Surfing the Culinary Tide in San Diego
We can’t seem to get enough of the West Coast. Our most recent travels took us back to the Pacific for a busy week spent tasting and sipping in San Diego. It was our first time there and we had a blast.
The man about the town is Chef Trey Foshee of George’s at the Cove, who’s mentoring and leading the way for chefs in San Diego. We can still taste the fresh sardines that Chef Foshee marinated, grilled, and served with pickled shallots. Chef Foshee has been to our last three Chefs Congresses! You can attend this year’s ICC; check out the lineup here.
We checked out Chef Ryan Johnstan’s comfort food at WhisknLadle, which was all about keeping the integrity of the ingredients. And don’t be confused—we’re not talking about comfort food like momma used to make. Instead, think sweetbreads with lentils and house-cured bacon. We also enjoyed Mixologist Ian Ward 's cocktails, like Maria’s Sangria (made with coriander-infused tequila and roasted red peppers) and London’s Burning (made with jalapenos, avocado, and gin). And if you’re into cured meat, then check out the latest installment of The Art and Economics of Charcuterie, Part 3 with Seattle chef Adam Stevenson of Earth & Ocean.
Wine plays a starring role at Addison in the Grand del Mar Hotel; particularly impressive is that all of the servers have wine training and 10 have just passed the second level of the sommelier exams. Chef Bradley and Sommelier Jesse Rodriguez work together to create a memorable fine dining experience where food and wine pairings are the star of the show.
Taking a more casual and wallet wise approach, Wine Vault Bistro is a restaurant concept that revolves around wine. They have themed nights and a playful take on wine pairings where people choose a red, white, or mixed “ticket” (read more in our Wine Vault feature). Chef Bobby Matos takes this and runs with it, turning out dishes that work extremely well with the vino.
We loved meeting Chef Joe Magnanelli, who trained under 2008 New York Rising Star Gavin Kaysen. Joe's presentation is precise, geometric, and artistic; we look forward to seeing him grow.
We’re always on the lookout for chefs with soul, and Jason Knibb at Nine-Ten blew us away. Knibb pours his heart into combining flavors and textures—and even infuses soul into his presentation: looking at his plates we felt like we were walking down a path through a forest (Braised Lamb with Ricotta Agnolotti, Mint, Chocolate, and Parmesan Powder) or a garden (Sea Scallops with Peas, Favas, Ramps, and Asparagus) (see photos here). Our favorite dish was the Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly, which was an exciting rendition of modern Jamaican cuisine; we would love to see him venture further in this direction. He’s going to be a chef everyone hears about, so keep your eyes peeled and ears open.
Mike Yen, the Mixologist at Nine-Ten, is worth a visit too. He likes to play with his cocktails, experimenting with textures and forms. Yen often leans toward the molecular side, like the Smoked Turkey Cocktail, which is served in a port sipper and creates a theatrical, smoky show when dry ice is dropped in—this is a man who knows how to have fun with his drinks.
We also visited Brian Malarkey at The Oceanaire, Carl Shroeder and sommelier Brian Donegan at Market Restaurant and Bar, Pastry Chef Jack Fisher at Nine-Ten, David Warner at JRDN, and Christian Graves at J Six. See what they're doing in our photo galleries. And be sure to check our homepage daily for our Photo Gallery of the Day.
Get tips and recipes for burgers, sandwiches, and house-made condiments—just in time for Memorial Day and Father’s Day—in Dress up Your Summer Sandwiches with House-Made Condiments. And find out which blender applications are most-popular among chefs in our Blender Survey.
Mixology has taken the country by storm, and we’re devoting our next Letter from the Editor and our entire Dishrag newsletter to the art of the bar chef. Stay tuned for features on beer cocktails, pairing cocktails with food, and even shaking techniques.
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