FOODfare: Sea Rocket Bistro's New Chef, Mother's Day
Since being left kitchenless when Roseville shut its doors, chef Chad White has been busy building a cult following of sorts. He’s done so using his gifts as a communicator and passion for pork fat. In terms of the former, he’s made many a friend teaching cooking classes at Cups La Jolla (his session on how to prepare every portion of a duck was fantastic) and sous cheffing for friends in the industry who’ve manned The Jewel’s well-equipped teaching kitchen. He’s also used that, the web and a number of other outlets to spread the word about his side project, EGO Culinary Trends, which specializes in gourmet bacon jam that’s been selling like hot cakes (which go pretty darn well with bacon…and jam…and bacon jam). While Sea Rocket Bistro was in the market for neither an educator nor meat-based condiments, it was White they selected when looking for a new executive chef and business partner. The savvy he exhibited with EGO will translate to the business just as surely as his creative cooking style will translate to a tasty new and improved bill of fare. His menu won’t be ready until May, but early dishes he’s dishing on include persillade-marinated grilled sardines with charred wild ramps and escarole as well as Mano de Leon scallop sashimi with pickled strawberries, jalapeño, shallot and preserved lemon. 3382 30th Street, North Park, 619.255.7049
Mama Turns 20
What could bring luxe white linens like Addison and Bertrand at Mister A’s together with low-frill fun-driven eateries like Prepkitchen and Hash House A Go-Go? A good cause. Namely, Mama’s Kitchen, a non-profit organization devoted to making sure homebound San Diegans affected by AIDS and cancer receive the nourishment they need. This most excellent charity prepared and special delivered 325,000 meals in 2010 thanks to donations from supportive San Diegans, many of which first learned of the organization and donated to it at Mama’s Day, one of our community’s most popular culinary events featuring food prepared by chefs from all around the county. This year marks the 20th Mama’s Day. The theme is “A Mosaic of Taste” and it will take place at the Hyatt regency La Jolla on Friday, May 6 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Over 40 restaurants will be on hand, including Café Japengo, Piatti, Whisknladle, Searsucker, The Red Door, Urban Solace and Eclipse Chocolat. Tickets are available at www.mamaskitchen.org and the cost is $125 per person in advance and $150 at the door. Premium VIP tickets are also available for $250 per person and include admission to an exclusive party at the W Hotel on April 8, 2011. 3777 La Jolla Village Dr., UTC Area, 858.552.1234
Dining & Wining
At A.R. Valentien, Thursdays are already the stuff of communal culinary legend thanks to The Lodge at Torrey Pines’ weekly Artisan Table events. Held on the restaurant’s patio, which gives way to a lovely view of the sun setting over one of San Diego’s most popular golf courses and the Pacific Ocean beyond it, each week’s menu is different, but two things remain the same. First off, the food, which is off-menu and centered around a theme, is always top notch. Second, the spread is served family-style and paired with outstanding beverages. The Lodge has posted its schedule for the next six months, putting out the word to oenophiles about special monthly winemaker-based Artisan Tables. Each will feature winery owners and/or winemakers and a menu built to pair with the fruits of their labor. Here’s a quick fridge-ready schedule for fans of good food and wine: April 28, Landmark; May 19, Palmina Wines; June 9, Au Bon Climat; July 21, Brewer Clifton; August 11, Nickel & Nickel; September 22, Foxen; October 13, Jordan. Artisan Table reservations must be made in advance. Events start at 7 p.m. and the cost per person is $85. 11480 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, 858.777.6635
There are few better day-enders (especially after one of those days) than margaritas and Mexican food. When it comes to stepping onto the scale the next day, we’re often reminded that there are few worse day-starters than the guilt of over-indulging on margaritas and Mexican food. Diane Powers, the owner of San Diego’s Bazaar del Mundo restaurants (Encinitas’ Casa de Bandini, La Mesa’s Casa de Pico and Old Town’s Casa Guadalajara) is aware of this quandary and has unveiled a new line of low-calorie drinks ranging from the 148-cal Skinny Mojito to the Skinny “Wild Tea Vodka” Arnold Palmer at 190 calories. Those and others including the Absolut Citron-Curumber Cooler, Skinny “Hornitos” Margarita and Skinny White Sangria are in good company with smalled-down portions of popular Bazaar del Mundo dishes like the Cantina Tostada and grilled chicken, mango and avocado chingalingas (think a crispy burrito served with chipotle dipping sauce). Looks like happy hour just got a little happier (and slimmer).