Tasty Burgers Take Over San Diego

The Patio On Lamont Street

May 28th is the date to set all diets aside because calories don’t count on National Burger Day.  If you want to go the extra mile, you could say they don’t count the entire month of May, since the whole month is dedicated to America’s fascination with the hamburger.  Grab your napkins and discover the very tastiest burgers in all of San Diego. From a spam topped Hawaiian styled patty to another complete with bacon and a fried egg, there’s a little something to whet your burger appetite!

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Cinco De Mayo Celebrations In San Diego

Kettner Exchange San Diego
Kettner Exchange

Nothing says Cinco de Mayo in San Diego like beachfront dining, live music, and a full day of craft cocktail specials!

Kettner Exchange | San Diego, Calif. 

There is no place quite like downtown to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. On May 5, Kettner Exchange will be partnering with Alexia de la Parra of Casa Artelexia to transform the second floor into an exclusive fiesta not to miss. Join Beverage Director Steven Tuttle in two of the cabanas between 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. for a  special tasting of the smoky Mexican distilled spirit, mezcal. Between sips, snack on house favorites like the shishito peppers featuring garlic chips, bonito flakes and ponzu or indulge in the big eye tuna tacos with guacamole, crème fraiche and cilantro. 

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Plan For Mom On Mother’s Day

Mother's DayOn Saturday, May 7th through Sunday, May 8th, show mothers the true appreciation they deserve with a variety of opportunities that will guarantee an unforgettable day!

BANKERS HILL BAR + Restaurant: Enjoy specialty ‘momosas’ as well as brunch menus for children and adults, available exclusively from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 8. All mothers and grandmothers will also be treated to a special takeaway gift: a complimentary tin filled with heirloom tomato seeds and a recipe for homemade heirloom tomato jam. Brunch selections include house-made cinnamon rolls, brioche French toast, BBQ braised pork tacos, and more. Reservations for Mother’s Day brunch are encouraged and can be made by calling the restaurant at 619-231-0222.

BencottoTake your mom on a trip to Italy without leaving San Diego this Mother’s Day. Sip on a glass of Prosecco while enjoying calamari as you take in the sounds and sights of Little Italy. For dinner, choose from a variety of specials including Tagliatelle Al Nero Di Seppia, house made black squid-ink fettuccine with shrimp served in a spicy pink sauce. Keep the night extra sweet by indulging in Bencotto’s delectable chocolate and coconut Tiramisu. All menu items are al la carte and reservations are recommended.

Bellamy’s | Escondido

This Mother’s Day, treat mothers to an exquisite brunch they deserve. Bellamy’s boasts an fine dining menu of modern, French-influenced California cuisine, and an upscale farm-to-table dining experience, helmed by French Master Chef Patrick Ponsaty. Seasonal dishes on the specialty Mother’s Day menu include the chilled yellow corn soup with vanilla bean popcorn; smoked salmon crepe with dill, lemon, caper and red onion; paella Andre Ponsaty with chorizo, shrimp, mussels, clams and lobster-saffron rice; ham and cheese quiche with pomme frites; vanilla crème brûlée with marinated raspberries, and more. Full Mother’s Day menu can be viewed here

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Wine Dinner at The Barrel Room

The Barrel Room

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at The Barrel Room

The wine region of Baja California, Mexico, is growing rapidly, both in size and recognition. This region is one of the worlds best kept secrets, and because San Diegans can travel to Valle de Guadalupe by car in just two hours, we thought it was about time to get the word out. Come to The Barrel Room for a six course meal featuring wines from Baja California as Chef Chappell, Sous Chef Lopez, and Culinary Instructor and Chef of the Masters in food program at Tijuana’s Culinary Arts School, Chef Pily, join together to create an amazing feast to pair with each wine (cost is $70 all inclusive (including tax, and 15% gratuity).

