighborhood Tuesdays at Duck Dive. From 5 p.m. until kitchen close, the casual beach lounge cooks up specialties made with fresh produce handpicked from the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers’ Market. Your entrée is completed with a featured cocktail, also made from locally-sourced ingredients. From 11 a.m. to 4, a burger and any draft is $10. Then, from 9 p.m. ‘til close, get any local draft for $2. What better occasion than this farm-to-table affair to bring you to our stretch of the coast this Tuesday?

Step into the wine cellar every Tuesday night at Uptown Tavern with $5 wines by the glass. From 9 p.m. until close, complete an order of Angus beef sliders or barley risotto with your choice of wine from the list of red, white and rosé. Sip a robust Bodega Via Monte cabernet, or choose a glass of crisp Stemmari pinot grigio to complement your meal.

While Pacific Beach Fish Shop boasts some award-winning and truly delicious fish tacos, it would be a sin to overlook other seafaring eats from their tasty menu. Choose a fish like seared rare albacore or diver scallops, smother it in chipotle glaze or lemon butter, and sandwich it to grilled perfection on a toasted torta roll. With a bottled beer selection worth bragging about, get ready for a Tuesday at high tide.

*Courtesy information Alternative Strategies
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Isola Pizza Bar

Sophisticated and modern, Isola Pizza Bar offers warm and friendly service to every guest whom walks in the door. Located in a tiny storefront in the heart of San Diego’s Little Italy, the menu is a surprise that will leave you craving more for your next visit. Read more in the ‘San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City’, now available for pre-order.

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Bruschetta with Fresh Figs and Pistachios (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Bruschetta with Fresh Figs and Pistachios (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Fegatini de Polo Alla Toscana: Organic Chicken Liver, Capers, Crispy Pancetta and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Fegatini de Polo Alla Toscana: Organic Chicken Liver, Capers, Crispy Pancetta and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Caramel and Chocolate Budino (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Caramel and Chocolate Budino (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

(619) 255-4230

Isola Pizza Bar on Urbanspoon

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Make the Most of Black Friday

Local Boutiques and Restaurants Map the Best Course to Make the Most of Black Friday

Black Friday
Left to right: Risotto Arancini and Fish Tacos From Pacifica Del Mar (Courtesy photos)

Black Friday

Pacfica Del Mar
Raise the Black Friday bar and head to Pacifica for extended happy hour from 3 to 10 p.m. Specials like Goat Cheese Risotto Arancini with San Marzano tomato sauce and truffle cream and tacos like Blackened Fish and Pulled Pork will be served all night to soothe tired shoppers. In addition to the bites, guests can enjoy two dollars off on beer, wines by the glass and featured cocktails like Pacifica’s Pear-Ginger Collins, made with house pear sorbet, Crater Lake Ginger Vodka, fresh lemon juice and soda.

1555 Camino Del Mar
(858) 792-0467
Facebook: PacificaDelMar
Twitter: @PacificaDelMar

The Den
Equal parts edgy and chic, The Den boutique boasts an impressive array of clothing and accessories for men and women from exclusive lines like Good hYOUman and Kris Nations that would require a road trip to get anywhere else. Unique, local brands that call The Den home include Leucadia-based The People’s Movement, eco-conscious footwear and accessories made using plastic bags cleaned from the beaches off of Southern California and Bali.

2744 Carlsbad Blvd Suite 106
(760) 729-2080
Facebook: thedencarlsbad
Twitter: @thedenonline

Black Friday
Lobster Nigiri at RA Sushi (Courtesy photo)

RA Sushi
Escape the hustle and bustle of the crowds on Black Friday for some RA Sushi Retail Therapy. Starting at 11 a.m., choose from more than 25 appetizer and sushi selections like local favorites, the Viva Las Vegas roll and “RA”ckin’ Shrimp, plus a wide variety of beer, wine and signature cocktails like the Blushing Geisha, Dragon Bite and Sake Sangria. RA’s all-day happy hour is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28.

