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Good food. Good drink. Good read. • No. 35 • May-June 2016

Cooks Ironside’s local fish Kat Humphus cooks for you! Jack Ford’s preservation crusade Steven Riemer of Oceana Coastal Kitchen Troy Johnson’s food journey



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Photo: Lyudmila Zotova

{Two Cents} Why cook?

Photo: David Pattison

The sad truth is that I grew up in a household where cooking skills were not revered. My mother resented having to cook unless it was a sweet—preferably with chocolate involved. She made great oatmeal cookies and chocolate syrup to put on my dad’s whole-grain pancakes, much to his disgust. He, on the other hand, was all about healthy, whole foods, but cooking was just a means to an end. His idea of great food was beans and corn bread. So while my dad was eating “cruel gruel” for breakfast, my mom was offering us Tang and chocolate Instant Breakfast. I took up cooking in self defense.

Riley Davenport and John Vawter

These days many of us are overworked and have too many obligations. With so many tempting prepared foods and restaurants, it is fair to ask "why cook?" We just need to get fed and get on with the next thing. I have my own simple reasons for embracing cooking: quality, cost, health, friends and family time, and creativity.

Quality and cost. I can buy great ingredients and make delicious food for much less than it costs to eat the same quality of food at a restaurant. Packaged food can’t even compete. And I can make food to suit my own weird dietary choices. I know that the food I put on the table is clean, organic, local, non-GMO and additive free. Health. It is well established that eating more fruits and vegetables is healthy and that fresher ingredients are more nutritious. When you cook at home you control the quality of your ingredients and select foods that do not contain pesticides. Some pesticide residues are now suspected of making us fat—obesogens. Just what we need. Weight gain is not the only problem food additives and pesticides cause. I turned up this alarming information on Toxipedia: “Pesticide exposure can cause a range of neurological health effects such as memory loss, loss of coordination, reduced speed of response to stimuli, reduced visual ability, altered or uncontrollable mood and general behavior, and reduced motor skills.…Other possible health effects include asthma, allergies, and hypersensitivity, and pesticide exposure is also linked with cancer, hormone disruption, and problems with reproduction and fetal development.” Most of those effects come with heavier exposure than you’ll get on your apples or in your packaged vegetable lasagna but I’d just as soon have none. Quality time with friends and family. While I (or, on occasion, my husband) buzz around the kitchen throwing something together, we sip a beer or glass of wine and talk about politics, our day, our friends and relatives, the garden, our next vacation. Or he reads something to me, which leads to discussion. It is sharing time, and a welcome break from the generally solitary efforts and cares of the work day. Creativity. Cooking is creative. At the end of a long day I may not look forward to the prospect of standing in front of the open fridge trying to come up with something for dinner, but once I get an idea, it becomes a creative endeavor. Then I’m engaged and it is fun. The results may not be elegant but they are almost always delicious and satisfying. Now, what’s for dinner?

edible Communities 2011 James Beard Foundation Publication of the Year




Chris Rov Costa Edible San Diego Amy Finley P.O. Box 83549 Caron Golden San Diego, CA 92138 Maria Hesse 619-222-8267 Noreen Kompanik Lauren Mahan Victoria Pearson Susan Russo ADVERTISING Sarah Schoffler For information about Anna Thomas rates and deadlines, Lyudmila Zotova contact Riley at PUBLISHERS 619-222-8267 Riley Davenport John Vawter No part of this EDITOR publication may be Riley Davenport, used without written permission of the Executive Editor publisher. © 2016 Britta Kfir All rights reserved. Managing Editor Every effort is made to COPY EDITORS avoid errors, misspellings Doug Adrianson and omissions. If an error John Vawter comes to your attention, please let us know Michelle Honig and accept our sincere


apologies. Thank you.

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COVER PHOTO Chris Rov Costa

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{Tidbits} Olla irrigation: A millennia-old solution for today’s water-wise gardeners In the first century BCE, Chinese agronomist Fan Sheng-chih Shu was tasked by the emperor to increase crop yields for farmers with too little land

and too little water. The solution: buried terra-cotta pots (ollas), which allowed slow, targeted irrigation.

Photo courtesy of Storey Publishing

Today local water conservation advocate David A. Bainbridge is sharing the results of over 30 years’ research on this and other forms of drought-friendly irrigation in his new book Gardening with Less Water (2015, Storey Publications). “I was first introduced to super-efficient buried clay pot irrigation in China at the UC Riverside Dry Lands Research Institute in the 1980s,” he recalls. “The word is finally getting out that that these ceramic systems can cut water use by 50–90% and virtually eliminate weeding.”

For David’s quick how-to on olla irrigation, go to: watch?v=voibQvxkSXs ~Lauren Mahan

El Borrego brings traditional “barbacoa” to City Heights

“We have two kinds of lamb barbacoa,” says Rodnia Navarro who, with her mother and co-owner Rosario Satelo, runs the kitchen at El Borrego. “One is marinated with 10 different spices and condiments, which we call Mixiote. The other is wrapped in the spiny leaves of the maguey plant (a member of the agave family), El Borrego which impart a unique flavor to the meat.” In 4280 El Cajon Blvd. 619.281.1355 either case, after hours of slow cooking, the Hours: Tu-Su 8am-6pm result is falling-off-the-bone goodness. Closed Monday

~Lauren Mahan

Photo: Mike Mahan

What started as a food cart in the driveway of a convenience store has, 11 years later, become a hidden gem of a casual restaurant featuring traditional recipes from the Mexican state of Hidalgo: lamb barbacoa tacos and quesadillas and green posole (weekends only), together with homemade tortillas and salsa.

Getting down to the business of wine

Offered through the College of Extended Studies, the one- to two-year program includes a combination of lectures, reading and wine tasting, with classes taught by such San Diego notables as advanced sommeliers Lisa Redwine (food and beverage manager, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club) and Maurice 4

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May-June 2016

DiMarino (beverage and wine manager for the Cohn Restaurant Group). “Classes are open to the community at large,” says Extended Studies Program Director Giana Rodriguez. “So many of our students are simply wine enthusiasts who want to deepen their understanding of what they’re drinking.” For information or to register online, go to ~Lauren Mahan

Photo courtesy of College of Extended Studies

If you’re looking to jumpstart your career in the hospitality industry by fine tuning your knowledge and appreciation of wine, SDSU’s Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine may be just what the sommelier ordered.

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{Local Talent}

Steven Riemer of Oceana Coastal Kitchen By Caron Golden Photography by Chris Rov Costa


t’s been just over a year since Steven Riemer came on board to run things at the Oceana Coastal Kitchen at the Catamaran Resort Hotel. While he might not have the high profile of some San Diego chefs, he’s more than got the goods with over 25 years of culinary experience at both The Lodge at Torrey Pines and The RitzCarlton, Laguna Niguel. Riemer grew up in Washington State at a time when organic, sustainable food wasn’t a label, but a way of life. “My grandfather grew his own produce and at Christmas my stepmother baked,” he recalled. Local fishermen would bring their catch to neighborhood restaurants, as did farmers and hunters. It’s no wonder Riemer started cooking when he was still in middle school and was working full time in a commercial kitchen by the time he was 17. Within a few years, Riemer had graduated to a high-end Seattle restaurant whose specialty was wild game and fish. “The chef there was my first mentor,” he said. “That’s where my education in food began for real and I began to see the sacred relationship of food and place.”


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“I want my kitchen to be a place where young cooks learn, the way I once did, the truth of taste and technique,” Riemer said. “Even if we don’t finish the night with Champagne.”

Riemer then went to work at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, which reinforced his understanding of sustainability. “It was an entirely French-run kitchen. French cuisine has always been seasonal and sustainable. It can’t be anything but!”

For a chef, the experience was sublime. He was trained by hard-driving perfectionists, but then would often finish the night with Cristal Champagne and caviar. Riemer stayed there for 11 years, even representing The Ritz Carlton at the James Beard House, before being recruited to launch The Lodge at Torrey Pines in 2001. There he worked alongside Jeff Jackson for eight years as executive sous-chef before becoming executive chef at the Catamaran in 2011. Riemer has always augmented his kitchen education with books and travel. For him, it keeps his romance with food alive. After leaving The Lodge, he took a sabbatical to travel and eat around the U.S. He gets inspiration equally from touring design museums and visiting markets like San

Francisco’s Bi-Rite and Manhattan’s Fairway. He’s been inspired by M.F.K. Fisher’s The Art of Eating and is now working his way through British cookery writer Elizabeth David. At Oceana, which sits right at Mission Bay, Riemer has focused on what he calls a “playful reimagining of California comfort food.” He’s tamed asparagus into a sandwich with lemon mayonnaise and Gruyre and created a San Diego version of cioppino with seafood in a pasilla chile broth accompanied by avocado, pickled onions and cilantro. And, of course, there’s his ceviche. He loves the versatility and creativity involved in the dish—and it’s very sustainable since you can take advantage of leftover parts of a fish. Take your pick among shrimp, which features tomatoes, red onion and pineapple; sea bass, which is tossed with diced mango and toasted sesame oil and sits on mango purée; or scallop, which

is complemented by Oro Blanco and pink grapefruit. Riemer’s best tips for a perfect ceviche include: Marinate your seafood in a mix of lime juice and salt for flavor and to kill bacteria; avoid mussels and choose clams instead because of texture issues; and avoid oily fish—their flavors are too strong and they just don’t look great after an acid marinade. While Riemer, of course, aspires to make a great restaurant, just as important to him is renowned French chef Fernand Point’s directive: Above all, pass on the knowledge. “I want my kitchen to be a place where young cooks learn, the way I once did, the truth of taste and technique,” Riemer said. “Even if we don’t finish the night with Champagne.”


Award-winning freelance writer Caron Golden is the author of the blog San Diego Foodstuff and Edible San Diego’s blog Close to the Source. She appears frequently on radio, and has contributed to Saveur, Sunset, Culinate, Riviera, the San Diego U-T, the Los Angeles Times and many other publications.

Sea Bass Mango Ceviche Serves 4 to 6 For marinade: 12 ounces raw sea bass, diced into ½-inch pieces Fresh lime juice to cover—approximately 2 cups ¼ teaspoon salt ½ bunch cilantro, rough chopped ⅓ cup fresh mango, diced 10 drops (approximately) of toasted sesame oil ½ cup mango purée For garnish: ½ small red onion, thinly sliced

Slice the sea bass into bite-sized pieces. Place in nonreactive bowl and add lime juice and salt. Marinate for 2 hours. Drain the sea bass. Mix in a bowl with the cilantro, mango and sesame oil.

½ cup lime juice 1 teaspoon white and black toasted sesame seeds ½ serrano chile, shaved

Combine the red onion and lime juice to marinate so it pickles—about 20 minutes.