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Cooking Over Fire Is Big Draw at FIRESIDE

Fireside
Cocktails: Blueberries in Paradise and The Scofflaw

Gather over wood-fired food, craft cocktails and wine at the newly opened Fireside by the Patio in Point Loma. Consulting Chef Antonio Friscia and Chef de Cuisine Mike Ground and team, offer a menu that revolve’s around the world’s most timeless cooking tool – FIRE!

Fireside
Smoked Trout + Quinoa Salad

Yakitori-style grilled and skewered proteins and vegetables as well as salmon, bbq ribs, burgers, pork chops and eclectic flatbreads are cooked over fire or smoked in one of the custom grills or ovens. A chalkboard menu of daily rotating wood-fired proteins available to pick up or enjoy in the restaurant.

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Memorial Day Vacation Adventures

Tanque Verde Ranch
Tanque Verde Ranch

Memorial Day is coming up on May 30th, and it’s time for a long weekend of family bonding over road trip games and exciting new sights. Make sure to recharge each night in the comfort of the stop-worthy hotels below to freshen up, grab a hot meal and lay your head on a soft pillow to prepare for the next day’s adventure.

From Sedona, Arizona through San Diego and up to the Golden Coast to San Francisco, California, we’ve included a selection of ultimate overnight stays for a smooth and unforgettable family road trip, including must-see pit stops along the way! 

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People’s Chef Excited To ROCK the Seaside Market

Chef James Montejano
J.Dixx Photography

Two years ago, Executive Chef James Montejano returned to his hometown of San Diego, taking on the role of executive chef at the historical oceanfront landmark location of La Valencia Hotel where he catered to The MED and the new street-facing Cafe La Rue bistro.

Well now the self-proclaimed “people’s chef” is on the move and excited to “rock the market” as the new culinary director and executive chef at the forthcoming Mezzanine Kitchen at the Seaside Market in Cardiff. “You’ve got to just go for it!” he told me today. “My plan is to make this a really special place where I’ll offer all kinds of food, as well as host wine dinners and cooking classes.”

Chef James Montejano

A classically trained French chef, Montejano attended the Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He worked at Aqua restaurant under renowned chef restaurateurs George Morrone and Michael Mina. “These chefs are my mentors,” he says. “They taught me the art of cuisine, how to utilize the products at hand, and keep dishes simple, but unique.”

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Savor French Fare at New Parc Bistro Brasserie

ParcLogo

Parc Bistro-Brasserie will open in the heart of Banker’s Hill in the former Croce’s Park West space in mid May 2016.

Chef Donald Lockhart, most recently at Cusp Restaurant in  La Jolla, will helm the kitchen and offer a classical French cuisine with coastal favorites, as well as Parc’s own private wine label.

Chef Lockhart has worked with Julia Child and Michel Richard as well as cooking at the James Beard House in New York. By using timeless techniques steeped in tradition, Lockhart’s simple cooking approach is to gather the best ingredients and allow the flavors to shine. He looks to cultivate a sense of community through his dishes and believes his French bistro fare will celebrate local bounty and pay homage to the community that contributes to its success. Guests can expect dishes that stay true to the basics, yet offer a contemporary elements. mdm

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KAABOO Del Mar Offers Culinary Extravaganza

Experience KAABOO Del Mar September 16th-19th at the historic Del Mar Racetrack + Fairgrounds, just north of San Diego on the Southern California coast.

KAABOO Del Mar is a three-day “mix-perience” and perfect weekend escape for the sophisticated concert-goer and corporate guests looking for a fully immersive experience without the rough qualities of a traditional outdoor event. It combines a diverse mix of music, high quality culinary offerings, the very best craft libations, visually inspiring art exhibitions, comedy, dancing and all of the indulgent amenities you could hope for, together in one place. Find out more at www.kaaboodelmar.com.

KAABOO Rock’n Chef Competition 2015 from KAABOO Del Mar on Vimeo.

