Chef Celebration San Diego

Chef Celebration’s Spring Dinner Series is coming to a close, and SD’s top chefs and master brewers are coming together one last time to celebrate aspiring culinary talent in the community. 

chef celebration san diego

Top chefs and brewers from around San Diego County will unite on Sunday, May 3rd for one of the city’s most anticipated beer & food pairing events, Chef Celebration’s Annual Beer Master Pairing at Stone Brewing World Bistro—Liberty Station. Celebrating the culmination of the chef-driven non-profit’s Spring Dinner Series (where teams of top chefs create weekly, multi-course meals for one evening only at five participating host restaurants throughout the month of April) the Annual Beer Master Pairing Event supports Chef Celebration’s mission to build San Diego’s culinary future, while raising money in order to provide culinary scholarships for local young, aspiring culinarians. Attendees will enjoy live entertainment while they sip and savor 14 small dishes created by a number of outstanding local chefs alongside 14 brews paired perfectly by “Certified Cicerone” and Stone Brewing Co. Craft Beer Ambassador Dr. Bill Sysak.

A few sample pairings to be enjoyed at the event. For Chef Celebrations full lineup, click here.

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Where to Find Summer Salads

With the summer months on the horizon, now is the perfect opportunity turn over a new leaf (literally) with some healthy summer salads that are easy to commit to! We’ve compiled a list of San Diego establishments with the best summer salads made to prepare you for the bikini season ahead.

San Diego Food Finds Summer Salads

The Gaslamp’s Union Kitchen & Tap is a one stop shop for fantastic people watching in the sun and even better summer fare.  If you are looking for something sweet and savory, the Local Greens is the way to go.  Ingredients such as the candied almonds, a crispy poached egg, goat cheese, and honey red wine vinaigrette, carry bold tastes that can only be made better by being combined into one dish.

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Summer Dining in San Diego

From hidden gardens overlooking the ballpark to sweeping skyline views, Summer dining in San Diego means chilling out in outdoor patios and savoring summer sips!

Summer Dining in San Diego


From the classic Mai Tai to vicious virgins, Fairweather transports imbibers to the tropics with a plethora of ice-cold, booze-heavy bevvies perfect for sipping on the venue’s 1,500 square-foot patio overlooking the Padres’ Petco Park stadium. Shaded awnings, a lush living wall, plush booths and sparkling Granada tiled bar perfectly embrace San Diego’s laid-back vibe, and with Rare Form delivery downstairs, you can have your Pastrami Fries and eat them too, without ever leaving paradise.

SIP ON THIS: Pololū Punch!

Cool down as you drink up! Inspired by the heights of Kona’s Pololū valley (which means ‘long spear’ in Hawaiian), this delicate blend of house light run, guava, Aperol and fresh lime juice packs the perfect, island-style punch to ward away the impending heatwaves. Aftereffects may include needing to order another.

Fairweather | 795 J Street | | 619.255.6507

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Jazz Supper Club Returns

Jazz Supper Club Returns to Cusp Dining & Drinks This Spring

Jazz Supper Club Live, Monthly Performances to Feature Gilbert Castellanos

Known for its craft cocktails, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and stunning views of the Pacific, Cusp Dining and Drinks is adding to its list with a whole new season of Jazz Supper Club. On April 30 and May 28th, the Jazz Supper Club will once again take over the 11th floor ocean view eatery, where the popular and extremely talented Gilbert Castellanos will be performing. The trumpet virtuoso has established himself as one of the nation’s most inventive improvisers in stirring live performances, so it was an easy choice to bring Castellanos on to perform at Cusp’s Spring Supper Clubs. nth element

Held on the last Thursday of each month, guests of Jazz Supper Club can enjoy a worldly dinner and a live concert for $55/pp, which includes three courses. Reservations can be made starting at 5 p.m. Make sure to not miss a single tune as the music starts at 6:30pm and plays until 9:30pm. Come get a front row seat to one of the most delicious and breathtaking sunset concerts you’ll see in a long time.  858-551-3620 –

Rum Fest at Hiatus Lounge

Rum Fest at Hiatus LoungeHiatus Lounge is springing into Summer with their first spirit festival of the season, Rum Fest!

On Saturday, May 23rd from 2-5pm, the poolside lounge will be stocked with premium and unique brands of the spirit, as well as slow roasted food off the grill. In addition to the tastes, guests can enjoy classic tiki cocktails from the bar!