Drain the onions. This is your aguachile onion mixture. To plate, place a dollop of the mango purée into a margarita glass. Add the ceviche. Top with slices of pickled red onion, a sprinkling of sesame seeds and a few slices of the shaved serrano chile. May-June 2016

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Sweet Pea Flan with Fennel and Mandarins From Steven Riemer of Ocean Coastal Kitchen Yield: 4 portions ¼ cup salt for water to cook peas 1½ cups English peas, shelled 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 shallot, minced 4 eggs 1 egg yolk 2 cups milk 2 teaspoons salt 4 mandarins, peeled and segmented 1 bulb fennel ½ lemon 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup pea shoots 2 to 3 ounces Dungeness crab (optional) Note: The first part can be prepared a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350° F. Fill a 2-quart sauce pot ¾ full of water. Add ¼ cup salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add peas and cook until soft yet still bright green. Remove peas and run under cool water to arrest cooking. Set aside. In a small frying pan over low heat, cook minced shallot in 1 tablespoon olive oil until translucent. In a small blender purée shallots and 1 cup peas. You may need to


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add a tablespoon of cool water to get the mix started. Set aside. Mix eggs, egg yolk, milk and 2 teaspoons of salt. Stir in cold pea purée. Strain flan mixture into 4 (4-ounce) ramekins, filling them ¾ full. Place ramekins in a shallow pan. Add warm water to the pan ⅓ of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Cover pan and ramekins with foil. Place flan in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil. If flans seem firm when a cup is jiggled, remove from the oven. If flans look soft in the middle when jiggled, return to oven another 15 minutes or until firm. Place cooked flans in refrigerator to cool and set for 4 hours. To plate: Run a small knife around the inside of each ramekin to help release custard, then invert each on top of a small serving plate. Gravity is your friend when unmolding flan.

Shave fennel bulb with a sharp knife or mandoline into a bowl. Add mandarins and ½ cup cooked peas to fennel and dress with juice of ½ lemon and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Surround each flan with fennel salad. Top flan with pea shoots (and Dungeness crab).

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Photo: Chris Rov Costa

California Greek Girl Hits the Farm By Caron Golden


ary Papoulias-Platis has had a long career as a food maven. The San Diego native is a first-generation American with parents who immigrated here from Greece. Food has always been her path. Even when teaching young students to read and write, she would include cooking classes in her lesson plan. Cooking took center stage when she became co-owner and executive chef of the Greek Gourmet, a family-run catering business, which she ran for 25 years. As blogging became a thing, she launched California Greek Girl. And, more recently, co-authored with Laura Bashar, the book Cooking Techniques with Olive Oil. She’s an Olive Oil Certified Taster through UC Davis and was just certified in plant-based cuisine. So, who better than Platis to become the culinary director of the emerging North 40 Urban Farm in Carlsbad, slated to open in 2017. The farm is a project of the Ecke family—yep, of poinsettia and Flower Fields fame. The 43-acre farm is just north of the Flower Fields where the poinsettias used to grow and will be a year-round destination that focuses on farming and education. “That’s the Eckes’ legacy,” said Platis. She explained that North 40 Urban Farm will combine a working farm—where 800 olive trees, hops, blueberries, coffee and a Photo: Chris Rov Costa

vineyard are being planted along with two to three acres of produce—with 110,000 square feet of marketplace, in which there will be a wholesale floral trade center, craft microbreweries and wineries and a culinary center. Platis specifically wanted the space designated as a culinary center. “I chose that wording so people would know that it’s more than a cooking school,” she said. “We want it to be more event driven, although there will be cooking demos and classes.” She described the culinary center as the hub of the Urban Farm because, “everything there [at North 40] will ultimately end up at the Culinary Center. For example, when olives are ready to be harvested, we’ll have harvesting events there.” The Culinary Center will hold community and corporate events, feeding up to 300 people. Platis will oversee the 500- to 600-square foot commercial kitchen, which caterers can use for weddings and other private events; the kitchen will also be used for North 40 harvest events, local chef projects and chef training and education. “It took me a good year and a half to research it, going up and down the state attending culinary classes and getting advice,” Platis said. “At a time when so many cooking schools are closing we wanted to make sure

we had the right mix of activities for the Culinary Center and the right approach.” Because she worked for the kitchen/lifestyle retail company Pirch as a chef, Platis was able to enlist them as the sponsor for the center’s demonstration kitchen. “We’re going to work with their clients as well and Pirch will have events there, too.” Platis explained that they’re now in the first phase of development. “There will be a brewery and beer tasting rooms, a winery and wine tasting room and a distillery. And teaching everywhere,” she said. “Eventually we want to have a professional cooking school.” In the meantime, she’s looking for artisans to come in and teach, “not just cooking, but any aspect of food.” For Platis, the best part so far for her has been working with the farmers. “They’re involving us in the planting process. It’s all being done from a farmer’s point of view and it doesn’t get any better than that. It’s all about the seasons, the farmers and life.”


Award-winning freelance writer Caron Golden is the author of the blog San Diego Foodstuff and Edible San Diego’s blog Close to the Source. She appears frequently on radio, and has contributed to Saveur, Sunset, Culinate, Riviera, the San Diego U-T, the Los Angeles Times and many other publications.

May-June 2016

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Photo: Lyudmila Zotova

Chef Shifts Cooking from Restaurant Kitchen to Yours By Susan Russo


hef Katherine Humphus is fearless. You’d have to be to walk away from the stunning success she experienced in the restaurant industry. By age 26 she had graduated from the illustrious Le Cordon Bleu, Paris; interned at renowned wd~50 in New York City and The French Laundry in Napa; opened three successful San Diego restaurants with the established Cohn Restaurant Group and had recently been appointed to oversee their new, massive BO-Beau kitchen + roof tap in Long Beach. Why did she leave?

Humphus attributes her reckoning to a friend’s death. “I started to look at my life and thought, ‘I’m only in my 20s. What will my future look like?’ All I did was work and sleep. That was the life I had signed up for, but I didn’t want it anymore,” she says. “I always loved the connection I made with people around food,” says Humphus, “and working in a giant restaurant, I was missing that connection.” So on January 1, 2015, she started Kat’s Kitchen Collective, an interactive blog with videos, dedicated

to teaching ordinary folk proper cooking techniques, such as basic knife skills. Six months later, she launched Savory Made Simple, a complete meal kit service that delivers original recipes, farm-fresh produce and sustainably sourced meat and seafood directly to consumers' doors. Humphus’ inspiration for the business came from her desire to help home cooks who disliked recipes that called for difficult-to-find ingredients and who wanted to reduce food waste. She May-June 2016

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conducted some research, hired a business coach and came up with the ideal way to “connect and empower people with food”: a food delivery service.

By saving busy people time, teaching them how to cook and providing them with healthy, locally sourced food, Humphus feels grateful that she’s “making a difference in people’s lives.”

Here’s how Savory Made Simple works: Each week you choose three meals out of seven offered, with gluten-free, vegetarian and paleo options; pay and await your delivery. The insulated box includes detailed, easy-to-follow recipes and requisite pre-measured ingredients. There are other meal kit delivery programs out there, but none is as connected to San Diego as Savory Made Simple. Humphus says approximately 80% of her produce is provided through San Diego–based wholesale distributor Specialty Produce, which sources from local farms such as Be Wise Ranch, Crows Pass and Suzie’s Farms. Proteins are sourced “as local as possible,” from companies committed to sustainability practices. All of the seafood is sourced locally from Catalina Offshore Products. Humphus leases warehouse space on Morena Boulevard, which allows her to buy items such as boxes and food containers in bulk, reducing costs for both herself and her clients. Committed to reducing waste, Humphus orders only the food she needs for that week’s meals. “That way, there’s no waste on our end, no waste for the consumer,” she says. Indeed, if a meal calls for two basil leaves or one stalk of celery, that’s what gets packed. Doesn’t that require a lot of packaging? “There is stigma about the amount of packaging that is used,” admits Humphus, and adds that she’s constantly seeking out quality sustainable packaging. For example, she has begun using bags made out of corn husks and cardboard containers made from sugar cane that are biodegradable and compostable. To further reduce her carbon footprint, she has begun offering to pick up clients’ recyclable containers. As for the meals themselves, they are what you’d expect from Humphus: seasonal and 14

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inspired. “I don’t give people recipes that they’re already searching for online. I’m giving people what I want them to want, to open their minds to new ideas and new foods,” she says.

Hence, her tabbouleh recipe that uses pearled barley in lieu of bulgur and includes fresh orange segments and mascarpone cheese. Or her modern takes on comfort food such as corn-flake-crusted fried chicken with mixed berry jam, poppy seed coleslaw and cornbread. Based on her steadily growing business and client testimonials, people are embracing these new ideas. They are relieved to be saving money by dining out less frequently and are excited to try new foods and learn cooking techniques. Clients also enjoy socializing on Savory Made Simple’s invitation-only Facebook page. By saving busy people time, teaching them how to cook and providing them with healthy, locally sourced food, Humphus feels grateful that she’s “making a difference in people’s lives.” She’s is also making a difference in the lives of San Diego’s neediest—she has donated over 5,000 meals (with a 20,000-meal goal) to Feeding America San Diego. As for her own life, Humphus says, “it’s great.” Although she still logs long hours at work, she has much more control, which for her, is more satisfying. “My quality of life improved twofold. I feel empowered now,” she says. It also gives her more time for extracurricular activities such as drumming and jumping out of planes. But that’s another story. For more information or to contact Kat Humphus, visit


Susan Russo is a cookbook author and freelance food and travel writer. She contributes regularly to and has a monthly Get Fresh! column in the San Diego Union Tribune. Follow her at @Susan_Russo on Twitter or email her at

{Liquid Assets}

Grape to Glass at Koi Zen: A San Diego Urban Winery By Noreen Kompanik Photos by Lyudmila Zotova


ine and friends are a great blend,” Ernest Hemingway once observed, Darius and Lisa Miller, owners of Koi Zen Cellars urban winery, are passionate about their wines and couldn’t agree more. Ten months ago, the couple decided to follow their shared dream to be in the wine industry. Too many stress-filled years in the high-tech computer industry, coupled with a serious medical scare, convinced the Millers “the time is now.” They opened Koi Zen Cellars, the name inspired by the 2,500-gallon, five-foot

deep koi pond built in the couple’s backyard, where they love to meditate and unwind after a busy day. Already experimenting with winemaking for personal consumption, Darius took several oenology classes through UC Davis. The Millers toyed with the idea of buying a vineyard but, as Lisa explained, the concept of an urban winery became more and more fascinating. “We love where we live and thought it would be wonderful to bring the winery to the neighborhood in a relaxed community setting.”

Koi Zen’s tasting room reflects the comfortable intimacy of a neighborhood speakeasy, only here the beverage is legal. In addition to the wine bar tasting area, patrons can relax on the everpopular wraparound sofa seating. Lisa’s impressive collection of her own wine photography decorates the walls. Standing in the barrel room, hands outstretched with a proud smile on his face, Darius proclaims “this is where all the magic happens.” In their first year of operation, grapes were meticulously selected by Darius from five different May-June 2016

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California vineyards stretching from Paso Robles to Napa, arriving as raw, fermented grape juice. Since varietals grow differently in different areas, the careful process of selecting the right grapes or juice from the right region is crucial to making the delightful small-lot red and white artisan wines, which Darius produces on site.



Authentic Southern Italian Cuisine Local organic Gluten-free Food, wine & spirits Pairing Events

Fermented grape juice is moved through the aging process at Koi Zen by transferring the juice to oak barrels. Tannins and acids are slowly and carefully balanced to obtain the desired taste. Once perfected, the wine is bottled and corked on site. Working with an artist, Lisa created unique wine labels designed to visually “jump off the shelf.” Last fall Koi Zen purchased an on-site crusher and an Italian-made bottle Ferrari corking machine, giving the Millers complete ownership of the winemaking process from grape to bottle. Koi Zen’s first grape crush was enthusiastically assisted by friends and members of their everexpanding wine club.