474 Broadway
(619) 321-0021
Facebook: RASushi
Twitter: @rasushi

Known for its extensive collection of all things rad, Seaworthy is the destination for shoppers in need of not only surf and skate gear, but some truly unique clothing as well. Built with love and pride for the greatness of the nation, Seaworthy has a vintage vibe complete with décor that pays tribute to the World War II generation, but their progressive line of clothing strikes a contemporary cord with features like water resistant fabric and t-shirts that fold into dog bowls for beach time with four-legged friends.

2988 State St
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 434-7873
Facebook: seaworthysurf
Twitter: seaworthysurfca

Viz Art Ink
Extreme doodle art studio and Carlsbad Village staple,Viz Art Ink is the perfect locale for those creative spirits on your holiday list. Viz Art Ink features hand-drawn, unique pieces that contain hidden pictures and words of inspiration that all work together to form one large piece, all done by hand in pen and ink. In addition to prints and commissioned work, Viz Art Ink also sells limited edition holiday cards, totes and t-shirts.

2906 State Street
(760) 434-2628
Facebook: Viz-Art-ink
Twitter: vizartink

*Courtesy information the nth element
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Morada in Rancho Santa Fe

(Courtesy photos)

Executive Chef Todd Allison says there’s a seat for everyone at the new Morada Restaurant at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe

As the Executive Chef at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, Chef Todd Allison brings more than 10 years of luxury culinary experience to his team and guests. Prior to joining The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe (Inn cookbook available here), Chef Allison served as the Executive Chef at Anthology in San Diego, California where he was responsible for all day-to-day operations of the 350-seat venue. Prior to that, he was the Executive Chef at Hilton Checkers in Downtown Los Angeles. Chef Allison also previously worked as Executive Chef at Bollinger’s in Santa Barbara, Chef de Cuisine at Studio at Montage Laguna Beach under Chef James Boyce and as Sous Chef at Michael Mina’s restaurant, Aqua, at the St. Regis Monarch Beach.

Morada’s Executive Chef Todd Allison (Courtesy photo)

A native San Diegan, Allison began his culinary tenure as a dishwasher and worked his way through each step in the kitchen, understanding the essential aspects of each position and the importance of a unified kitchen team. Allison obtained his Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale. When not in the kitchen, Chef Allison enjoys the great California outdoors – surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, hiking, competing in triathlons and traveling the world. He currently resides in San Diego within walking distance to some of his favorite pubs and restaurants.

Morada Restaurant

Q&A with Executive Chef Todd Allison of Morada at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe

By Maria Desiderata Montana

Q: What do you feel sets your restaurant apart from other restaurants in the San Diego area?

TA: Our location –The heart of the village of Rancho Santa Fe at the historic Inn at Rancho Fe (Built in 1923). Ultimately I believe we all strive for the same thing…happy bellies followed with a good beverage.

Q: How has the restaurant changed?

TA: The restaurant has changed in every aspect – location, décor, and menu, with a comfortable sophistication. Come in jeans and a T-shirt or get dressed up for a special occasion — there is a seat for everyone here!

Monkfish Amuse-Bouche (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Q: Tell me about your new menu.

TA: I try to keep it simple and fresh. If I had to give it a definition, I would say local California ingredients with a strong Mediterranean influence.

Q: What do you feel are your special talents in the kitchen?

TA: Keeping my cool under pressure, being able to multi task and take on the daily work load and deliver with out a glitch.

Beet Pasta and Chilean Sea Bass (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Q: What do you like best about being a chef?

TA: Organized chaos! I like the pressure, the deadlines, always on your feet, something new everyday, a new season every 3 months, teaching and mentoring young chefs.

Q: Do you use sustainable, local and organic ingredients?

TA: Of course! We live and work in one of the best regions for this. So many new farmers pop up each year and everyone is supporting sustainable products so it makes it that much easier. We also have a new herb and vegetable garden on property.