Tickets are $10, which will get attendees a passport to taste all of the rum present. A completed passport will enter guests into the Rum Fest drawing, where prizes include unique bottles of booze, swag and more! Purchase tickets here:

Hiatus Lounge is located at Hotel La Jolla at 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive. For more information, visit or call 858-551-3620.

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Here’s the scoop on the chew

Highly successful and informative, the latest Chew Classes for Jsix have a unique theme to make them different from the traditional.

the scoop on the chew

The scoop on the chew

May Cooking Classes – Tuesdays at 6pm

Join Chef Graves in the lounge at 6pm for a brief lesson on cooking basics. $40/pp includes the class, meal and two dealer’s choice beverages from the bar.

May 12th – Cures, Cultures and Canning

May 19th – Pickles 3 ways

May 26th – Preserves

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Age Old Mule Cocktail Emerges

Age Old Mule CocktailThe Mule cocktail is making quite a statement in today’s mixology scene, but its history starts long before the recent rebirth of this copper mug concoction.

Contrary to its name, the Moscow Mule was invented in the United States by a spirits distributor and a producer of ginger beer way back in 1941. As the story goes, one had an excess ginger beer supply and the other was trying to sell more Smirnoff vodka, thus the Mule was born. Today, hundreds of bars across the country are serving up this age-old cocktail for their customers to dip their muzzles into, and San Diego is no exception.

Whether you’re craving a traditional Moscow Mule, or interested in trying one of the creative spins on this classic drink, these San Diego watering holes offer endless options for Mule lovers everywhere. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best recipes available in America’s finest city!

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Latin Food and Wine Festival

Harrah’s Resort SoCal will be hosting its 2nd Annual Latin Food and Wine Festival on May 2nd, and this year, locally-renowned Chef Javier Plascencia will be the marquee guest chef appearance.

The event is a must attend for foodies and festival enthusiasts alike — as a sampling of the top Latin wines and foods, the event promises top culinary offerings and face time with prominent chefs.

Starting at 3:00 p.m., guests can explore the history of California’s love of Latin wine, which dates back to the 18th century, through wine tastings by your favorite wineries and a showcase of inspired SoCal cuisine with fantastic live entertainment. With over twenty wineries participating, guests will enjoy unlimited tastings from local restaurants and celebrity chefs who will be preparing the highest quality spanish dishes, all while celebrating the rich history of Latin wines.

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Cooking with Friends Finale

Cooking With Friends FinaleOn Tuesday, May 5th, two of San Diego’s leading chefs, Tim Kolanko (Stake Chophouse & Bar, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge) and Jason McLeod (Ironside Fish & Oyster), will come together to deliver the best of both land & sea with Kolanko’s final dinner of his “Cooking With Friends” chef collaboration series. This grand finale cocktail pairing menu suitably begins with McLeod’s favorite catch, the Ironside Select oyster—a custom oyster created from seed to delicious briny bivalve out of the Puget Sound (WA) specifically for McLeod—and continues with four decadent courses to include Chilled Poached Wild Coho Salmon, Confit Pork Shoulder, and more. Each of the five courses will pair alongside a perfectly balanced cocktail intended to compliment the flavors of the dish. 

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Intimate South of the Border Feast

What do you get when you combine award-winning chefs from both sides of the border with authentic al fresco cuisine and lavish Mexican vineyards? You get a delicious experience that can only be perfected by the “Best Chef of Baja!”

Intimate South of the Border FeastIntimate South of the Border Feast

On Friday May 29th, world renowned Chef Ryan Steyn of El Jardín is joining with well known guest chefs Gianina Gavaldon from Olivia in Guadalupe Valley and Chef Abe Botello from San Diego’s West Coast Tavern, to offer an unforgettable six -course dinner paired with some of the finest sips of Guadalupe Valley.  One bite and you will instantly recognize why Chef Ryan Steyn was named the “Best Chef of Baja” by Cocinero del año Mexico.

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Sabuku Sushi Monthly Beer Nights


Sabuku Sushi Monthly Beer NightsSabuku Sushi, located at 3027 Adams Ave. in the North Park neighborhood, will continue its sushi and local craft beer pairing nights by rolling out two of the newest beers from Stone Brewing Co. in combination with complimentary sushi rolls from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday, April 27th.