And it is this sense of shared community adventure and camaraderie in the winemaking process that makes the winery so unique. As one wine club enthusiast put it, “we’re all in this together. By assisting with that grape crush, a part of us is in those bottles.” Darius expects their first full wine production release, a Syrah, to be ready “soon, very soon.” One visit to Koi Zen confirms they are anything but just another urban winery. Their grape-to-glass concept is embraced by friends and neighbors coming together with the sole purpose of sharing a glass of wine or two, enjoying life and reveling in something they can all be proud of.

D Noreen Kompanik is an independent travel writer and San Diego resident. She has a passion for adventure, cooking, wine and travel. Her published stories can be seen on her Facebook site What’s In Your Suitcase?

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One Restaurant’s Voyage of Sustainability By Sarah M. Shoffler 18

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Photo: Lyudmila Zotova

Eat Here Now


Chef Jason McLeod

ou should eat at Ironside Fish & Oyster Bar. Here’s why: In this steampunk-meets-old-school fish house setting, you’ll find some of the best-prepared and freshest seafood in all of San Diego. Plus, Ironside sources its seafood as responsibly as possible. Jason McLeod, two-starred Michelin chef and Ironside executive chef and partner, explains. “We source our seafood responsibly and we seek to be sustainable. But this is an ongoing challenge.” True seafood sustainability considers water use, carbon footprints, sourcing, fair wages and more. Restaurants can achieve a “responsible” rating, a criteria based on McLeod’s personal experience, but they can only embark on a voyage to the true notion of “sustainable.” Here’s how Ironside is doing it.

Direct sourcing McLeod buys as much of Ironside’s seafood as he can directly from San Diego fishermen. It’s taken Ironside some time to

iron out these details because fishermen don’t always know what they’re going to catch until they catch it. This can make it difficult to plan a menu, unless you have a program that embraces the unknown. “The decision to print our menu daily helps us greatly with the fishermen,” he says. “Once they text what they’ve caught, we print the menu and we serve fish that’s been out of the water for less than 24 hours most of the time.” It also means they serve what’s in season. If the local fishermen can’t provide enough, Ironside buys the remainder of what they’ll need from local distributors known for their sustainable buying practices.

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The joy in whole fish Where does one put a whole 100-pound swordfish? McLeod and his staff have a process for keeping fish fresh. You can apply these pro tips to small fish, other seafood or even filets: Gut the whole fish right away. Break it into three sections, place these in larger bags and put them on ice in the cooler. Drain the bags as needed. The benefits, he says, are that “fish lasts much longer this way. And we control all aspects of how the fish was handled, from the boat to your plate.”

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But is it worth it? If the customers who pack into Ironside nightly are any indication, then yes. It is. Fresh fish tastes and feels different than fish that’s been around longer—it’s more delicate and ocean-y. You need both talent and fresh fish to achieve McLeod’s cookedto-perfection smoked-almond whole rockfish. For Ironside, he says the extra effort is well worth it. His fresh fish costs are less since he started buying directly from the fishermen. He also talks about “the joy we get from prepping the whole fish and from using all of it—roe to collar.” If you’ve tasted his cured fish roe or swordfish collar, dishes you don’t see on most local menus, you have experienced this joy.

Finding a balance Ironside does source some of its seafood from afar: salmon, for example, because customers expect to see salmon on the menu year round; Maine lobster, because our local lobster season is so short and the product so expensive (in part because most of it is exported to China); and some oysters from British Columbia, Washington and elsewhere, so they can offer the variety customers prefer. “We are constantly trying to find the balance of running a successful business and being responsible.” Customers’ palates affect how responsible a restaurant can be. If we embrace the unknown and the inherent seasonality of seafood, if we expand the portfolio of seafood we’re willing to eat, we can put wind in Ironside’s sails on its voyage of sustainability. And we can enjoy amazing flavors along the way.


Sarah M. Shoffler is a fishery biologist, seafood enthusiast, foodie philosopher and board member of Slow Food Urban San Diego. Most Saturdays you can find her eyeing the fish at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market or surfing La Jolla Shores.


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May-June 2016

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The Power of Preservation Jack Ford wants you to cook and eat à la Française By Amy Finley Photos by Chris Rov Costa


edible San Diego

May-June 2016


hen farmer, rancher and food activist Jack Ford begins to talk about food and cooking, he sounds like a French grandmother. And that isn’t entirely surprising. Growing up on his family’s farm in Valley Center, he did, after all, spend a lot of time in the kitchen with his own grandmother, who, if she wasn’t actually a Frenchwoman, could easily have passed for one. “My mother’s mother grew up in New York,” Ford explains, “and she always wanted to have an avocado ranch. So she came to Valley Center in the 1960s, and was Martha Stewart before there was one. But without the Zabar's or Whole Foods. She had a small hobby farm and she grew everything.”

Today, Ford has his own reputation as a culinary Francophile and a following as devout as any San Diego chef ’s—all without ever having cooked in a restaurant. If you’ve been lucky enough to land on the invite list for the annual Berry Good Night Dinner hosted by activist Michelle Lerach at her La Jolla estate, or attended any of a number of farm-to-table events and fundraisers locally, you’ve likely tasted something the self- (and grandmother) taught cook has prepared. It could have been a rabbit terrine or a crock of pork rillettes. Possibly it was a snappy pickle, put up into jars at the height of the season. Or a fresh goat cheese made from the milk of one of his TAJ Farms goats. There’s a common theme that runs through most all of Ford’s preparations, and it comes from the heart of his abiding respect for the roots of French cooking: preservation. As a cook, he’s all about capturing the season’s ephemeral bounty and stretching it over time. As an eater, he’s all about meals composed from the pantry and about the power of eating out of the jar.

Master Class As a disciple of food preservation, Ford is used to countering resistance from the uninitiated, who are wary of the red herrings of germs, time constraints or inconvenience. But he has a favorite conversion tool. “You take as many tomatoes as you can and you stuff them into the jar and you simmer them for 90 minutes,” he says, providing a basic blueprint for his cold pack tomato method, a way of capturing the essence

As a cook, he’s all about capturing the season’s ephemeral bounty and stretching it over time.

of what is, perhaps, the ultimate summer flavor. Opening a jar in mid-winter and offering a taste of those height-of-season tomatoes has helped him to win over many new practitioners to his craft. Until recently, he’s been teaching that cold pack method, along with other jarring and canning techniques, to students who joined him in the kitchen at Vincent’s, the venerated French restaurant in Escondido, run for a quarter-century by chef/owner/ Frenchman Vincent Grumel. In 2015, those Farm to French preservation classes became the backbone of the Berry Good Food Academy, a program of the Berry Good Food Foundation (, when the BGFF formed out of Lerach’s Berry Good Night dinner series (Ford is the foundation’s Ranch Coordinator and a long-time collaborator on BGN). But in January, Grumel passed away unexpectedly, leaving Ford and other close friends in the food world bereft, and the classes without a home kitchen for the time being. They’ll soon resume, according to Ford, possibly at Brian Malarkey’s Farmer & The Seahorse at The Alexandria in Torrey Pines, or at the Liberty Public Market at Liberty Station, which Ford says has also offered space. Details will soon be available at Such outreach and support for his mission from the food world isn’t surprising: along with his base of students who are home cooks, Ford’s also taught many of San Diego’s chefs the nose-to-tail and farm-tofork cooking, preserving and butchering techniques they don’t usually learn in culinary school.

Glass Menagerie Pressed to name a favorite preserving technique of his own, Ford is cagey—it’s like trying to get him to name his favorite kid (goat kid, that is). He’s big on lactofermentation, the method behind sauerkraut. “Healthy guts!” he crows. “The French paradox—we need all those microbes in our system.” And at a minimum, to save perishable foods like cheese and sausages, he submerges them in Weck jars of oil flavored with fresh herbs and garlic and peppercorns—the confit method. His intent, always, is to build a pantry of food stuffs, like you would have found in a French farmhouse kitchen. “Some things have a very short growing window and there’s a lot of it all at one time,” he says. “So if you want it, you have to save it.” Putting dinner together then becomes about adding jarred food to simple dishes. “I have this fermented celery root, apple and fennel slaw with tarragon that I made in November,” he says. “I had that last night with some roasted chicken.” His classes are boisterous, and start students down the path toward an entirely different, more communal mindset and lifestyle. “It’s not Williams-Sonoma,” Ford laughs. “It’s like you’re in grandma’s kitchen and we’re telling stories. It’s how food is community, and it brings the whole cross section of people together.”


Amy Finley is the author of How to Eat a Small Country and a frequent contributor to Edible San Diego. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Berry Good Food Foundation.

May-June 2016

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Looking for a Few Good Cooks Need for skilled workers is hampering San Diego culinary scene By Susan Russo


hen Chef Chad White announced that he was leaving San Diego for Spokane, Washington, I thought, “San Diego is finally getting respect for our restaurant scene, so why pack up your knives and leave now? It wasn’t just me. Many have been asking if there is something about San Diego that drives chefs (and professional football teams) away. Has San Diego’s explosive restaurant growth over the last few years caused a chef crisis? I interviewed seven San Diego chefs and restaurateurs and learned our problem isn’t chefs after all.

“No chef, no matter how good he is, can do his job without cooks. We have plenty of chefs, [but] I don’t know a chef in town who isn’t looking for cooks.” Tim Kolanko

“No chef, no matter how good he is, can do his job without cooks,” says Tim Kolanko, veteran executive chef and partner at Blue Bridge Hospitality in Coronado. “We have plenty of chefs, [but] I don’t know a chef in town who isn’t looking for cooks.” Joe Magnanelli, executive chef of Urban Kitchen Group, agrees: “We need line cooks and prep cooks, not chefs.” The problem is that everybody [who applies] thinks they’re already a sous-chef and doesn’t want to take a job as a cook.”

Photo: Chris Rov Costa

Though definitions are fluid, a chef is someone who holds a culinary degree or has extensive hands-on experience in professional kitchens, manages the kitchen personnel, orders the food “We have a pay shortage. I and has creative control over know cooks who make $11 per the menu. A cook, in contrast, is responsible for daily food hour and need two jobs to pay preparation and execution of their rent.” Lhasa Landry the chef ’s menus. Chefs and restaurateurs cite multiple causes for San Diego’s cook shortage, starting with low hourly wages. They agree that most line cooks make as little as $11 per hour, which isn’t a living wage in San Diego.

May-June 2016

edible San Diego


Lhasa Landry, a San Diego–based chef, with 12 years’ experience, claims, “We have a pay shortage.” She laments, “I know cooks who make $11 per hour and need two jobs to pay their rent. And most people have a roommate because rents are so high in San Diego.” White agrees: “The cost of living in San Diego is triple what it is in Spokane…. Running a restaurant in Southern California is much more expensive. You have higher leases, water and sewer bills…. A lot of [restaurant] owners have to pay chefs less money to keep the restaurants profitable.” Kolanko would like to see skilled cooks make $20 per hour but says it’s unfeasible for many reasons, namely most restaurants’ small profit margins. Magnanelli says while their higher-level cooks can earn up to $14 or $15 per hour, owners are constrained by what they can budget for labor. Many cooks face transportation problems, particularly if they work in North County. Magnanelli, along with Matt Gordon, executive chef and owner of GW Restaurant Group, which includes North Park’s Urban Solace, both admit that staffing their North County restaurants is more challenging, given San Diego’s underdeveloped public transportation and dearth of affordable housing. Magnanelli says they try to entice workers with extra pay for North County positions, but that the onerous commute often makes it impossible for cooks to manage long-term. In addition to such concrete problems, many young people, culinary students and nonstudents, have unrealistic expectations of a chef ’s life. Kat Humphus, a former executive chef with the San Diego–based Cohn Restaurant Group who left the industry in late 2014, blames food reality TV: “TV has done an injustice to the restaurant industry. Kids in culinary school have this perception that they’re gonna be a celebrity. They don’t realize that real kitchens rely on hard work and team effort.” White, who participated in the 13th season of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” says, “A challenge on ‘Top Chef,’ is stressful, but, there, you stay or you go home,” he says. “An executive chef has stress all the time, and he can’t just go home when things go bad.” 24

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May-June 2016

This glamorization of the restaurant industry also affects diners. Arturo Kassel, managing partner and CEO at Whisknladle Hospitality, claims food reality TV has “desensitized the general public about how darn hard we work to provide them a great dining experience. But, ultimately, it’s a choice to do what we do, and money, glamour and fame can’t be the driving factors.” Then there’s the screaming pace of restaurant growth over the past few years that Kolanko says has left “the industry stretched thin, from a staffing standpoint.”

