Kentucky Derby Party at The Inn

The Inn At Rancho Santa Fe

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, a Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award-top rated resort offering world-class exclusive luxury, will host a Derby Party at its Library and Huntsman Whiskey Bar from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 7th.

The event includes a buffet prepared by the Morada culinary team, croquet on the front lawn, live entertainment by Steven Ybarra and a live viewing of the Kentucky Derby including the Run for the Roses. This year, the Kentucky Derby, the first race within the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, has a post time of 3:34 PST.

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Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Stuffing peppers with nutrients: Protein-rich wild rice in peppers makes a powerful, tasty and colorful everyday meal

Shake up your routine this school year with a healthy and delicious weeknight meal the whole family will enjoy.

All too often, a family’s busy routine doesn’t allow for much time to create a meal the kids will enjoy, especially if the meal involves a vegetable. I’ve created an affordable recipe of fresh green peppers stuffed with a wild rice mixture that’s topped with marinara sauce. It is a colorful dish that’s also a real time saver in the kitchen.

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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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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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Savor French Fare at New Parc Bistro Brasserie


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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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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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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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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Affordable Pre-Fixe Menu At 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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Chicken recipe is light but full of flavor

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

My mother’s southern Italian cooking is rustic and fiery, with recipes often calling for sweet tomatoes and hot peppers, the perfect ingredients for an authentic sauce.

Since one of my mom’s favorite dishes is baked Chicken Parmesan in a marinara sauce, I decided to wow her for Mother’s Day with a modern take on this nostalgic dish that is light and healthful.

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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


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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Napizza Gains Attention In Little Italy

NapizzaPerched on the corner of Date and India Streets, Napizza is not only one of the newest establishments in Little Italy, 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, a centuries-old art of utilizing special four, yeast and water, and allowing for a slow rise to create a product with no equal. The large, square-cut pieces are familiar to anyone who’s sampled street food from Italy’s larger cities.

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Prepkitchen Fudge Brownie Recipe

If you love brownies that taste like they came out of the oven, don’t miss the Pecan Fudge Brownies sold only at Prepkitchen locations. Now that I have the recipe, I enjoy making these in my kitchen. I know you will too!

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

For the Brownies

  • 1-½ sticks (6 ounces) butter
  • 3 cups semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Yield: 1 9×13 inch pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine butter and chocolate in small heat proof bowl. Heat over a water bath until melted. Set aside until room temperature

In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment- combine eggs, brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Whip until mixture is thick and holds a ribbon with the whip.

Take bowl off mixer and pour in chocolate and sift flour over. Gently fold mixture with a spatula.

Spread into pan that has been sprayed or buttered and floured. Bake about 25- 30 minutes.

Brownies will still be fudgy but the top should be shiny and cracked. Cool completely in pan.

For Salted Caramel Layer

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-½ teaspoon vanilla Extract
  • 1-½ cups pecans toasted
  • 1 tablespoon Fleur de Sel

In a medium sized pot combine sugar, corn syrup, and just enough water to make the mixture the consistency of wet sand. Wipe down the sides of the pan with a wet brush so that no granules of sugar remain. Cook this mixture over high heat until it is a deep amber color.

Immediately take off heat and slowly add the cream (mixture will bubble and expand vigorously (use caution).

Add vanilla extract and salt. Add pecans and stir to coat with caramel. Immediately pour over brownies.

To cut: refrigerate brownies for 30 minutes so that the caramel gets firm.

Perfectly Paired Fusion Food

Sirena Cocina Latina Lima Style Chicharrone Sliders

Sirena Cocina Latina Lima Style Chicharrone Sliders

Fusion is defined as “referring to food or cooking that incorporates elements of diverse cuisine.” Up and coming in the culinary community, fusion food is taking the restaurant scene by storm. The emerging trend synthesizes flavors from every culture to create cuisine that perfectly pairs. Next time you’re looking for a dish that isn’t tried and true, step out of the box and give these restaurants a go.

Breakfast Republic is making a name for itself as North Park’s best brunch spot. The buzzed about breakfast joint is known for their innovative and witty dishes that offer a flair to the conventional. With fusion dishes ranging from Southern classics to Asian incorporations, the lively establishment combines it all. Try their Vietnamese Chicken Wing Breakfast Bowl for a dish that testifies to their creative menu. The hearty bowl is made with five sweet ‘n spicy wings over white rice and is served with Asian veggies and three eggs any style. There’s nothing like it!

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Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen

Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen

Heirloom Tomato Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Located on a rather quiet residential street just 1 block west from the South Coast Highway, this small gastropub is a hidden gem. Husband-and-wife team Rodney and Aaron Browning have deep experience in the local culinary community, working with some of the most respected chefs in Southern California.

Grits with Bolognese Sauce (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

This eatery is dedicated to the slow-food movement, a farm-to-table philosophy utilizing locally sourced and fresh ingredients. Rustic American cuisine is featured throughout the menu, with a touch of Southern-style comfort. One of the signature dishes is the Durac Pork Belly served with collards, caramelized apple, and polenta spoon bread.