As Stone Brewing Co.’s newest sushi partner, Sabuku Sushi is proud to be one of the first restaurants to offer two of the brewery’s newest beers: Stone Ruination Double IPA 2.0 and Stone Pale Ale 2.0. Stone Ruination Double IPA 2.0 combines an intense mix of hop flavors with tropical fruit, citrus, pine, melon and a hint of resiny dankness with a citrusy and bitter finish. To pair with the new brew, Sabuku has created the Smokin’ Roll featuring shrimp tempura, avocado, tempura fried onions on the inside with yellowtail and seared scallop on the outside. It is topped with green onions, sesame seeds, and masago along with a smoky eel and bonito sauce.

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Uncorked Wine Walk and Concert


Uncorked Wine Walk and ConcertOutdoor Event To Feature Award-Winning Temecula Valley Wineries

For the third consecutive year, Uncorked will bring to Westfield UTC Temecula Valley’s finest vintages. Enjoy a self-guided wine walk to four wine gardens, each featuring three award-winning wineries, including Falkner WineryDanza Del Sol WineryCallaway WineryMaurice Car’rie WineryRobert Renzoni Vineyards and Lorimar Winery, paired with unlimited chef-crafted bites from the icon open-air center’s gourmet dining options—PIRCHSeasons 52Eureka Discover American Craft and Tender Greens, all complemented by live local musicians.

Ticket sale proceeds will benefit non-profits Temecula Valley Winegrower’s Association and Bright Pink and are available for purchase here:

Ticket options include a VIP experience featuring entry into the exclusive fountain-side lounge offering signature cocktails and tray passed bites. More ticket information here.

Saturday, May 2nd, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Outdoors at Westfield UTC

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., San Diego, CA 92122

Entrance near Ben Bridge Jewelers



Twitter/Instagram: @westfieldutc

Hashtag: #WestfieldUTC

About Westfield UTC BayBirdPR

Westfield UTC is San Diego’s iconic, open-air shopping and entertainment destination with premier shopping, dining, fitness and entertainment. Anchored by Nordstrom, Macy’s and Sears, Westfield UTC delivers the quintessential San Diego experience through gold standard customer service and amenities, luxury brands, a family-friendly experience, along with signature events and entertainment. Shoppers can browse premier brands including Tiffany & Co., J.Crew, Splendid, Anthropologie, Bare Minerals, lululemon athletica, , Apple, Tumi, Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware and Williams-Sonoma or simply unwind under the coral trees and relaxing sunshine at Westfield UTC, where the southern California lifestyle is at its best..

Shopping Hours: Monday – Saturday 10am-9pm, and Sunday 11am-7pm. Westfield Customer Service: 858.546.8858.

RA Sushi to Host Nicky’s Week

RA Sushi to Host 11th Annual Nicky’s Week from May 25-31

RA Sushi to Host Nicky’s Week

100 percent proceeds from select menu items benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®

RA Sushi will host its largest annual fundraiser, “Nicky’s Week,” from Monday, May 25, through Sunday, May 31, to help kids battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases. In its 11th year, the weeklong fundraiser benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, where thanks to community support, no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for anything including treatment, travel, housing or food, so that they can focus on helping their child live.

During Nicky’s Week, RA Sushi will donate 100 percent of sales from a variety of menu items and beverages to St. Jude to help support the hospital’s lifesaving mission. Since its inception, Nicky’s Week has raised more than $1.5 million because unlike any other hospital, the majority of funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital comes from individual contributions.

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Croce’s Park West: A Love Story

Croce's Park West

Photo By Maria Desiderata Montana

When Jim and Ingrid Croce fell madly in love, Ingrid was a 16-year-old artist, a gymnast, a folk singer, and a high school sophomore who thought business was a “four letter word”. “It was the early sixties and Jim was a college sophomore at Villanova University. “We met at a contest, and Jim asked me if I would sing with him,” says Croce. “We wrote songs, obtained an album deal with Capitol Records, and traveled one-hundred thousand miles a year throughout the United States in our beat-up Volkswagen, singing our songs. Jim was determined to be independent and make music his profession.”

When Ingrid discovered she was going to have a child, Jim wrote “Time in a Bottle”, “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim”, “Operator” and “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”. After 300 days a year for two straight years on the road, Jim’s songs finally hit the top of the charts. The couple moved to San Diego so Jim could host the Johnny Carson Show and act in a movie with Cheech and Chong. Sadly, at the peak of his career and while on tour, Jim died in a plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana. As a twenty-six year old widow and single mom, Ingrid had no idea how she was going to raise her son alone, but she never gave up.

Croce's Park West

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

After thirty years of pioneering San Diego’s Gaslamp District and keeping Jim’s music and memory alive at Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar, Ingrid lost her lease. However, she immediately found a new home for her restaurant in the neighborhood community of Banker’s Hill. The new Croce’s Park West provides patrons with a delectably inviting urban experience synchronized with live music.