“TV has done an injustice to the restaurant industry. Kids in culinary school have this perception that they’re gonna be a celebrity. They don’t realize that real kitchens rely on hard work and team effort.” Kat Humphus Is San Diego’s restaurant industry experiencing a bubble akin to the 2008 housing crisis? Kassel thinks so and believes “it is going to pop.” He says, “There’s just no way all of these restaurants are going to make it.” Kolanko says, “I don’t know what the bubble is, but I do know eventually bad places close and better ones stay in business. Mediocrity gradually gets less acceptable.” So what are restaurants doing to address this cook shortage? At Urban Kitchen Group, Magnanelli says, they create a “culture of teaching” and have recently instituted a junior sous-chef program that targets their most dedicated, skilled cooks. “We want to help them build a career as a chef and not just see it as a job,” he says. Kolanko says he has hired many people with zero kitchen experience who have become indispensable cooks. Inspired by their success, he is currently developing a formal culinary program that will be integrated in their restaurant collective.

Kassel says they have “a rigorous and ongoing training program” for all of their chefs at Whisknladle Hospitality. As a result, all five of their current executive chefs started off as line cooks. “It’s quite an investment in people to grow this way but the payoff is most rewarding,” he says. Investing in people is paramount to White, who likens the owner and chef relationship to that of a parent and child: “You wouldn’t send your kids out in the world and say, ‘Figure it out.’ You don’t hire a chef and say, ‘Open a restaurant.’ You have to invest in him or her and the team every single day. If you don’t invest in them, they’re not gonna invest in you.” Investing in people isn’t just about paying them more, insists White; it’s about helping them set goals and giving them the support needed to accomplish them. Magnanelli shares White’s sentiment, which is why he says they limit overtime for hourly workers and cap sous-chefs’ hours at 44 to 55 hours per week to “offset low pay.” Ultimately, it’s about “creating a culture of respect,” says Gordon, where chefs mentor cooks, not denigrate them. As Humphus notes, “If you treat your cooks like family, it creates a stronger kitchen culture and a more cohesive environment.” A stronger kitchen culture can lead to happier cooks. “We want our chefs and cooks to have a higher quality of life,” says Magnanelli. “If they’re able to spend time with their families and loved ones, they come to work more motivated and inspired.” It’s been marvelous watching San Diego’s restaurant scene grow over the last few years, but we’ll have to resolve some of these fundamental issues to keep getting better. It’s reassuring that folks in our restaurant industry are already working on it. Now, if we could just get them to work on the Chargers.


Susan Russo is a cookbook author and freelance food and travel writer. She contributes regularly to The San Diego Union, where she pens a monthly Get Fresh! column. Follow her at @Susan_Russo on Twitter or email her at


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Troy Johnson Really Cooks By Maria Hesse Photos by Chris Rov Costa


edible San Diego

May-June 2016


efore he was San Diego Magazine’s premier food writer, Troy Johnson was a busboy. The “Best Busboy” at California Pizza Kitchen at some point in the early ’90s, to be exact. Johnson then went on to become the self-professed “Worst Bartender in the World” before landing a job at Riviera Magazine that made him a food writer.

“A friend of mine told me a long time ago to spend twice as much on olive oil as you would on wine.” He likes to keep food simple and enhance flavors with homegrown herbs. He shops for essentials at the Little Italy Farmers’ Market, and Zion or H Mart “when I really need some Asian food.” Other favorites include Northgate Gonzalez Markets, Siesel’s and “Catalina [Offshore Products] when I can for Tommy’s seafood.”

Such experience might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of an award-winning food writing career that led to regular appearances on Food Network shows like “Crave” and “Guy’s Grocery Games,” but there is a particular cadence to his food writing that can only be earned through industry experience.

His favorite cuisine is Thai and curry essentials like coconut milk, fish sauce, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves are always kept stocked. As far as dietary practices, he admits, “I’m a creature of habit—I make the occasional frittata and bake for breakfast, but usually it’s steel-cut oatmeal, coconut oil, flaxseed, berries and walnuts. And during the day, it’s literally fruits and veggies all day. I’ll make myself a salad just because I try to eat as clean as humanly possible. I’m a vegetarian before 6pm, usually. I’ve been trying to eat less meat because as much as I’ve studied it, meat production in America is really bad for the environment, our health and animal welfare. I try to limit my intake, especially with my job. I eat so much meat that when I’m cooking at home, a lot of times it’s vegetarian.” He even suggests that more elevated vegetarian dining options would improve the San Diego food scene.

Johnson, 42, has since become an outspoken and avid advocate for sustainable food practices in San Diego, but he wasn’t always interested in food. “It’s funny because I love food now but I don’t come from a culinary culture,” says Johnson. “I grew up with ‘Pull the plastic off the top of the box, and throw it in the other box, and push play.’ I was raised on Bagel Dogs, Mac n' Cheese, Top Ramen, sandwiches and Hungry Man. That was my food history.” Johnson has been passionately studying food since he started writing about it nearly a decade ago, but says it took him several years before he really felt confident about it. He confesses his “most disgusting” dish was a tilapia pasta with a V8 sort of sauce (the only ingredients on hand), but now assesses his skill level as relatively high. “I’m not the most amazing cook, but I cook a lot.”

All that eating can lead to a ton of leftovers. Not one to waste, Johnson was eager to share tips for reheating. “I don’t have the greatest kitchen because I live in a tiny place in OB, but I reheat everything on the stove top, oven or toaster oven. I take that stock that I made and put it in ice cubes. Anything that I’m reheating always needs a little bit more moisture, so you just throw an ice cube of stock in. Homemade stock is the difference between a fifth-grader painting and a Picasso.”

He professes that he spends most of his day working with food and would cook more if he didn’t have to go out to eat so much. Still, it’s impressive that he regularly preps staples like chicken stock, crème fraîche, sauces and dressings. Johnson stresses the importance of great olive oil.

The funny man can hope that all the healthy eating makes up for the sweets. “Oh, I have a sweet tooth, absolutely!” he insists while groaning and chuckling like Homer Simpson. “I make my own clafoutis, banana cream pie and spiced breads. Banana bread I make all the time. Ice cream is my downfall. If something kills me on this planet, it’s going to be ice cream.” Desserts aside, his last meal will likely be one of the following: “Thai food, most likely green curry or Panang curry. Or, drunken noodles with duck. Or, a bowl of Fruity Pebbles in ice cold milk.” He really couldn’t decide. For now, Johnson shares his favorite recipe for Panang curry. When it comes to spice level on a scale of one to 10, his preference is a “seven or eight, depending on how much I had to drink the night before. I’m made partly of capsaicin.”


Troy Johnson | writer, editor, eater | Twitter: @_troyjohnson Maria Hesse is a food and lifestyle designer, pug photographer at PugSmutt. com, and co-author of The Intentionalist Cooks! You can find her online at

May-June 2016

edible San Diego


PANANG CURRY By Troy Johnson The mix of coconut milk and cream with spicy chiles in Thai food—it’s fat, it’s heat, it’s like a tropical vacation in your mouth. This recipe was inspired by San Diego’s Thai legend, Su-Mei Yu. I urge you to buy her book, The Elements of Life. She’s a master. And then tinker and add other spices and stuff that make you happy, like I did. As with any recipe, do whatever the hell you want. But the key to a really great curry is making your own paste with awesome ingredients—fresh lemongrass, kaffir, fish sauce, shrimp paste and galangal. Kaffir is one of the most wonderful flavors on the planet. Tastes like nature just poured you a big bowl of Fruity Pebbles. They can be hard to find sometimes. I usually find them at Lucky Seafood in Mira Mesa, but most Asian stores will have them (not H-Mart, though). When I find them, I often buy multiple bags and freeze the ones I’m not using. Use a super-airtight bag in the freezer. They’ve got a potent aroma that can make everything taste like kaffir. PASTE 1 head of garlic, minced 8 dried chiles de arbol, minced (soak in hot water for 15 minutes, drain, dry 2 guajillo chiles, minced 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted 1 teaspoon coriander seeds 1 stalk lemongrass, minced (remove hard outer leaves, use inner tender ones) 1 whole galangal (or fresh ginger), minced 1 tablespoon shrimp paste 1 whole shallot, minced 1 Thai chile, minced ½ teaspoon pepper ½ teaspoon salt


2 dried star anise pods, ground

3 cups chicken, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces


3 cups chopped vegetables (Thai eggplant, bamboo shoots (get ’em sliced in cans at Asian markets), sliced carrots

2 cups coconut cream 1 cup coconut milk 1 cup almond milk 2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce 2 tablespoons palm sugar 2 stalks lemongrass (remove outer leaves, pound the crap out of it to release flavor) 3 Thai chiles, crushed 10 kaffir lime leaves 28

edible San Diego

May-June 2016

To make the paste, you’ll need a large mortar and pestle. Place dried chiles in a bowl with hot water. Soak for 15 minutes, then drain. Mince. Start with salt and garlic, because the garlicsalt mixture is basically a glue that will help your paste form. Then add one by one all of your minced ingredients, grinding it with the pestle until you’ve got a paste. It’ll keep in the freezer for 3 months.

In a big saucepan on medium-high, combine 1 cup coconut cream and curry paste, heat and stir regularly until you get chile-colored bubbles. Add remaining coconut cream, coconut milk and almond milk. Bring to a boil, then add the rest of your ingredients (except meat and veggies). Stir it up, bring it to a boil again, then reduce to a simmer for 10–15 minutes. Next add the meat and veggies, cooking until done.Garnish with Thai basil, lime zest or an engagement ring.

May-June 2016

edible San Diego


{The Good Earth}

Organic Farmer Sows “Can Do” Mentality By Susan Russo

Photos by Chris Rov Costa


“I want to show that you can be a successful small organic farmer. There are so many people telling you what you can’t do. I want to show people that, yes, you can do this!” Luke Girling

“I want to show that you can be a successful small organic farmer. There are so many people telling you what you can’t do. I want to show people that, yes, you can do this!”

Girling proudly identifies as a small organic farmer. His 2.5-acre farm, which sits comfortably amidst singlefamily homes in a quiet Oceanside neighborhood, produces over a dozen types of fully organic, non-GMO fruit and vegetables, including beets, broccoli, chard, kale, strawberries and tomatoes, many of which are heirloom varieties.

or Luke Girling, owner of Cyclops Farms in Oceanside, farming isn’t just a job, it’s a mission.