A KAABOO guest can expect artisanal fare that’s way more tasteful than at a typical music festival. Palate represents the most upscale culinary environment of the “mix-perience”, where you can sample local and regional delicacies and small-batch specialties from a variety of carefully selected culinary artisans. Pair these delectables with dozens of limited production wines or craft libations. Discover new tastes and learn more from these culinary rockstars!

  • Top local restaurants & chefs
  • Exclusive wineries
  • Craft distilleries sampling small batch tequila, mezcal, bourbon, gin, rum, vodka, sake, and other spirits
  • Local, craft beers

ON THE PALATE STAGE:

  • KAABOO Rock’n Chef Competition (with Celebrity Chefs)
  • Chef Band Performances
  • Celebrity Chef Demos
  • Chef & Artist Book Signings
  • Surprise Musical Performances
  • and more….PR
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Mission Beach Eatery Offers Island Inspired Dishes

Miss B's Coconut Club Mission Beach
Seafood Ceviche

Tropical birds, tiki gods and colorful flowers come to life in a lively celebration at Miss B’s Coconut Club, a Mission Beach restaurant celebrating San Diego’s nautical and maritime history. Island-inspired dishes make up for the Coconut Club’s unique cuisine, where bold Caribbean flavors meet fruit-infused cocktails. This spring, be sure to plunge into Miss B’s for a classic, Caribbean-inspired menu that’s bringing tiki to the beach!

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Local Chef Delivers Farm To Table Swag

TRUST
Whole Grilled Branzino with Herb Relish, Campari Tomatoes and Grilled Lemon

If you’re looking for a unique farm to table experience in a high energy atmosphere where people are eating and talking loudly over ingenious food and drink prepared by an unassuming young chef, then the newly opened TRUST Restaurant in Hillcrest is the place for you.

TRUST
WHISKEY SOUR with Old Forester, Lemon, Simple, Egg White and Bitters by Bar Manager Juan Sanchez

TRUST owners Steve Schwob (general manager) and Brad Wise (executive chef) searched for the perfect location, building the restaurant from the ground up. The décor is simple, yet stylish, featuring a communal bar and American White Oak dining tables and chairs. It’s the kind of place where guests will gain a greater appreciation for the culinary craft. It’s exciting to watch the chefs in action, cooking as a team in their element, plating delicious presentations and grabbing mason jars filled with pickled fruits and vegetables off the shelf. “It tends to feel like the guests are a part of what we’re trying to accomplish in the kitchen,” says Wise. “Our main focus at TRUST is the guest experience.”

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Local Restaurants Donate A Dollar A Dish

Local Restaurants to Donate a “Dollar-A-Dish” Throughout May to Feed Local Children Living in Poverty

Throughout the month of May, San Diego County restaurants are joining together to support the annual “Dollar-A-Dish” campaign benefiting the San Diego Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids Backpack Program. Participating restaurants select one best-selling, signature dish and donate $1 to the program every time that dish is sold.

The Food 4 Kids Backpack Program provides weekend backpacks filled with food to elementary school children living in poverty. Children on the program participate in the free school breakfast and lunch programs at their schools during the week, but face hunger over the weekend when free school meals are unavailable.

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Chef at JRDN Is Set To Impress

JRDN
Tuna Sashimi with Avocado Mousse, Tempura and Charred Green Onion Ponzu

Executive Chef Danilo “DJ” Tangalin  oversees the sleek, modern, and contemporary beachfront restaurant known as JRDN at the TOWER23 Hotel. It features 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor ocean view dining space including JRDN’s private dining room, which features teak wood, dramatic lighting and a 1,000 bottle wine wall. “We are the kind of restaurant that you would want to take your first date, celebrate an anniversary, family gathering, or impress friends from out of town,” he says. “Our property is gorgeous and the ocean view, especially at sunset, is stunning!”

