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Sep 28, 2012 08:44 PM

Celebrate The Craft

Food, glorious food!!! I am so looking forward to Celebrate the Craft this Sunday. It's always a brilliant event that highlights the best local culinary offerings of our great city. It is a premium showcase of our area's best seafood, produce farms, poultry, meat and confectioners. The produce is really one of the stars, as we are so lucky to have one of the most diverse and productive growing regions in the US. Oh and wine, lots and lots of wine! This will be my 6th, and most anticipated CTC event. One of the main reasons is, chef Javier Plascencia's whole roasted lambmmmmmm. Rumors are that the chefs are making bets on whether or not he'll show up early enough to pull it off. Oh my! I love my lamb rare.

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  1. Wow! What a Foodtastic event! Here is the line up (more individual reviews later):

    1) Paul Arias - The Fishery
    Crows Pass Farm
    Swordquetta - Swordfish Porchetta Style, Roasted Spaghetti Squash,
    Apple Slaw, Mixed pepper marmalade
    Palumbo Family Vineyards

    2) Matt Gordon - Urban Solace
    Liberty Ducks
    BBQ Liberty Duck, Sweet Corn and Chili Griddle Cake, Duck Tongue
    Cracklin’ with a spicey green chili sauce.
    Paradigm Winery

    3) Katie Grebow – Café Chloe
    Estancia Beef
    Estancia Grass Fed Beef Marinated in Red Wine, Suzies Vegetables,
    Bagna Cauda
    Raymond Wine Cellars

    4) Andrew Spurgin - Passionfish
    Windrose Farm
    Brandt Beef Kefta, Tzatziki, Pickled Stewed Dates, Sungold Tomato,
    Fresh Mint, Injera Bread (Teff Flatbread)
    Freestone Vineyards

    5) Rachel Peter
    Spring Hill Dairy Cheese
    Variety of cheeses
    Ramey Wine Cellars

    6) Pete Balestreri – Tender Greens
    Shoemaker Farm
    Wood Burning Thin Crust Pizzas (Many Varieties), Blind Lady Alehouse Dough
    Trefethen Winery

    7) Monica Szepesy – Q’ero
    Blue Heron Farm
    Empanadas de Colita Y Corazon (Braised Oxtail and Beef Heart), Four Peruvian
    Chili Pepper Salsas (including one from Ghost Chilis!)
    Mi Sueno Winery

    8) Olivier Bioteau – Farm House Café
    Schaner Family Farm
    Catalina Off Shore Products
    Rock Fish Escabeche Tacos
    Stone Crab Salad with Uni Dressing
    Brewer Clifton

    9) Jason Knibb – NineTen
    Niman Ranch
    Kansas City Style Ribs, Poppy Seed Cole Slaw
    Robert Biale
    10) Christian Graves – JSix
    De Bruin Brothers Provisions
    Rabbit Martadella – House Grainy Mustard,
    Slaw of Garden Vegetables Bunnies Eat
    Falkner Winery

    11) Trey Foshee – Georges Californian Modern
    McGrath Family Farm
    Chilled Yellow Squash Soup, Corn Crostini & Burrata
    Kalin Cellars

    12) Javier Plascencia – Mision 19
    Coleman Farm
    Caja China (Cooking Box) – Whole Roasted Lamb from Niman Ranch,
    Fresh Molcajete Salsas, Pickled Vegetables (Onions, Radishes, Nopales)
    from Coleman Farm
    Zaca Mesa

    13) Jack Fisher – Jack Fisher Confections
    Smoked Dark Chocolate with Rosemary Marshmallow S’mores

    14) James Foran – Market Restaurant & Bar
    Suzies Farm
    Zucchini Walnut Ice Cream Sandwich, Butterscotch Sauce

    15) Jennifer Costa – The Lodge at Torrey Pines
    Miradero Ranch
    Green Plum Tiramisu
    Thornton Valley Winery

    16) Jaff Jackson & Kara Snyder – A.R. Valatien
    Miradero Ranch
    Kara’s Oak Roasted Oysters Rockefeller, Fennel Salad
    Palamina Winery

    17) Antonio Friscia – Gaijin Noodle and Sake House
    Niman Ranch
    Pork Belly Kimichi Sunomon
    Carnitas Bao Bao with Assorted Pickled Vegtables, Red Rock Sugar,
    Toasted Peanuts, Mango Thai Chili Kakigori
    Nickel and Nickel

    18) Brian LaBonte – The Vetted Table (and crew from Miho GastroTruck)
    Cook Pigs Ranch
    Home made “Spam” Musubi – Apple & Roasted Tahitian Squash Mostarda,
    Smoked All Natural Pulled Pork, Seaweed Rice, Pickled Green Beans,
    Tomato Vinaigrette
    Tablas Creek Vineyards & Winery