Girling is no stranger to adversity. In March 2015, unable to afford a land lease, he held a Kickstarter campaign and raised over $15,000. Since the plot of dirt had never been used for agriculture, it was much more expensive to develop than Girling had anticipated: “Now that I’m deep into farming, I wish I had raised more,” he laments. When illness sidetracked him a couple of months later and delayed his plantings, he persevered. Then in September he underwent surgery to remove a mass in his chest. Some first-year farmers might have called it quits, but not Girling. “It’s taken me a while to get back on my feet, but I’m so excited to get back into it full swing,” he says. 30

edible San Diego

May-June 2016

Other than some help from family and neighborhood volunteers, Girling is the sole caretaker. “I do it all! I do all the plantings. I hand weed everything. I run the tractor, I turn the beds,” he says. “But I don’t know if I recommend that!” He is quick to credit his wife of eight years, Frances, with any success he has had. “She takes cares of the farm’s finances, and she’s the primary caretaker for our kids. I could never do this without her,” he says. Girling took an unusual route to farming: Disillusioned from his work as a door-to-

door tire salesman, he began working for Bistro West and West Steak and Seafood in Carlsbad, where he managed the restaurant garden for two years. Noticing Luke’s joy for gardening, Frances encouraged him to enroll in a six-month apprenticeship at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz. Although he thrived in the program, Girling admits that the separation from his family was stressful: “I wouldn’t recommend doing it the way I did. I wish I had taken Frances and the kids with me,” he says. Frances, an eternal optimist, counters, “But look where we are now!” then turns to me and says, “I just wanted to see Luke doing something he loved and being happy to go to work every day, and now he is.” Despite his enthusiasm for farming, Girling admits that finances are a real burden. He explains that organic farming is both more expensive and more labor-

“The city could save some open land for small farms to feed the people of San Diego. It makes sense sustainability-wise, and we might be able to help regenerate the gap in farming that is so apparent to us.” Luke Girling been energized: “When I bring my produce to these chefs and see the creative things they do with it, it inspires me to go back to the farm and grow something even cooler!”

intensive to maintain. Through careful crop selection, rotation and covers, he has reduced risks for costly crop infestations and diseases. He says that his monthly water bill exceeds his land lease but that this year’s abundant rainfall has helped. Like any first-time farmer, he has made some mistakes and plans to make adjustments moving forward, such as growing more strawberries and fresh flowers, both big sellers with his farm stand customers. One intractable problem: weeds. “I don’t like spraying [pesticide] even if it’s organic,” Girling says. “I hand weed everything and could weed constantly, but at some point I’ve gotta let it go and get back to planting.” Labor is another challenge. He hasn’t been able to afford to hire part-time workers, which means long hours (50- 60-hour work weeks are common) on the farm; Frances and the kids often visit Luke, allowing them to spend time together and teach the children how to farm. Girling says his 8-year-old daughter is more efficient on the farm than most adults. Frances giggles as she recounts tales of her 6-year-old educating his classmates about organics and GMOs. Then she adds soberly, “I just hope that our kids appreciate how much hard work farming takes and that eating straight out of the farm is pretty much like gold.” The Girlings’ larger family, the Oceanside community, is equally important to them. He, a native of Oceanside, and she, of Carlsbad, both hope to educate and inspire their community to support local small farmers. For instance, by providing produce to a handful of Oceanside restaurants, including Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub and LTH (Local Tap House), Girling says he has broadened people’s understanding of eating “hyper” locally sourced produce. He has also

He acknowledges, however, that the farm’s small size limits his ability to grow as a restaurant supplier and that most of his cash flow comes from the on-site farm stands he runs two days a week. He and Frances intend to start a community-supported agriculture (CSA) harvest subscription program that they believe will help make the farm financially stable. They would also like to build a simple outdoor kitchen on the farm and invite local chefs to design community dinners using their produce. Ultimately, the Girlings hope to inspire local farmers to serve San Diegans who don’t have access to affordable, high-quality, organic food. They explain that Oceanside has many vacant lots that could be converted to gardens. “The city could save some open land for small farms to feed the people of San Diego,” says Girling. “It makes sense sustainability-wise, and we might be able to help regenerate the gap in farming that is so apparent to us.” He takes a beat, then adds, “I’m not here to change the world. I’m here to change my community.” And from what I’ve seen, he’s well on his way. For more information, visit their Cyclops Farms Facebook page. Farm stand hours are Wednesday noon to 4:30pm and Saturday 8am to 12:30pm.


Luke Girling shows off strawberries and scar, beautiful Cyclops Farms produce, tractor.

Susan Russo is a cookbook author and freelance food and travel writer. She contributes regularly to NPR. org and has a monthly Get Fresh! column in the San Diego Union Tribune. Follow her at @Susan_Russo on Twitter or email her at

May-June 2016

edible San Diego


One Feast Fits All

Vegan, vegetarian, omnivore—everyone’s welcome at this table By Anna Thomas

Photos by Victoria Pearson

he way we eat is changing—that’s not news anymore. I remember when, as a budding vegetarian, I couldn’t eat out in Los Angeles—in Los Angeles!—except at a handful of hippie cafés. I became an upstart in the food scene by writing The Vegetarian Epicure in 1972, while I was still a film student at UCLA. I think it was self-defense. Since that time, I’ve cooked a lot, eaten constantly, entertained often and written four more books. And now—good grief—I’m the O.G.

what a hassle! And let’s face it, then there would be an A meal and a B meal, and who wants to be on the B list?


Yes, I believe that what I put on the table is important. But there is one thing more important: Who is at the table? Gathering my friends around the table has been one of the joys of my life, and I don’t invite people over because they eat the same way I do. I’m willing to bet you don’t either. We invite folks because we love them, or we want to know them better, or they tell the best jokes! Or maybe simply because we’re related. Can we all sit down and have dinner together? Over the last few years, I have begun to hear more and more laments from people who were afraid to entertain because this one would only eat that, and the other one wouldn’t eat this. The way we eat is changing, but we’re different, and we’re in very different places on that larger curve. We need to find a way with food, I thought, that allows us to relax and be flexible, and to just have a good time. Well, here’s the thing: In our traditional American food culture we have a default setting: meat in the middle, grains and vegetables on the side. Those familiar meals could be adapted, of course, but we’d immediately be taking something away, substituting— compromising. Of course, we could prepare two separate meals, but 32

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May-June 2016

We’re doing this backwards, I thought. Why not start with the food everyone eats? Everyone eats the watermelon at the picnic. It’s not the vegan watermelon, it’s just the watermelon. Everyone eats the minestrone and the focaccia. Everyone eats the roasted potato wedges with mojo verde that I serve with cocktails, and my wild mushroom risotto. It seemed so simple. Start with the foods everyone eats, create a dish or a meal that works, then add and elaborate … expand with eggs, cheese, fish or meat … make it flexible. Make one meal, but one that can be enjoyed in variations. It became my holy grail: to design meals at which we could sit down together, toast each other and eat happily in my peaceable kingdom. I made a savory chile verde with fat white beans and added chicken to half of it. I made Lebanese-style stuffed peppers filled with aromatic rice and lentils, but added spiced lamb to half the stuffing. I made meals built around hearty pilafs of farro and black rice, surrounded by roasted vegetables— and slices of pork for the omnivores. My easy fish soup became a dinner party favorite. It begins as a robust vegetable soup and the fish and shellfish are added at the last minute, so it can easily be served in two versions. And one spring weekend, after my weekly visit to the Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market, I made a delicate, lemon-perfumed risotto with sautéed fresh fava beans. I offered large shavings of Parmigiano

CARROT-TOP PESTO How many times have you thrown away those bushy green tops? Me, too—but no more. Now I make this deliciously peppery, textured pesto. Have it as a condiment with roasted spring carrots, or roasted new potatoes. Or spread it on crostini with a dab of white cheese. Be sure you have fresh, bright green carrot tops. And if you have no basil to add to the mix, try parsley or cilantro and a few fennel greens instead. 4 oz. trimmed carrot tops (from 1 or 2 bunches), big stems trimmed off 2 cloves garlic 1/4 cup (1 oz.) walnuts 1 oz. fresh basil leaves, chopped (1/2 cup) 1/2 oz. fresh mint leaves, chopped (1/2 cup), plus more to taste 3/4 tsp. sea salt 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice Pull the fronds of the carrot tops off the stems and discard the stems. Carrot tops have a firm, chewy texture, but the stems are tough. Wash and spin-dry the greens. Pulse the garlic and walnuts briefly in a food processor, then add the various greens and the salt and pulse again, scraping down the sides of the container as needed, until the greens are finely chopped. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and process the pesto until it is smooth. Makes about 2 cups

Reggiano, and passed a platter of sautéed shrimp to be added as a garnish for those who wanted it. It was a perfect springtime meal, bright and full of the fresh taste of the season. Here is that risotto in a menu that can be kept very simple. Make a salad of the first tender lettuces to begin, and finish with a bowl of strawberries. Or make it a dinner party by adding a starter of carrottop pesto served with roasted young carrots, crostini and tangy goat cheese. For dessert, combine our amazing local Gaviota strawberries with Ojai tangerines, all drizzled with a light syrup to make a compote that can only be enjoyed at this perfect moment of the year.

And invite everyone you like; call them to the table without fear. We long for that social table—it is a place of sharing of stories and jokes, old friendships and new, a place where we can become our best selves. Let’s not give it up just because we don’t all eat the same way!


Longtime Ojai, California resident Anna Thomas wrote the iconic cookbook “The Vegetarian Epicure” when she was still a film student at UCLA, followed by its two sequels and “Love Soup.” Her newest book, “Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore: Dinner for Everyone at the Table” (W. W. Norton & Co., 2016), hits shelves in April.

Two more Anna Thomas recipes follow on pages 34 and 35.

May-June 2016

edible San Diego


PRAWNS SAUTÉED WITH GARLIC Prawns sautéed in garlic is one of those classic, simple dishes found all over the Mediterranean, from the tapa bars of Spain to the mezze tables of the Middle East. You can sauté prawns or large shrimp in their shells, or you can peel them down to their tails, which makes them an easy finger food. 1 lb. large prawns (14–18) 2–3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro a pinch of sea salt Garnish with lemon wedges The prawns can be sautéed in their shells or peeled, depending on how you want to serve them. Sautéing in the shell keeps in a bit more flavor, but peeling the prawns makes them much easier to eat (and you don’t need finger bowls). If peeling the prawns, leave the tails on and remove the dark veins. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add the garlic, and add the prawns right on top of it. Cook the prawns over high heat for about a minute, until you see them starting to turn pink, then turn them over. Add the lemon juice and the chopped cilantro and cook another minute or so, just until the prawns have turned pink all over. Exact cooking time depends on the size of the prawns. Sprinkle on a tiny bit of sea salt and serve the prawns with lemon wedges and crusty bread. Serves 6 to 8 as a tapa, in a selection of mezze, or as a garnish for pasta. Recipe is easy to double. 34

edible San Diego

May-June 2016

LEMON RISOTTO WITH SAUTÉED FRESH FAVA BEANS Although the ingredients are simple, I think of this as a luxury dish: fresh fava beans are a seasonal delicacy, and shelling this many rates as an act of culinary devotion. The risotto is aromatic with lemon zest and richly satisfying with the bright green new favas—a bowlful of spring. 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish


and so on until the rice is tender but firm and a creamy sauce has formed around it, 20 to 25 minutes.

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine

Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and the lemon zest, as well as two-thirds of the sautéed fava beans, reserving the rest for a garnish. Stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano, and then, just before serving, add a final, generous ladleful of broth. Immediately spoon the risotto into shallow bowls and scatter a few reserved fava beans on top of each serving. Pass the olive oil carafe and the additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table.