JRDN
Apple Salad with Grapes, Frisee, Endive, Brie Cheese and Toasted Almonds with Honey Lemon + Cardamom Dressing

Tanglin spent his childhood surrounded by food and exploring different cuisines as he lived in the Philippines, Hawaii and Northeast United States. He attended the Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing, New Jersey, as well as Atlantic Cape Community College, in a program based on classical French training. “I’ve been lucky enough to have spent time in some of the country’s best kitchens including Le Bernardin and Locanda Verde in New York City, Coi in San Francisco, Cyrus in Healdsburg, Whisknladle in San Diego and Jay’s on Third in New Jersey” he says. “Jason Hippen and Ryan Johnston are a couple of chefs I consider my mentors.”

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Cerveza Showdown at Karina’s Mexican Seafood

Karina's Mexican Seafood

5 Local Craft Breweries will Compete for the Coveted Spot as Karina’s New Signature Brew

Get your party on at the Karina’s Mexican Seafood restaurants in Bonita, Otay Ranch and downtown San Diego when they distill the good times of Cinco de Mayo into one unforgettable night on the town. From 6 P.M. to 9 P.M. on Thursday, May 5, all three locations will fuel the year’s hottest fiestas with a Cerveza Showdown pitting craft beers from as many as five local breweries including Coronado Brewing Co., Mission Brewery, Bay Bridge Brewing, Aztec Brewing Co. and Novo Brazil Brewing against each to vie for the coveted spot as Karina’s new signature brew. Aficionados and novices alike who choose to participate will be the ultimate winners in this epic battle, as they will have the opportunity to sample 5 plus beer entries for just $5, and then vote for their favorite. The beer with the most customer votes will be named Karina’s on-tap Signature Brew.

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My Favorite Desserts Trending Now

As a food writer, I make it a point after every meal to never pass on dessert. Not because I’m a sugar hound, dying to gain massive amounts of weight and ruin my size 6 frame, but because I really believe dessert should be more then an afterthought. You may be wondering, how do I save room for dessert? Since gluttony is not my forte, I have no problem saving room for sweet delicacies I can feature on my blog.

Live a little and check out the photos I captured of the best gourmet desserts I’ve tasted recently that are really just too good to pass up!

BICE
Beeramisu at Bice Ristorante

Bice Ristorante’s Chef de Cuisine/Pastry Chef Francesca Penoncelli studied in Italy for five years at the culinary institute in Piedmont, spending every free moment in the kitchen. “Being a young lady in the culinary world isn’t easy, ” she says. “As a woman in Italy, in order to earn the respect and appreciation from the men, you must be better then them. For me, it means working hard alongside great, but tough chefs.” The menu at Bice features modern Italian cuisine, including unique recipes created through extensive research of the current trends. The foods served at Bice are a representation of Penoncelli‘s travels, her childhood, and her feelings.

TRUST
MILK CHOCOLATE CUSTARD WITH COFFEE SORBET at TRUST Restaurant

If you’re looking for a unique farm to table experience in a high energy atmosphere where people are eating and talking loudly over ingenious food and drink prepared by an unassuming young chef, then the newly opened TRUST Restaurant in Hillcrest is the place for you.

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SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival

San Diego Food Finds SeaWorld

SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival is a Culinary Voyage Around the World

Foodie celebration features international cuisine, craft beer and wine, and musical entertainment

Internationally-inspired food sets sail at SeaWorld® San Diego’s Seven Seas Food Festival kicking off May 7. Waves of flavor will tantalize the taste buds with gourmet offerings created by SeaWorld’s Executive Chef, Axel Dirolf and his expert culinary team. Craft beers along with wines from California and France will be perfectly paired with deliciously fresh cuisine featuring local, sustainable ingredients and unique signature flavors from around the world.

“I’m excited to share our food festival with park guests for six weekends during the month of May and June,” said Dirolf. “We will be bringing them bold and unique flavors from across the globe. This is an event you won’t want to miss.”

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True Food Kitchen Rolls Out Spring Menu

True Food Kichen

True Food Kitchen has rolled out their new spring menu today. In line with the nutrition-forward restaurant’s food philosophy, the new True Food Kitchen menu items feature a plethora of seasonal fruit and vegetables, superfoods and sustainably sourced proteins to create innovative dishes that are as good for you as they are delicious. 