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Anniversary Celebration at Romesco

Anniversary Celebration at RomescoTo celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the popular eatery Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro and to get your taste buds tingling for the opening of their new Little Italy restaurant Bracero Cocina de Raiz, Chef Javier Plascencia and manager Luis Pena have put together a fabulous weekend full of culinary surprises.

In 2005, Romesco opened in a quaint shopping center and introduced patrons to Chef Javier Plascencia’s unique Baja-Mediterranean haute cuisine. To honor the anniversary, Romesco is planning a weekend full of events showcasing what guests have come to love about the restaurant and celebrating the Plascencia Group’s beginnings and future.

Chef Javier first introduced Baja-Med cuisine at Villa Saverios, the first of the Plascencia family’s upscale eateries in Tijuana.  Chef Javier along with Romesco has helped Baja-Med haute cuisine evolve in San Diego’s culinary landscape and beyond. Gaining a large number of fans to the foodie movement that has grown both in the U.S. and south of the border.

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Special Sushi and Beer Combo


Special Sushi and Beer

Sabuku Sushi, located at 3027 Adams Ave. in the North Park neighborhood, will celebrate Father’s Day by offering a special sushi and beer combination exclusively on Saturday, June 20th and Sunday, June 21st.

Sabuku’s Father’s Day deal will feature the surf n’ turf roll paired with a Port Wipeout IPA for $19. The manly roll is made with shrimp tempura, spicy crab, avocado and seared filet mignon and topped off with a sweet mandarin sauce, fried red onion and kuro goma.


Sabuku Sushi Bar is located at 3027 Adams Ave. in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego and has been named as one of the “Top-10 Sushi Restaurant in San Diego” by Opened by owner and sushi chef, Bob Pasela, in 2011, Sabuku combines the traditions and techniques of time-honored sushi making with modern, eccentric American vibes and daily fresh ingredients. Each roll is delicately made to-order for an authentic dining experience that includes a menu of appetizers, soups and entrées, desserts and drinks including cocktails, beer, wine and sake. Sabuku is open from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday and 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Nightly and monthly specials, member promotions and happy hour specials from 4 to 7 p.m. daily are also featured.

More information may be found by calling 619.281.9700, visiting or following on Facebook, and Instagram @SabukuSushi.

St. Tropez Bakery and Bistro

St. Tropez Bakery and Bistro

St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro, 47 S. Coast Hwy. 101, No. 103-D, Encinitas, CA 92024; (760) 633-0084,

Get your share of French bistro fare without the expensive plane ticket to France. Dine indoors or take a seat outside in the large outdoor patio, which resembles a sidewalk cafe—perfect for people watching with enough room for man’s best friend. Walk by the large glass case inside, and take a long look at the traditional pastries. They also have a wide selection of filled cupcakes, cookies, patisseries, tarts, and cakes. If you’re looking for a homemade treat on a special occasion, this is the place!

Read more about St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro in the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego.

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333 Pacific Healthy Eating

333 Pacific Offers Healthy Menu

Vegetable Quiche (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Oceanside’s 333 Pacific is North County’s best upscale dining destination, complete with a breathtaking view of Southern California’s shoreline from every seat in the house. A stellar California coastal menu effectively highlights local seasonal ingredients and wholesome preparations that are executed with meticulous care. Diners have a variety of options to choose from, including raw bar and sushi offerings, soups, salads, pasta, seafood, steaks, chops and vegetarian choices. “We have a number of purveyors who we source from local farms,” Executive Chef Brian Hyre said. “During the summer months, we even have a guy who grows special vegetables and herbs just for us.”

Read more about 333 Pacific in the ‘Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego‘ and get Chef Hyre’s recipe for Black Trumpet Mushroom Encrusted Lamb Sirloin in my new book: ‘San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City.’

Click to add a blog post for 333 Pacific - Steak + Sea on Zomato

New Spring Menu at Bleu Boheme

Spring is in full bloom at Bleu Boheme with the introduction of a new seasonal menu!