1 1/2 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest

Serves 6 to 8 as a center-of-the-plate dish

1/2 cup freshly grated ParmigianoReggiano cheese, plus more for the table

A Seafood Variation . . .

2 cups peeled fresh green fava beans, from 1 lb. shelled beans (see note) 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice sea salt 3/4 cup finely chopped shallots 8–9 cups light vegetable broth, diluted if salty 2 1/2 cups Arborio rice

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauté pan, add the garlic, and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the peeled fava beans and sauté them over medium-high heat, stirring almost constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they color lightly. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, sprinkle the beans with a big pinch of sea salt, give them one more stir, and remove them from the heat. Set them aside as you prepare the rice. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan and stir the shallots in it over medium heat, with a dash of salt, until they are soft, 6 or 7 minutes. Bring the vegetable broth to a simmer, cover it, and keep it hot on the lowest flame. Be sure that your vegetable broth is not too strong or salty. Add the rice to the shallots and stir over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir as it evaporates. Add 1 cup of the hot vegetable broth, lower the heat to a simmer, and stir as the broth is absorbed into the rice. Continue adding broth, about a cup at a time, stirring almost constantly. As each cup of broth is nearly absorbed, add the next cup and stir again,

Lemon risotto can be made with shrimp instead of fava beans, or along with them. Peel and devein about 1 pound of fresh shrimp, wash them, and have them ready as you begin to cook the risotto. When the rice has been cooking about 15 minutes, sauté the shrimp for a moment in some olive oil with a bit of garlic and a splash of white wine. Stir the shrimp into the risotto, or into part of it, just before serving. Or add a few sautéed shrimp on top of individual servings. About Those Fava Beans . . . The well-protected fava beans must first be taken out of their large pods; then the beans need to be peeled, one by one. It’s a bit of work, but not so much that it should stop you. I timed myself the last time I peeled a pound of shelled favas (about 3 cups beans in their jackets): 20 minutes. Not a tragedy. So bring a pot of water to a boil and drop in the shelled favas. When the water simmers again, give them 2 to 3 minutes, depending on their size. Drain them, rinse briefly with cool water, and then slip off their skins while they are still warm. You’ll have a generous 2 cups when the beans are peeled.

Six great issues a year! Get six issues a year of Edible San Diego delivered right to your door, each one filled with delicious recipes, thought provoking subjects and the stories of our farmers, ranchers, fishermen, chefs, winemakers and brewers.

1 year $33 2 years $54 3 years $72 Subscribe on line at or send your information (name, street address, city, state and zip code) and check made payable to Edible San Diego to Edible San Diego, P.O. Box 83549 San Diego, CA 92138

May-June 2016

edible San Diego


{To Your Health}

The gluten-free bandwagon: Sorting out the facts By Lauren Mahan


n just a few short years, the term “gluten-free” has become ubiquitous, with entire food market aisles dedicated to glutenfree products, while more and more restaurants are offering gluten-free menu options. According to (May 5, 2014), surveys show that 30 percent of Americans would like to eat less gluten, and sales of gluten-free products are estimated to hit $15 billion by 2016. But why all the hoopla? And do most of us need to be concerned—especially since gluten-free products tend to be significantly more expensive? The purpose of this article is to serve up what we perceive to be the key issues, and to let you, our readers, decide for yourselves. What is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, as well as many whole-grain, wheat-related foods, such as bulgur, farro, kamut and spelt. It helps to make bread rise and provides the elasticity needed for pizza dough. Celiac disease versus gluten sensitivity. At the extreme end of the gluten sensitivity scale is celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that affects only about 1% of the population and can easily be diagnosed through a blood test. For these patients, going gluten-free is absolutely essential to avoid GI tract injury and nutrient deficiency. Those with nonceliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) may also experience GI tract issues as well as headache, fatigue and other symptoms. Although there may be no mainstream tests for diagnosing NCGS, according to homeopathic practitioner Dr. John Maher, DC (, “The easiest way to self-diagnose is to eliminate all gluten from your diet for six weeks and see what happens. If your headaches and diarrhea go away and you lose ten pounds, then you know what to do.”

USEFUL WEBSITES FOR THE GLUTEN SENSITIVE While the jury is still out on the pros and cons of a gluten-free diet, the more information you have when making a decision that affects your health and well-being, the better. Following are a few online resources: Celiac Disease Foundation ( Gluten Free Watchdog ( The Gluten Intolerance Group ( The Academy of Culinary Nutrition: The Top 50 Gluten Free Recipe/Cooking Blogs ( Gluten Free Girl ( Gluten Free Drugs (

Going gluten-free for other health reasons. Some people may find they feel better on a diet with less gluten. But there may be a price to pay. “It is possible that following a gluten-free diet may lead to less vitamin, mineral, and fiber consumption,” notes Dr. Neal Malik, ND, of San Diego’s Bastyr University. “This may not be the case for everyone but those that follow a gluten-free lifestyle should ensure that they are consuming adequate B-vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, and folate as well as iron, magnesium and zinc.” Shopping for gluten-free products. When manufacturers remove the gluten from a product, in order to recreate texture they must frequently replace it with what many refer to as “junk carbohydrates”: corn starch, rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato flour, which can tend to spike blood sugar levels even more than wheat. So if blood sugar is an issue, be sure to scrutinize the labels on gluten-free products. Lauren Mahan is a freelance writer with over 30 years’ experience based in Valley Center, North Park, and points south (Baja). She is the Tidbits editor for Edible San Diego magazine, as well as a frequent feature article contributor. Photo: Chris Rov Costa


edible San Diego

May-June 2016

Dominick Fiume

{Resources & Advertisers} Real Estate Broker 330 A Street, Ste 4 EVENTS San Diego, Ca 92101


May 3 – Detoxification for Better Health, Arvin Jenab, ND. May 19 – Healthy Cooking Foundation Class: Cooking With Whole Grains. Jun 1 – Keep Active, Decrease CalBREPain No.Using 01017892 Physical Medicine, Donna M. Maltien, BS, DC. Jun 23 – Healthy Cooking Foundation Class: Cooking With Powerful Plant Proteins. Jul 9 – Healthy Cooking Foundation Class: Cooking With Whole Grains. 4110 Sorrento Valley Blvd. 858-2469730 •



Bring your own beer or wine and get ready for fun, great food and to learn about seafood from top San Diego chefs. Events held in the Catalina Offshore Products warehouse benefit San Diego children and charities in need. Produced by Specialty Produce and Catalina Offshore Products. •


May 7 and June 18, Saturdays at the Ranch, one-day spa and culinary adventures that “create a taste of the peace and tranquility in a beautiful, natural setting that everyone craves and needs.” Only about an hour from San Diego. • 877-440-7778 •


Saturday, August 6, buy high quality, locally raised beef, pork, lamb, goat, turkey, chicken and rabbit at austion from the youth of 4H, FFA and Grange. For buyer info, visit the Auction tab at


Mira Mesa (Tue, 2:30-6 fall; 2:30-7 spring); State Street Farmers’ Market in Carlsbad Village (Wed, 3-6 fall; 3-7 spring); Kearny Mesa (Fri, 10:30-1:30), and Leucadia (Paul Ecke Central School) (Sun, 10-2). 858-2727054 •


Find eveything you need here, including meat. Sponsored by the Escondido Arts Partnership. Tues 2:30-6pm year round on Grand Ave. between Juniper and Kalmia. • 760-480-4101 •


Sponsored by the Hillcrest Business Assoc., the largest farmers’ market in the county (with over 175 vendors) convenes Sundays, 9-2 at the DMV on Normal St. 3960 Normal Street • 619-299-3330 •


Sunday, 9-1 at La Jolla Elementary school on Girard. A great community success story! All proceeds benefit the school. Fresh

Join us in thanking these advertisers for their local and sustainable ethic by supporting them with your business. produce, food court, local artisans and entertainment. 7335 Girard Ave. at Genter. • 858-454-1699 •


Friday, 3-6pm fall/winter, 3-7pm spring/ summer. Over 50 vendors in La Mesa Village, corner of Spring St. and University, west of the railroad tracks. • outbackfarm@ • 619-249-9395 •


Sunday, 10-2 at Paul Ecke Central School, 185 Union St. off Vulcan in Leucadia. A big weekend farmers market with just about eveything. Knife sharpening often. • 858272-7054 •


The only 7-day-a-week marketplace showcasing the region’s agricultural bounty and international tastes. Explore exciting culinary creations, organic produce, meats, seafood, cheese, fine wine and craft beer from more than two dozen artisan vendors. Open 11am-7pm (minimum). 2820 Historic Decatur Rd. 92106 •


Sun 10:30-3:30 at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead. Fresh, locally grown fruits, veggies and herbs, eggs, meat, honey, and hot food. Accepts EBT, WIC , credit and debit cards. Located just off I-15 at Via Rancho Pkwy, Escondido •


Thur, 9am-1pm, rain or shine at 300 No. Coast Hwy. Certified fresh, locally grown fruits, veggies and flowers, hot food, baked goods and crafts. • • 619-249-9395 •


Sun 9:30am–2pm. Lovely morning market in the Fairbanks Ranch area, modeled on the town square concept. Local farmers, artisanal food, fresh flowers, crafters, live music, kids booth and more! 16079 San Dieguito Rd. Rancho Santa Fe 92067 • 619-743-4263 •


Not so ordinary produce, herbs, ornamentals and raw honey from certified farmer/producer in Rancho Penasquitos backyard farm. Find them at North SD (Sikes Adobe) (Sun), Escondido (Tue), UTC (Thur) and Rancho Bernardo (Fri) farmers' markets. •


Weekly farmers’markets: Linda Vista, 6900 Linda Vista Rd. (Thur, 2-7, and 2-6 in winter); and City Heights, Wightman St. between Fairmount & 43rd (Sat, 9-1). Accepts EBT, WIC, credit and debit cards. • 760-580-0116 •

{Local Marketplace}


Robust farmers’ markets with great selections at Pacific Beach on Bayard btwn Grand & Garnet (Tue, 2-7),); North Park, NOW at North Park Way & 30th, (Thu, 3-7); and Little Italy Mercato now on Cedar St. (Sat, 8-2). All accept EBT, PB and NP also accept WIC. Farmers market vendor training, Vendor 101 and 102. • 619-233-3901 •


Convenient midweek market, Wed 3-6pm fall/winter, 3-7pm spring/summer. Over 50 vendors in Carlsbad Village east of the railroad tracks. • • 858-272-7054 •


Sun from 10am to 3pm at the Valley Fort, 3757 S. Mission Road, Fallbrook. Great atmosphere, vendors and music. • • 951-695-0045 •


Experience the art of fine dining in an elegant timbered room overlooking the 18th hole of the Torrey Pines Golf Course. Market driven and seasonal cuisine. For a really special experience, reserve a seat at the Artisan Table, Thursday nights. 11480 N. Torrey Pines Rd. • 858-453-4420 •


A certified purveyor of honest pints. Local & craft brews, Neapolitan style pizza with fresh mozzarella, local veggies and charcuterie housemade from sustainably produced meat. Open Tues -Sun, 11:30am to midnite. 3416 Adams Avenue, San Diego • 619-255-2491 •


Great tasting hamburgers made from sustainably raised, grassfed beef and other pastured meats. Perfect for health and environmentally conscious diners, vegetarians and salad lovers. Eight locations in San Diego County: Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, Gaslamp, Hillcrest, Kensington, La Jolla, Little Italy, and soon in Del Sur. •


Dine from the bounty of their micro farm in the relaxed and beautiful setting of the Rancho Bernardo Winery. They plant, grow and cook every meal to order. Cooking classes, specialty events, culinary medicine! 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte, Rancho Bernardo, 92128 • 858592-7785 •

Dominick Fiume Real Estate Broker 330 A Street, Ste 4 San Diego, Ca 92101

619-543-9500 CalBRE No. 01017892


Delicious food made from scratch, responsibly sourced. Pasture raised meats, organic sides, seasonal fruits and veges. Take out menu, weekly MEAL SERVICE, May-June 2016

edible San Diego


{Local Marketplace} Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary!