NEW Pizza: 

  • Braised Artichoke Pizza – Garlic puree, smoked mozzarella, braised artichoke hearts, sweet onions, English peas, lemon enhanced ricotta & grana padano 
  • Mushroom and Asparagus Pizza – Wild mushroom, asparagus, roasted garlic, tellagio 

NEW Entrees: 

  • Sustainable Seabass- Pan-seared Meagre, ancient grains, asparagus, snap peas, roasted mushrooms, pea tendrils & umami sauce

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We Found Old School Traditional Pretzels

Tavern's Soft Garlic Butter Pretzel SticksHoused in one of the most historic buildings in Pacific Beach since 1997, Tavern at the Beach is a neighborhood favorite that  knows how to make old-school, traditional pretzels.

Whether you like them soft or crunchy, salted or unsalted on April 26th, in honor of National Pretzel Day, head to Tavern at the Beach, a prime Pacific Beach destination and take a big bite into their homemade pretzels.

Chef John's Pretzels at Tavern

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Chef Takes Pride At Duke’s La Jolla

San Diego Food Finds
Duke’s Famous Mai Tai and Hawaiian Rolls

Duke’s La Jolla is a 13,000 square foot restaurant that features two distinct dining areas and outdoor dining. Duke’s honors Duke Kahanamoku, a native Hawaiian, six-time Olympic swimming and water polo medalist and the father of modern day surfing. Guests will get a glimpse into the remarkable life of the restaurant’s namesake as well as tap into the La Jolla beach lifestyle. Pictures of Duke and Nadine Kahanamoku highlighting Duke’s remarkable life are on display along with artwork depicting the La Jolla beach lifestyle including “Dreaming” an image by photographer John Maher taken at Black’s Beach.

Duke's
Coconut Shrimp Croquettes

Duke’s executive chef Anthony Sinsay attended the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, A Le Cordon Bleu accredited Institute. Along the way, he worked for a few notable chefs and restaurants, as well as some of the best kitchens in the country. “I like to think that the skills I’ve attained over my career are special,” he says. “Every experience has helped mold me into the chef I am today.”

Duke's
Korean Sticky Ribs

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Affordable Pre-Fixe Menu At Searsucker

Searsucker

Searsucker Del Mar Debuts New Spring Pre-Fixe Menu: Complementing the regular dinner menu, Chef Vincent Schofield has created a spectacular three-course seasonal spring pre-fixe menu offered nightly for just $35 per person.  Boasting the season’s freshest and boldest flavors, the spring pre-fixe menu features your choice of a potato and leek soup; beef meatballs served with whipped ricotta, red sauce and garlic toast; swordfish with tomatoes and salmoriglio; risotto with raw asparagus salad, shaved egg yolk and parmesan; and is finished with a choice between the signature s’mores bar or panna cotta. The full spring pre-fixe menu is available here.  

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Westfield UTC Wine Walk and Concert

Westfield UTCWestfield UTC Hosts 4th Annual ‘Uncorked’ Wine Walk and Concert With Proceeds Benefit Temecula Valley Winegrower’s Association

Saturday, May 7, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

For the fourth consecutive year, Westfield UTC is bringing back the Uncorked wine walk and concert event. The incredible annual gathering brings together Temecula Valley’s finest vintages for all to enjoy. Join us May 7 from 4 – 7pm for a self-guided wine and restaurant walk throughout Westfiled UTC to help support the local wine industry. Ticket sale proceeds will benefit Temecula Valley Winegrower’s Association.

Attendees will experience an afternoon with friends enjoying four wine gardens, each featuring award-winning wineries. Sample wines from Temecula Valley in a one of a kind branded tasting glass and foods from our amazing restaurants all while enjoying live music by local San Diego artists. In addition, there will be a tasting guide and a gift bag filled with retailer offers and giveaways. It is a chance for people to come and enjoy the beautiful San Diego sunshine in a relaxed atmosphere.

