Category: Event

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Picture this: you’re on a farm. There’s a world-class chef preparing a multi-course meal for you from locally sourced ingredients (some as close as 100 ft away). Everything is fresh, the wine and cocktails are amazing, and the weather is beautiful. This is what Outstanding in the Field does all across the United States. Their mission is to reconnect the diners to the land and origins of their food while honoring those who produce it.

For San Diego, they chose to host the dinner at Olivewood Gardens in National City: a gorgeous urban farm located in a lower-middle class neighborhood. While the majestic trees, bountiful gardens, and small chicken coop provide a beautiful contrast to its surroundings, it also provides education about farming and healthy eating habits to the folks in the community. Brian Malarkey of Top Chef fame and popular downtown restaurant Searsucker was the day’s head chef. He and his team made a spectacular meal fit for a king and queen (there was so much good food): grilled octopus, chorizo/manchego-stuffed squash blossoms, clams & mussels with a local beer broth, tuna with spring peas and new potatoes, an unctuous BBQ pork main course using fresh peaches and a wicked bacon-aise cole slaw.

Don’t worry, if you’re still having a hard time picturing it, I got you covered.

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Kitchen 1540 is a no-fuss environment featuring some of the best food San Diego has to offer. They rarely do a prix fixe menu but for a night in March, they did. Featuring Joseph Phelps wine and an incredible four-course meal to go with them, Chef McCabe and his team of elite chefs plated some extraordinary food to 80 lucky guests. Thank you L’Auberge Del Mar for letting me in and documenting this event and thank you Chef McCabe for giving me access to your kitchen. Enjoy this little behind-the-scenes look at one of the most outstanding culinary talents in the city.

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L’Auberge Del Mar is a beautiful resort and spa in the San Diego area. It is located within strolling distance from the water and houses one of the best restaurants in the city. I was excited to be part of their New Year’s event and the foodie in me was even more excited to get a behind-the-scenes peak at Kitchen 1540 (you may recall the turducken nugget shoot I did with them recently). The staff at the hotel was incredibly accommodating and if they treat the guests as well as they treated me, then whoever decides to stay at L’Auberge for the night is in for an incredible experience. On New Year’s Eve, they threw one heck of a party too. The music and entertainment was fantastic, the dancing was energetic, and from what I heard, the dinner was delicious.

It was interesting ringing in the new year with 250+ strangers. This was the first time I spent it away from friends but lucky for me, I got to make a few new ones. Most importantly I was able to begin 2011 with my camera in hand doing what I love. Enjoy the pictures everyone and thanks for having me L’Auberge and Kitchen 1540.

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The San Diego Bay Food and Wine Festival was an incredibly fun event to shoot. It’s no secret I love food. I even have a food blog I update once in a while (you can check it out at epicdinner.com) so when I found out that my press assignment for the festival was the main event I was excited to say the least. The Grand Tasting Event is the highlight of the SD Bay Food and Wine Festival and many of the finest restaurants in San Diego come out to compete for the “Chef of the Fest.” Judging begins right away with a armada of culinary professionals going around to taste everyone’s dishes. If you’re lucky enough to make the top 20, then you get one more shot to present your dish to the final panel of judges which included Sophie Gayot, a well-respected food critic (gayot.com).

It was an honor to follow the judges around in the rain and talk to some the finest culinary minds in San Diego. From what I gathered and saw, San Diego has a very bright future when it comes to food and dining. The SD Bay Food and Wine Festival didn’t disappoint on any level. Even when it was dumping rain, the music was jumping and the patrons were having a ton of fun. How could you not with all this goodness in front you?

Please let me know if you would like to use an image for promotional or personal use (these images are copyrighted) via my contact page or email me at mailbox@lynnchyi.com.