Cafe Merlot invites you on a culinary journey at the Historic Bernardo Winery! COOKING CLASSES BUY 1 , GET 1 FREE CALIFORNIA HEALTHY CUISINE OFFSITE CATERING • TEAM BUILDING

13330 Paseo del Verano Norte San Diego, CA 92128 858.592.7785 •

limited seating. Order by phone, online or at the counter. 3620 30th St. 92104 • 619-869-0004 •


La Jolla’s premier deli, bakery, restaurant & caterer for 25 years. Tasty and healthy menu items created with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Many of their fruits and vegetables grown in their own organic garden. 7837 Girard Ave., La Jolla 92037 • 858-454-3325 •


Perennial “best sushi” pick of many, Harney also has the most aggressive sustainability program of all Southern California restaurants. Original Old Town location: 3964 Harney Street, San Diego • 619-2953272; Oceanside: 301 Mission Avenue • 760-967-1820 •


Since 2007, San Diego’s premier source for organic, individually customized Takeand-Make meal kits designed to fit to your dietary requirements and preferences. Everything is ready for you to cook using their step-by-step instructions. Pick up in Encinitas or have delivered. • 760-8150204 • HealthyCreationsMeals@gmail. com • HealthyCreations


Celebrate Baja cuisine and wines at farm-to-table wine dinners at La Cocina Que Canta, Rancho La Puerta’s culinary center in the heart of a six-acre organic garden. • •


Casual waterfront dining in the historic fishing neighborhood of Point Loma, serving up locally caught seafood with a view of the bay and the San Diego sportfishing fleet. 1403 Scott Street, San Diego • 619-222-8787 •

From our garden to your plate. 26 years in La Jolla European Bakery & Deli Breakfast, lunch & dinner Full-service catering 7837 Girard Avenue La Jolla, CA 92037 858-454-3325


edible San Diego

May-June 2016


Specialty market and bread bakery with morning and lunch menus and locally sourced veggies, spreads, meats, cheeses, wines and beer on tap. Open Mon-Fri, 7am3pm. 5277 Linda Vista Rd. (Morena area) 92111 • 619-260-8446 •


From the BLAH and Tiger!Tiger! folks comes Panama 66 in the Sculpture Court at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. Beer, wine and cocktails, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, house-made meats, vegetarian and vegan, brunch, kids menu, desserts and more. Open Mon – Sun, 11 to 3.


Humanely raised Niman meat, Jidori chicken, sustainable seafood, and locally grown organic vegetables in simple, delicious dishes. Great wine and craft beer menu. Many vegetables and herbs grown in the patio seating area. 4095 30th Street, San Diego • 619-283-1720 •


Award winning Italian cuisine by Chef Accursio Lota. Locally sourced ingredients, fresh made pasta, organic produce, wild caught fish and hormone-free meat. Great wine list, craft cocktails and beers. Happy hour Tues-Sun, Tues wine specials, Live jazz Thurs. 2820 Roosevelt Rd., Liberty Station, Point Loma • 619-270-9670 •


Dinner. Cocktails. Late night dining. Cuisine that uses year-round local produce. Menu changes frequently to offer San Diego’s seasonal bounty. Sunday brunch. Great cocktails. 21 and up. 3175 India Street, San Diego • 619-358-9766 •


Simple, healthy, tasty food with a whimsical edge, artful and affordable. Open daily 7-3 for breakfast and lunch. Gluten free options,

distinctive breads baked daily, beer, wine and HAN cocktails. • 3795 Mission Blvd. 858488-9060 • 2801 University 619-220-8992 • 1250 J St. Downtown 619-232-7662 •


A casually elegant neighborhood hangout serving classic American comfort food. Organic produce from their own ½-acre garden or purchased locally. Sustainably sourced proteins. 741 W. Washington Street, San Diego • 619-295-6000 •


Well paired food and drink emphasizing small, sometimes zany producers and with special attention to San Diego terroir. Lunch, brunch, happy hour and 4 course Monday night dinner every third Monday of the month. 2219 30th St., South Park 92104 • 619-281-0718 •


An intimate supper club in San Diego’s historic Mission Hills. Organic produce is sourced from their own ½-acre garden. Live music Wed & Thurs, 7-9pm. 729 W. Washington Street, San Diego • 619-295-6001•


Honest delicious food, pairing popular trends in cuisine with healthy living. Brunch, lunch, dinner. Fashion Valley Mall, 7007 Friars Rd., Suite 394 • 619-810-2929 •


A handcrafted blend of nine different organic seeds, superfoods, mineral salts and spices, made in small batches. Avaialable at Le Mesa (Fri), Little Italy Mercato (Sat), Rancho Santa Fe and Hillcrest (Sun), and Leucadia (alt. Sun) farmers’ markets. •

M O M & DA D



C O R N E R O F G I R A R D AV E . & G E N T E R S T.

9AM-1PM L A J O L L A M A R K E T. C O M

Contact • be-runa. com/product/seed-salt/


EscoGelato’s luscious, super creamy gelato is full of intense flavor and made fresh daily with the highest quality ingredients including fruit sourced from local farmers at the Escondido Farmers Market. 122 South Kalmia, Escondido, 92025 • 760745-6500 •


Fresh juices, smoothies, shots and Acai bowls served from a food truck modified to run on propane and a store at 3733 Mission Blvd. San Diego 92109. Ingredients sourced from local farmers’ markets, and all waste is recycled. • 240-246-5126 •


“One of San Diego’s top ten nurseries” – San Diego Home/Garden Magazine. A hidden sanctuary, part botanical garden, part retail space and a unique and fresh location for your next meeting or event. Open 8-5, every day. 1452 Santa Fe Dr. Encinitas 92024 • 760753-2852 •


Your organic headquarters for plant food & nutrients, amendments & mulch, seed & sod, veggies & flowers, garden tools, water storage, irrigation & vineyard supplies, bird feeders & seed, pest & weed control and power tools. Locations in Encinitas, Fallbrook, Escondido and Valley Center. •


Find a coupon on page 9. Organic and natural products for your edible garden, as well as trees, shrubs, flowers, succulents and everything you need for their care. Home canning supplies. 1019 San Marcos

Blvd. off the 79 fwy near Via Vera Cruz • 760-744-3822 •

Ranch, Escondido, Carlsbad and Carmel Valley. •



Family owned and operated. Non-GMO and organic poultry feed choices. Canning supplies, horse feed & tack, livestock, pet food and supplies, hardware, clothing and a lot more. 675 W. Grand Av. ,Escondido •760-746-7816. 2762 S. Mission Rd., Fallbrook • 760-728-1150 •


Topsoil (specially blended for growing in San Diego), compost and mulch, ready to use or custom blended to your specifications. OMRI listed organic. Biosolids NEVER used. 16111 Old Milky Way, San Diego 92027 • 760644-3404 (sales); 760-746-4769 (billing & dispatch)•


Alternative care that considers every aspect of your health – mind, body and spirit. Naturopathic medicine, nutrition, physical medicine, women’s wellness, lifestyle counseling, and now—cooking classes! 4110 Sorrento Valley Blvd. • 858246-9730 •


{Local Marketplace}

Woof ’n Rose Winery RAMONA VALLEY

Specializing in red wines made only from estate grown and Ramona Valley grapes. National and international award-winning wine. Tasting veranda open Sat. & Sun. and by appointment.


Sustainably raised USDA inspected meats by the cut and CSA. Beef, pork and lamb sides & cuts, chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit, quali, pheasant & bison. Free range eggs. No hormones, steroids, incremental antibiotics, GMO/soy. Find at SD, Riverside and Orange County farmers’ markets, or at farm by appointment. Farm tours/ internships available. • •


262 E. Grand Ave, Escondido


Southern California’s only whole animal butchery (nothing goes to waste) featuring sustainably raised, hormone and anitbiotic free beef, lamb, pork and chicken. Open Tue-Sat, 11am-7pm; Sun,11am-5pm. 2855 El Cajon Blvd. Suite 1, San Diego 92104 • 619-564-8976 •

Design, installation and maintenance of edible landscapes for home owners, restaurants and corporate settings. Complete orchard care, composting systems, and detailed organic garden care. They’ll create the garden of your dreams! • (619) 563-5771 •

Educating the next generation of farmers, gardeners and homesteaders. Learn about sustainable farming, permaculture and how to live sustainably. Visit their blog; • wildwillowfarm@ •


A local, family owned full service grocery that provides the highest quality organic and natural foods at reasonable prices. Jimbo’s is committed to supporting organic growing practices and local farmers. Five locations: Horton Plaza, 4S 760-788-4818


Serving 73,000 children, families and seniors a week, FASD leads the fight against hunger in our region by distributing fresh, nutritious food to those in need. Help build a hunger-free, healthy community by making a gift. 97% of your donation directly funds hunger relief programs in San Diego County. • (858) 452-3663 •

Tuesday 2:30 - 6 Operated by the Escondido Arts Partnership

Award-winning estate-grown wines.

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…be human fully alive!

Seed Salt

Seeds. Superfoods. Salt.

Sunday Market SundayFarmers Farmers Market Sunday Farmers Market at the Valley Fort Fort at the Valley Fort Sunday Farmers Market

at the Valley Fort

3757 South Mission Rd. • Fallbrook CA 3757 South Mission Road Fallbrook CA 92028 3757 South Mission Road Fallbrook CA 92028

Open Everyevery Sunday 10am to 3pm Open Sunday Open Every Sunday 10am 10 am to 3pmto 3pm vendor info: or 760-390-9726

3757 SouthforMission Road Fallbrook CA 92028 more info email:

Most Sat. & Sun. 1–5 or by appointment. 29556 Hwy. 94, Campo Follow us on Facebook: Valley Fort Sunday Farmers Market vendorVendors info: or 760-390-9726 contact Amanda Atwood at for more info email: or 619-417-8334 us on Facebook: Valley Fort Sunday Farmers Market vendor info: or 760-390-9726 619-478-5222 • 619-402-8733 Valley Fort Sunday Farmers Market for more info email: Open Sunday 10am to 3pm for Every info email

Follow us on Facebook: Valley Fort Sunday Farmers Market

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edible San Diego


{Local Marketplace}

The Rose wine bar + bottle shop

boutique wines - private events good food - good vibes 2219 30th St. South Park

open 7 days a week 619 281 0718


Leading advocate for the farm community. Promotes economic viability of agriculture balanced with good stewardship of natural resources. Membership open to all, helps your local farmers and has many benefits. SDCFB sponsors four farmers’ markets: College Avenue, Wed, 2-6; Linda Vista, Thur, 2-7; City Heights, Sat, 9-1; and San Marcos, Sun, 10-2. • 760-745-3023 •


Supporting good food in San Diego and Riverside counties since 2001. Join the growing national movement to reclaim and preserve good food and food traditions. Slow Food Urban San Diego and Temecula Valley Slow Food. • •


California’s only fully accredited naturopathic medical school offers Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) program and a masters program in nutrition and wellness. Now offering cooking classes! 4106 Sorrento Valley Blvd., San Diego, CA 92121 • 858-246-9700 •



Bustling wholesale and retail seafood market in a working warehouse with fresh sustainably harvested seafood, much of it from local waters. Fri and Sat cooking demos. M-F, 8-3; Sat, 8-2. 5202 Lovelock St., San Diego • 619-297-9797 •




Family owned and operated vineyard since 2003, making estate wines since 2012. Specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Viognier. Tasting room open Sat & Sun, 1-5. Schedule a tour: 29556 Hwy 94, Campo, CA 91906 • 619-478-2820 •

Suppliers of all natural diet and supplements for dogs and cats, including fresh raw foods and selected natural dry and canned foods. Human-grade and chemical free. Three locations: 2508 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, 760-720-7507; 1229 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 858-792-3707; and 3773 30th St., North Park, 619-738-8677 •




Gated, private, 55+ age-exclusive resort-like retreat in Del Sur, adjacent to Santaluz and Rancho Santa Fe. Three new neighborhoods offer single-level homes with second story bedrooms. Visit the new Auberge Alcove, located in the Del Sur Ranch House, to meet with an Auberge Ambassador, view residence floor plans and more, Saturday through Wednesday from 12 to 4 pm. Go to to stay informed.