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Bracero Cocina IS Sexy And Manly

Bracero
Carrot Aguachile (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Featuring the new cuisine of Mexico, with both small and large plates, the menu at the new  Bracero Cocina de Raiz in Little Italy will be changing quite frequently depending on the seasons and what is available in the fields and farms. The modern Mexican décor is very close to executive chef Javier Plascencia’s style. “The ambiance feels sexy and manly.” he says.

With the entire menu made from California products, Plascencia likes to be as sustainable as possible, making cheese from TAJ Farm’s goats, and purchasing ingredients from El Campito Farm, Suzie’s Farm, Catalina Offshore Products and the local farmer’s market. The tortillas are from maiz from Michoacán, Mexico.

San Diego Food Finds Bracero
VERDE ES VIDA SALAD (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

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Gastronomic All Stars at New Herb & Wood

Brian MalarkeyCelebrated Chef Brian Malarkey and Business Partner Christopher Puffer Bring Together Gastronomic All-Stars for New Little Italy Restaurant

Chef Brian Malarkey and business partner Christopher Puffer have gathered a talented roster of notable culinary collaborators, who are also longtime friends, to open Herb & Wood—their brand new restaurant located in San Diego’s buzziest food neighborhood, North Little Italy. 

Herb & Wood, slated to debut next week, is the fresh and exciting new concept from Malarkey and Puffer, featuring a menu that captures the flavor of a custom wood-fired oven and simple, rustic preparations that rely on the quality and seasonality and of the vegetables, proteins and local provisions it features.

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Eight Women Chefs Who Are Rockin’ It In The Kitchen

Women Chefs San Diego
LEFT TO RIGHT: Cohn Restaurant Group’s Deborah Scott, CAR’S JARS CARLY MCHENRY, BRACERO’S CLAUDETTE WILKENS AND UPTOWN TAVERN’S LETY GONZALEZ

These eight San Diego women are owning their kitchens and prepping some of the best food in America’s Finest City.

Cohn Restaurant Group’s Executive Chef/PartnerDeborah Scott has a distinctive style in the kitchen, showing a love for aesthetics, presentation, and flavor contrasts. She heads up Indigo Grill, Island Prime/C Level, Vintana in Escondido, and Coasterra Restaurant on Harbor Island. Guests are pleasantly surprised by the exceptional attention to detail paid by Chef Scott to the presentation of food. Using organic, local, and sustainable ingredients, Chef Deborah Scott loves to support local farmers. “Typically, I change the menu quarterly with seasonal selections,” she says. “The theme of my cooking is eclectic, with a concentration on presentation and combining ingredients that play off of one another.” Don’t miss Chef Deborah Scott’s Pipian-Crusted Brie or her new Bibimbap Hot Pot at the newly-remodeled Indigo Grill in the heart of San Diego’s Little Italy. And since she loves spending time in the dining room interacting with her guests, you might get a special opportunity to meet her. mm

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Lady Chef Reveals Italian Culinary Trends

sandiegofoodfinds.com
Prosciutto And Specialty Cheese Bar

Featuring an art deco interior design, Bice Ristorante introduces new and innovative Italian fine dining in downtown San Diego. “The restaurant has a personality all its own,” says Chef de Cuisine/Pastry Francesca Penoncelli. “Images of my Italian homeland are showcased in subtle ways throughout the restaurant, reminding me of my deep roots.”

BICE FINAL
3 Cheese Platter with Piave Vecchio, Boschetto al Tartufo, Pecorino Cacio e Pere and Prosciutto

After studying in Italy for five years at the culinary institute in Piedmont, Penoncelli spent every free moment in the kitchen, including working for free on holidays and summer vacations, simply to gain experience and obtain new knowledge. “Being a young lady in the culinary world isn’t easy, ” she says. “As a woman in Italy, in order to earn the respect and appreciation from the men, you must be better then them. For me, it means working hard alongside great, but tough chefs.”

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