Gnuddi (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Q: Tell me what aspect of your career gives you the most satisfaction.

TA: Creating memorable meals for our guests, so they want to come back again and again.

Q: Can you share some tips some tips for cooking healthy meals at home?

TA: Create and use marinades that use fresh spices and fresh juices with little or no oil. A dish doesn’t always need a sauce to make it good. You can get a lot of flavor out of marinating and adding fresh vegetables.

Strawberry Shortcake and Chocolate Pot de Creme (Photos by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Q: Do you have any tips for people who are trying to embrace a lifestyle of healthier eating – even when that lifestyle includes eating at restaurants?

TA: Yes, don’t go to a chain restaurant, support our local chefs who are creating menus that are fresh and flavorful and supporting our local farms!

Q: Tell me one “sinful food” you enjoy in moderation.

TA: Coco puffs cereal. The chocolate milk it leaves behind is the best!

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Back to Roots San Diego

BacktoRootsBilled as an Artisan Foodie’s market, the Banker’s Hill mini-specialty market will showcase local and international artisanal purveyors, spotlighting the importance of craft in the food industry.

Back to Roots

Philip Ariza, who along with his brother Jan, heads El Campito Farms located in Descanso, specializes in heirloom varieties of produce which are hand-harvested daily, using deep-organic methods to create very rich soil without the use of organic fertilizers or pesticides, providing local distribution to noted San Diego restaurants and a biweekly farm stand.

Spaniard Alvaro Miranda, whose family has long been involved in making cheese and raising pigs, established Iberico Taste 3 years ago, specializing in importing products including Iberico ham, chorizo, and truffle oil mainly from Spain. Limited production, high quality artisanal producers make up a portfolio which includes unique items such as Jamón Ibérico (Iberico Ham) is a unique ham, cured for up to four years, which comes from an ancient breed of pig found only on the Iberian Peninsula, known as Cerdo Ibérico, or “Pata Negra” for its black hoof. Philip and Alvaro together identified a need among food connoisseurs to source handcrafted items locally and abroad, created a partnership, and Back To Roots Market was born. Back to Roots is designed to bring people back in touch with what they eat, according to Philip, “offering varieties and products that don’t necessarily last the longest on the shelf, but are flavorful and hormone and chemical-free”.

Back to Roots
Courtesy photo

With Iberico Taste and El Campito Farms as permanent vendors, Back to Roots brought in renowned regional Chef Flor Franco’s healthy food to go, including organic roasted chicken and seasonal items, to feature in her “Esquina de Flor” (Flor’s corner). Other purveyors brought on board include Prager Brothers Artisan Breads, started by Louie Prager, a plant biologist with a degree from Cal Poly, and his brother Clint, a professional musician, with their production of handcrafted and naturally leavened whole grain and rye bread. Taste Enoteca’s Chef, Martin Gonzalez, will have fresh-made pasta and sauces available including carrot and ginger tagliatelle and sugo al pomodoro.

Back to Roots Market is located at 3318 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA, 92103 and will open November 19th, 2014

To round out the mix at Back to Roots Market, Descanso Valley Ranch, with their locally raised chickens and eggs from Farmers Carl and Tamara, was also selected along with Baja Food + Wines for its cellar curated by Fernando Gaxiola, offering boutique, family-owned and artisan wineries from Valle de Guadalupe in northern Baja California, from where 90% of the Mexican wines are produced. Also featured are ceramics by Karla Patterson, abstract and organic pieces which bring together elements of nature, color and texture, as well as custom furniture from Planet Rooth Design Haus.

Back to Roots Market

3318 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 882-0947




*Courtesy information Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade 
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Tea by the Sea at L’Auberge Del Mar

L’Auberge Del Mar, by Destination Hotels continues its new tradition of L’Tea by the Sea this holiday season. This popular, coastal-inspired afternoon tea, which made its debut last year, offers an enchanting way to celebrate the season with friends and loved ones while enjoying picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean.