100% estate grown zinfandel, sangiovese, cabernet franc and malbec. Picnic on the patio overlooking the vines or warm up by the fireplace this winter inside the new tasting room! Open Sat & Sun 11-5pm. 910 Gem Lane, Ramona, 92065 • 760-788-0059 •


Full bodied red wines served from a small, family-run outdoor tasting patio overlooking the vineyard. Estate grown syrah, petite sirah, cabernet sauvignon and blends showcase the quality of the RVAVA. 26502 Hwy 78, Ramona • 760-788-6800•

Dominick Fiume, Real Estate Broker, provides exceptional customer service with specialized knowledge of urban San Diego. CalBRE No. 01017892 330 A Street, Ste 4, San Diego 92101 909 W. • 619-543-9500


Freshly picked, organic and sustainably sourced produce, much of it local, from over a dozen farms each week. Great app for iPhone and Android with easy-to-use database of over 1200 produce items. Wholesale and retail. Farmers’ Market Bag & Box options. 1929 Hancock Street #150, San Diego • 619-295-3172 •



Taste wine,buy wine by the glass, bottle, case & barrel, become a virtual winemaker or master blender, host meetings and meetups, art shows, fundraisers and take classes. 12225 World Trade Dr., Suite P, San Diego 92128. Open Wed & Thur, 2-8pm; Fri, 2-9; Sat, 12-9; Sun, 12-6. Open Mon & Tue for private events only. Wine Clubs • 858-381-2675 •


Award winning, handcrafted wines made in small lots from estate grapes and grapes from the Ramona AVA. Open noon to sunset on Sat and most Sun Please call to confirm. Picnics welcome. 23578 Hwy 78, Ramona, CA 92065 • 760-789-1622 • ramonaranch.netne@

A true European style market


From the grapes to the winemaker, Stehleon Vineyards is San Diego grown. Stehleon wines blend four generations of agricultural heritage with local product and talent. Tasting room and winery: 298 Enterprise St, Suite D, Escondido • 760-741-1246 •


Vesper Vineyards aims to expose wine drinkers to San Diego’s diverse microclimates. They support local grapes, wine and all local agriculture and cuisine. Tasting room & winery. 298 Enterprise St., Suite D, Escondido • 760-749-1300 •


Del Rayo Village Center 16079 San Dieguito Rd. Rancho Santa Fe • 619-743-4263 Sundays, 9:30am –2:00pm 40

edible San Diego

May-June 2016

A certified organic, urban winery focused on minimal-intervention winemaking. Craft wine with nothing added or taken away, 100% vineyard, capturing time and place in every bottle. Mon-Fri, 4-11pm; Sat & Sun, 11am-11pm. 1477 University Ave. San Diego 92103 • 877-484-6282 •


Award winning red wines made from 100% Ramona Valley American Vitacultural Area (AVA) grapes, mostly estate grown. Try their flagship wine, Estate Cabernet Franc. Open 11–5 Sat. and Sun. and by appointment. Call ahead to allow them to give you good directions and to confirm availability. • 760-788-4818 •

FARMERS’ MARKETS MONDAY Escondido—Welk Resort # 8860 Lawrence Welk Dr. 3–7 pm, year round 760-651-3630

Seeds @ City Urban Farm 16th & C Sts., SD City College 10:30–12:30 am (Sept to June)

TUESDAY Coronado 1st St. & B Ave., Ferry Landing 2:30–6 pm 760-741-3763

Escondido * Grand Ave. btw Juniper & Kalmia 2:30–6 pm year round 760-480-4101

Mira Mesa * 10510 Reagan Rd. 2:30–7 pm (3–6 pm fall-winter ) 858-272-7054

Otay Ranch–Chula Vista

Santee *# Carlton Hills Blvd. & Mast Blvd. 3–7 pm (winter 3–6 pm) 619-449-8427

State Street in Carlsbad Village State St. & Carlsbad Village Dr. 3–7 pm (3–6 fall-winter) 858-272-7054

Temecula – Promenade * 40820 Winchester Rd. by Macy’s 9 am–1 pm 760-728-7343

FRIDAY Allied Gardens 5185 Waring Rd. btw Orcutt & Zion 4–8 pm 619-279-0032

Borrego Springs Christmas Circle Comm. Park 7 am–noon (October–May) 760-767-5555

Imperial Beach *#


Seacoast Dr. at Pier Plaza Oct-Mar, 12– 7 pm; Apr-Sep, 12–7:30 pm •

Carmel Valley

Kearny Mesa

5951 Village Center Loop Rd. 2:30–7 pm 858-945-5560

Chula Vista Center St. off Third Ave. 3–7 pm (3–6 pm fall-winter) 619-422-1982

El Cajon #

North Island Credit Union pkg lot 5898 Copley 10:30 am–1:30 pm 858-272-7054

La Mesa Village * Corner of Spring St. & University 2–6 pm 619-249-9395

2015 Birch Rd. and Eastlake Blvd. 4–8 pm (4–7 pm winter) 619-279-0032

Prescott Promenade on East Main Btw Magnolia & Claydelle Aves. 3–7 pm, year round 619-641-7510 x-277

Rancho Bernardo Winery

Pacific Beach Tuesday *#

Horton Square San Diego


Bayard & Garnet 2–7 pm 619-233-3901

UCSD Town Square UCSD Campus, Town Square 10 am–2 pm (Sept to June) 858-534-4248

WEDNESDAY Encinitas Station Corner of E St. & Vulcan 5–8 pm, May-Sept 4–7 pm, Oct-Apr 760-651-3630

Ocean Beach 4900 block of Newport Ave. 4–7 pm (summer 4–8 pm) 619-279-0032

People’s Produce Night Market 1655 Euclid Ave. 5-8 pm 619-262-2022

225 Broadway & Broadway Circle 11 am – 3 pm 760-741-3763

Linda Vista *# 6900 Linda Vista Rd. 2–7 pm (2–6 winter hours) 760-580-0116

North Park *#

NEW LOCATION 3151 University & 32nd St. 3–7 pm year round 619-233-3901

Oceanside Morning * Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101 9 am–1 pm 619-249-9395

SDSU Campanile Walkway btw Hepner Hall & Love Library 10 am–3 pm (Sept to June)

13330 Paseo del Verano Norte 9 am–1 pm 760-500-1709

City Heights *!# On Wightman St. btw Fairmount & 43rd St. 9 am–1 pm 760-580-0116

Del Mar 1050 Camino Del Mar 1–4 pm 858-465-0013

Escondido Saturday 110 N. Kalmia St. 760-715-3363, 619-838-8020

Golden Hill # B St. btw 27th & 28th Sts. 9:30 am–1:30 pm 619-795-3363

Lemon Grove *# On hiatus Broadway & Lemon Grove Ave. 619-289-5535

Little Italy Mercato #

Murrieta *

W. Cedar St. (Kettner to Front St.) 8 am–2 pm 619-233-3901

Village Walk Plaza I-15, exit west on Calif. Oaks/ Kalmia 9 am–1 pm 760-728-7343

Pacific Beach 4150 Mission Blvd. 8 am–noon 760-741-3763

North San Diego/ Sikes Adobe #

Poway * Old Poway Park 14134 Midland Rd. at Temple 8 am–1 pm 619-249-9395

Ramona * 1855 Main St. (K-Mart pkg lot) 9 am–1 pm 760-788-1924

Scripps Ranch 10380 Spring Canyon Rd. & Scripps Poway Parkway 9 am–1 pm 858-586-7933

Temecula – Old Town * Sixth & Front St. Old Town 8 am–12:30 pm 760-728-7343

Vista *# 325 Melrose Dr. South of Hwy 78 8 am–1 pm 760-945-7425

SUNDAY Gaslamp San Diego 400 block of Third Ave. 9 am–1 pm 619-279-0032

Hillcrest * 3960 Normal & Lincoln Sts. 9 am–2 pm 619-237-1632

La Jolla Open Aire Girard Ave. & Genter 9 am–1 pm 858-454-1699

12655 Sunset Dr. Escondido 10:30 am–3:30 pm year round 858-735-5311

Rancho Santa Fe Del Rayo Village 16079 San Dieguito Rd. 9:30 am–2 pm 619-743-4263

Solana Beach 410 to 444 South Cedros Ave. 1–5 pm 858-755-0444

Valley Fort Sunday 3757 South Mission Rd., Fallbrook 10 am–3 pm 951-695-0045 * Market vendors accept WIC (Women, Infants, Children Farmers’ Market checks) # Market vendors accept EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) ! Currently only City Heights accepts WIC Farmers’ Market Checks and the WIC Fruit and Vegetable Checks. All San Diego County markets listed except Rincon, SDSU, Seeds @ City, Valley Center and Valley Fort Sunday are certified by the County Agricultural Commissioner. Visit ediblesandiego. com and click on "Local Food” for more complete information and links to farmers’ market websites and social media pages.

Leucadia * 185 Union St. & Vulcan St. 10 am–2 pm 858-272-7054

UTC # 7131 Regents Rd. 4–7 pm 619-795-3363

May-June 2016

edible San Diego


NOW OPEN shop, sip and savor at san diego’s only 7-day-a-week artisan marketplace AE Floral | Baker & Olive | Bottlecraft | Cane Patch Kitchen | Cecilia’s Taqueria | Crafted Baked Goods FishBone Kitchen | Fully Loaded Juice | Garden Fresh | Grape Smuggler | Howlistic | Le Parfait Paris Liberty Meat Shop | Local Greens | Lolli San Diego Sweets | Mama Made Thai | Mastiff Sausage Company Mess Hall | Pacific Provisions | Paraná Empanadas Argentinas | Pasta Design | Roast | Scooped by MooTime | Stuffed! | Venissimo Cheese | The WestBean Coffee Roasters | Wicked Maine Lobster

2820 historic decatur road | Liberty Station cultivates authentic guest experiences with unique elements, local personality and inspired moments.

ESD 35 May/June 2016  
ESD 35 May/June 2016  

Cooks issue