New Spring Menu at Bleu Boheme

House Rum Smoked Salmon with Goat Cheese Crepe: lemon zest, capers and caviar crème fraîche (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Bees are buzzing, flowers are blooming and Bleu Bohème, located at 4090 Adams Ave. in the Kensington neighborhood, is dishing out a new spring menu now available for French foodies. wcreative, san diego magazine

Various spring menu additions to the small plates include: nouilles au fromage made with campanelle pasta, three cheese Mornay sauce, spring peas, duck confit and bacon, priced at $14.95; and galette de crabe, savory crab cakes with jicama remoulade, tomato-rocket salad with a saffron aioli, priced at $16.95; escargots gratinèe, escargot stuffed mushrooms with garlic herb butter, pernod and parmesan, priced at $17.95; salade de farro made with roasted asparagus, spring peas, arugula, shaved Cantal cheese and roasted pepitas drizzled in a pistou vinaigrette, priced at $14.95.

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Mother and Daughter Afternoon Tea

Mother and Daughter Afternoon TeaThis Mother’s Day, the Westgate Hotel invites mothers to be a treasured guest in its regal hotel inspired by the palace of Versailles.  The iconic hotel, celebrating its 45th anniversary, is making this special family holiday truly extraordinary with two fantastic opportunities to celebrate Mom, including Mother and Daughter Afternoon Teas and exquisite award-winning Sunday Champagne Brunch.

Mother and Daughter Afternoon Teas: The Westgate Hotel’s afternoon tea, hosted in the Grand Lobby, is the perfect place to share family time. While relaxing to the melodious sounds of a harp, guests will indulge in a delightful array of delicious tea sandwiches and pastries as well as scones paired with traditional teas and a glass of champagne. Afternoon teas are served from 2:30-5 p.m., and Mother and Daughter teas will be available on both May 8th and May 9th with house-made macaroons offered as a gift to celebrate this special day. The price is $45 for adults and $30 for children under 12 (plus tax and gratuity).

Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch: The Westgate Hotel will be offering Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch on Sunday, May 10 from 10a.m. until 3p.m. Served in the hotel’s beautiful Le Fontainebleau and Versailles Salons, brunch will feature made to-order-omelets, fresh seafood, carving and crepe stations, baked breads, pastries and a variety of gourmet desserts. In addition to the unlimited delightful feast, the Imperial Bar will serve freshly squeezed juices and endless champagne, mimosas, Bloody Marys and margaritas.  The price is $69 for adults and $29 for children under 12 (plus tax and gratuity).

Tickets for the Mother and Daughter Afternoon Teas and Champagne Brunch can be purchased at

Rosemary Biscuits Recipe

Rosemary Biscuits Recipe

Recipe and Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Springtime recipe takes advantage of the season’s strawberry crop

With spring in the air, I’m yearning for strawberries hand-picked from a local farm or fresh from the farmers market. These luscious strawberries taste even sweeter when roasted with balsamic vinegar and paired with a creamy mascarpone filling.

Thinking about strawberries always makes me think about warm biscuits, the kind that lures my family into the kitchen on Sunday mornings. Even if you’ve never made a homemade biscuit in your life, I urge you to give my recipe a try.

I’ve added fresh chopped rosemary and orange zest to these biscuits, but in the past I’ve added anything from chocolate chips and walnuts to crumbly pieces of bacon and cheddar cheese. Be adventurous, and don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite ingredients.

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Wine Dinner in Bankers Hill


Wine Dinner in Bakers Hills

courtesy photo

BANKERS HILL BAR + Restaurant, located at 2202 4th Ave., will offer a treat for the senses with a gourmet wine pairing dinner beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 27.

BANKERS will feature a five course menu paired with wine by winemaker Andrew Mariani from Scribe Winery. The wine dinner will be priced at $75 per person. The dinner will begin with an appetizer selection of duck sausage skewers, deviled eggs and truffled french fries for the table, paired with a 2013 Estate Riesling “Arrowhead Slope” Sonoma. The second course will feature Albacore tuna tartare, avocado, jalapenos, Enoki and pea salad with cumin vinaigrette and tortilla crisps, paired with a 2014 Rose of Pinot Noir.

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8th Annual Taste of the Nation


8th Annual Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation® at Montage Laguna Beach Culinary Event on

Montage Laguna Beach will host the 8th annual Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation® Laguna Beach event on May 17, 2015 at the oceanfront resort.

A number of celebrity chefs will come together to prepare fresh farm-to-table delicacies to further Share Our Strength’s mission to end childhood hunger in Orange County and across the nation. Attendees will enjoy an afternoon of delectable dishes, wine, signature cocktails, and picturesque panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean at Montage Laguna Beach.

In addition to delicious food and drinks, the event will feature a silent and live auction and live entertainment by the local band The Kalama Brothers.  

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