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Baja Beach Party And Fiesta

It’s a jam-packed cultural weekend celebration! Imperial Beach is hosting its first-ever Fiesta del Mar—a cross-border Celebration of Friendship between the cities of Imperial Beach and Rosarito, Mexico—on April 30, 2016 at Imperial Beach Pier Plaza! Before the festivities officially begin, join SEA180 at their Baja Beach Party on Friday, April 29th with delicious Puerto Nuevo Style Lobster, live music, and more!

Bajia Beach Party


Saturday, April 30 | 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Free to attend & all ages welcome!

In partnership with Imperial Beach’s eco-friendly Pier South Resort and the Cohn Restaurant Group’s baja med oceanfront restaurant, Sea 180 Coastal Tavern, the day-long, family-friendly celebration is free to attend and will showcase live music, art & entertainment from both the Rosarito and San Diego areas, interactive family activities hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of both cities, along with the best of Baja food & wine! 

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Brunch It At Duke’s La Jolla



Experience brunch, lunch or dinner at the new Duke’s La Jolla, a 13,000 square foot restaurant that features two distinct dining areas as well as 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. 



The new brunch menu features a variety of classic Hawaiian dishes as well as main lander cuisine, and will be served every Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 2pm.

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Natural Gelato is Garden Fresh


 Tweet It: Spring into @bobboi_gelato in #LaJolla to sample #delicious new seasonal #gelato selections #homemade #fresh #dessert 

With the beginning of spring comes a new crop of seasonal ingredients, hand-picked to create flavorful new gelato selections at Bobboi Natural Gelato. A tribute to sunny California, CALI, blends carrot, apple, avocado, Meyer lemon and ginger. The unique flavor is a summertime favorite.

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Holsem Coffee Delivers New Experience

San Diego Food Finds Holsem CoffeeA new kind of coffee experience is brewing at Holsem coffee roasters in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood.

Holsem’s ‘coffee evolved’ mantra speaks to the concept’s uplifting combination of pure ingredients, inventive coffee creations and meticulous design.  Part small-batch roaster, part contemporary coffee parlour, Holsem’s commitment to sourcing only the highest quality green coffee beans is manifested by its well-rounded armada of offerings, including six core roasts—the foundation of Holsem’s playful selection of 18 non-alcoholic ‘coffee parlour cocktails.’

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Bourbon and the Classic Cocktails Comeback

1919 Bourbon Picklebacks

1919 Bourbon Picklebacks

Revered as America’s “Native Spirit,” bourbon is becoming an increasing popular drink of choice as classic cocktails are continuing to make a comeback. While the origin of bourbon is still a large source of debate, it’s widely believed that it was first distilled in charred oak barrels by a Baptist minister living in Bourbon County, Kentucky.nTry new takes on classic recipes by visiting these eight San Diego restaurants whose bourbon spirits will transport you back to the era of bow ties and suspenders.

There’s no better place to celebrate bourbon than at barleymash, where the philosophy and menu options are inspired by the libation. Enjoy their local favorite, P.S.C (Pumpkin Spiced Cocktail), made with Old Forester Bourbon, house pumpkin syrup, lemon and orange bitters. Or take a swig of one of their over 25 bourbon selections served neat, on the rocks or mixed.

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Get Your Waffle Fix Today

Brians 24 Waffle Cristo

Brian’s 24 Waffle Cristo

Whether you’re looking for stuffed waffles, healthy waffles or a waffle sandwich, these San Diego restaurants are sure to have a waffle that satisfies your craving!

It’s easy to get your waffle fix at Brian’s 24. This 24-hour diner in Gaslamp recreates the classic waffle and the French croque-monsieur with the Waffle Cristo.  Enjoy thinly-sliced ham and cheddar jack cheese between two halves of a bacon waffles topped with powdered sugar and served with a side of extra hot French fries. This all-American diner is taking a French classic and giving them a warm U.S.A twist.

Centered on University Avenue in Hillcrest, Uptown Tavern is the best place to be for some wacky waffles. The Red Velvet Waffle is the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Stuffed with bacon and cheese and topped with fried sweet plantains, bacon, spiced walnuts, a coconut milk reduction, garlic butter and Woodford Reserve maple syrup. Uptown Tavern will be making your cheeks blush with these velvety waffles.

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My Not So Creamy Seafood Fettuccine

San Diego Food FindsMy seafood fettuccine is a very light dish that’s easy to prepare. My version isn’t as creamy as you would normally expect. I like to keep it simple with extra-virgin olive oil, butter and fresh herbs. Make sure to get a fresh baguette for extra dipping.

Get 25 of my authentic Italian recipes in my new book San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History Of Little Italy And beyond.

Not So Creamy Seafood Fettuccine

Serves 4

  • 2 cans minced clams
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces cocktail shrimp, precooked
  • 6-ounce can crab meat
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound fettuccine, cooked according to package instructions
  • Pecorino-Romano cheese, grated (as much as you like), for garnish
  • Handful of freshly chopped basil, for garnish

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