3 favorite S.D. chefs
Let me get the disclaimers out of the way first.
These are "favorite" chefs, not "best" chefs. Favorite is 100% subjective; best somewhat less so. So the usual dissection, criticism, rebuttal, and surrebuttal that would ensue from a listing of "best" chefs...well, I'm hoping there'll be no compulsion for that here.
Just a fun list for those who may wish to participate. I look forward to seeing which names pop up most often.
If you're a sushi aficionado, a vegan, think Mexican cuisine is tops, or Italian, or Chinese, then your trio will no doubt include chefs from those areas.
I've thought a lot about this and with my three it's all about taste, creativity and consistency, in that order:
JEAN-MICHEL DIOT (Tapenade)
PAUL MC CABE (Kitchen 1540)
CARL SCHROEDER (Market)
Carl Schroeder (Market)
Jeff Jackson (AR Valentien)
Olivier Bioteau (Farmhouse Cafe)
And special mention to Bobby Mates (Wine Vault and Bistro) for putting forth a Supermanesque feat in his 5-course/$30 tasting menu.
Jeff Jackson (ARV)
Trey Foshee (George's)
Aaron La Monica (Blind Lady Ale House, formerly of Delirio's)
Andrew Spurgeon (Waters)
I had to choose four. I based it on food, personality, and philosophy, and in some cases, playfulness.
I'm gonna have to think about a third one a bit. First two are no brainers for me.
Chef Kazuo Morita - Kaito Sushi (Encinitas)
Chef Sam Malhotra - Curry and More (San Marcos)
Chef Nakai - Yumeya (Leucadia)
The food that really fires me up is not so much fine dining as it is great ethnic food. That being said I've really been impressed with Carl Schroeder. However the ones that really knock me out with their authenticity and almost stoic dedication to their craft tends to be the ones that pursue a single calling and are true specialists in their area:
Kazuo Morita - Kaito Sushi - Encinitas
"Nabe-chan" - Yakitori Yakyudori - Hillcrest (If it's not Nabe-chan on the grill that night, I won't eat there)
Elizabeth - Elizabethan Desserts - Encinitas (always accomodates my request for removing as much sweetness as she dares!)
I'll even add this. It's easily overlooked how much the individual hand the barista has on the resulting quality of the drink...
Anna Lynn - Caffe Calabria, barista - North Park (unfortunately she's no longer at the bar)
Was tempted to recognize the folks at Okan and Oton, but I haven't had enough meals there yet.