Tea by the Sea
Courtesy photo

“L’Tea by the Sea allows our guests to revel in the holiday spirit and take advantage of our unrivaled coastal setting in Del Mar,” said Bob Harter, director of sales and marketing. “We look forward to making it a holiday tradition for years to come.”

Tea by the Sea

The stylish L’Tea by the Sea will be served Saturday and Sunday afternoons in November and December. Guests gather in the ocean view Lobby Living Room near a cozy fireplace and enjoy champagne, loose leaf teas, miniature sandwiches, scones with fresh made Devonshire cream and an array of bite-sized desserts. L’Tea is offered at $39 per person, or $49 which includes a glass of champagne. Reservations are required with seatings at 2:30 p.m. each day.

Tea by the Sea
Courtesy photo

Scheduled dates include: November 29th and 30th and December 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28. For reservations, call 858-793-6460.

L’Tea by the Sea Menu Holiday Tea Selections

Blood Orange: An all fruit tisane. Deep citrus flavor of orange peels, apple pieces rose hips and hibiscus. Naturally caffeine-free.

Garden Treat: An all herb tisane made of alfalfa, spearmint, peppermint, chamomile verbena and lemon grass. Soothing and caffeine-free.

Green Pomegranate: Green tea with a delicate floral, dry honey and mild cherry essence.

Moto Chai: A black tea from India. Spiced with pepper, vanilla, ginger, cardamom sun dried orange peel and cinnamon. Ideal for lots of milk and honey.

Organic Radiant Swathe: A black tea from India. Bright, crisp with a clean finish. Great with cream and sugar.

Organic Vanilla Peach Rooibos: A red tea from South Africa. Sweet peach and light creamy oat flavor.

Organic Pineapple Papaya White Tea: White tea with a delicate strawberry and mildly sweet pineapple flavor.

Coastal Finger Sandwiches

Roasted Apple & Celery: Thyme Aioli, Wheat Bread Butternut Squash, Sage, Nutmeg Aioli, Parmesan, Sourdough

Smoked Ocean Trout: Horseradish Cream Cheese, Caramelized Beets, Potato Bread Duck Confit, Roasted Parsnip, & Date: Tarragon Aioli, Rye Prosciutto, Smoked Goat Cheese, Honey Mustard, Rosemary

Seaside Sweets

Fresh Baked Seasonal Scones: Fruit Preserves, Whipped Orange Honey Butter, Devonshire Cream

Assorted Petite Fours

About L’Auberge Del Mar, by Destination Hotels

Located in the heart of Southern California’s most picturesque coastal village of Del Mar, L’Auberge Del Mar, by Destination Hotels overlooks the Pacific Ocean and offers a resort experience reminiscent of a private, coastal estate. This historic seaside hotel offers 120 guest rooms and suites, refreshing dining options, a cheerful and cozy spa, a private path to the beach and peaceful pool area. The award-winning, signature restaurant, KITCHEN 1540, blends energy and intrigue with a fresh, lively atmosphere. The restaurant’s extensive offerings meld the classic and the unexpected, making KITCHEN 1540 something one simply has to try when dining in Del Mar. For more information, please visit www.laubergedelmar.com or www.destinationhotels.com.

About Destination Hotels

Destination Hotels (Destination) is the largest owner and operator of independent hotels, resorts and residences in the United States. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Destination is an industry leader with more than 40 years of hospitality management and development experience. Located in premier destinations, the portfolio is continuously growing with more than 40 luxury and upscale properties from coast to coast. The award-winning company operates 20 golf courses, 19 full-service spas, six IACC-certified conference centers and 130 bars and restaurants. The privately-owned company is a subsidiary of Lowe Enterprises, a Los Angeles-based investment, development and real estate firm. For more information on Destination Hotels, visit www.destinationhotels.com.

*Courtesy information JLK Marketing + Communications

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