    19) Nathan Coulon – True Food Kitchen
    Griffin Farm
    Mediterranean Chopped Salad, Cucumber, Olives, Cherry Tomatoes,
    Quinoa, Marcona Almonds,
    Griffin Farms Seasonal Vegetables
    Robert Craig Winery

    20) Patrick Heymann – Brandt Beef
    Brant Beef
    Dutch Cut Steak, Bisto Butter Crust, Grilled Stone Fruits,
    Oven Dried Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Wilted Arugala,
    Crisp Brandt Beef Bacon Bits.
    Silver Oak Winery

    21) Nina Park-Shin Han – Cups LJ
    Organic Cupcakes
    Pimpkin Cardamon, Bunny Love Carrot Cake, Caramel Apple, Orange Ricotta

    1 Reply
    1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

      We went to Chef Javier's station first (good thing too, because the line got long!). It was up there as the best thing I had all day. He looked a bit tired as he was there at 5 am and had the fire going at 6 and then in the heat all day. That lamb was so flavorful and juicey.
      Hadn't seen a Caja China in person before, but now I want one!

      The Duck from Matt Gordon was also brilliant. Cooked to juicy perfection. My wife didn't like the duck tongue cracklin, but I thought it was an interesting textural element more than anything. The corn cake was so good, we could have eaten a plate of just those.

      Andrew Spurgin's Beef Kefta was amazingly complex and seemed difficult for them to plate with all the required ingredients, but the end product was one of the best things there.

      The Rock Fish Ecobeche Tacos from Olivier Bioteau was off the chain as were Monica Szepesy's empanadas. She had three distinctly different Peruvian salsas; Verde, Amarillo, a roasted one, and an extra super spicey Ghost Chile (Bhut Jolokia) upon request.

      I loved the Rabbit Mortadella with Rabbit food slaw from Christian Graves, but the wife was far less enthusiastic. We did however agree that the Carnitas Bao Bao with sweet veggie pickles and the grilled Pork Belly and Kimchi roll were two of the best things we ate. In fact I think it's the only station where we both went back for seconds (Javier's line became too long).

      The wife adored the cupcakes and the S'more, but I'm not a big sweets person, especially while i'm in full wine tasting mode.

    2. omg. sounds like the best one ever. it was the 10th anniversary of CTC. my husband was working or we would have been there, and now I'm sorry I didn't just grab girlfriends and go.

      for anyone who doesn't know, after CTC, the kitchen at the Lodge does a complimentary family-style dinner for all the participants and provides a free night's stay. IMO, Jeff Jackson is the Father of Market Driven Cuisine in San Diego. He doesn't just put it on the table, he also supports the farmers, vintners, vendors and other chefs in a myriad of ways including his work at Slow Food SD, Chefs Collaborative SD, and at CTC. Wherever we travel in CA we've had lots of food industry people mention CTC to us. Thanks RISD for the full line-up.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pickypicky

        Went to the dinner a few years ago. It was amazing night of food and wine. Though I did get in a bit of trouble. My wife was slightly annoyed that I spent a fair amount of time talking with the georgous tall blond seated next to me. Who knew "Hog Farmers" could be so stunningly beautiful!

        1. re: pickypicky

          Have to toot my horn a little bit. One of the things being served there was my recipe and creation! Got my 15 minutes of fame. Can't say anymore.

        2. WOW...stunning report and thank you for reporting back!!

          'The Rock Fish Ecobeche Tacos from Olivier Bioteau' sounds off the chain love love rock fish and wish I'd see it more on menus here in SD.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Beach Chick

            Fish and seafood? One word BC...ERIZO

            Run, do not walk. Phenomenal. Carpaccio de Pulpo, Ceviche de Tres Almejas, Chicarron de Atun, Taco de Pesacado Classica, Ceviche de Camaron y Calamari con Mango Seco y Coco, and the hottest, most addicting Aguachile de Camaron I've ever eaten. I've probably had half the menu at least, maybe more, and other than the barnacles on a recent trip, NOT A DUD in the lot...

            1. re: DiningDiva

              Erizo looks fab...if I'm gonna cross over to TJ, I'll probably do Mision 19.

              'the hottest, most addicting Aguachile de Camaron I've ever eaten'...yeah, that's what Mama's talking about!
              ; )

              1. re: Beach Chick

                Frankly, I think Erizo is better than Misión 19. The styles are totally different and I like both, but I think if I were given a choice of only being able to eat at one of them, I'd hands down chose Erizo. And to put that choice into some perspective...while I like and enjoy both fish and seafood, I don't cook it particularly well, nor is it a personal favorite and I wouldn't ordinarily seek fish/seafood out as a dining choice. Erizo is simply remarkable