Today I’m going to the 13th annual Celebrate the Craft event at The Lodge at Torrey Pines (a Five-Diamond resort) in La Jolla. It’s my first time attending the event, but my friend says it’s “hands down the best food event in San Diego,” so I have reason to be excited. It’s a celebration of regionally-grown ingredients, food preparation and winemaking. More than 25 of San Diego’s top chefs are going to be doing cooking demonstrations and serving food from their respective restaurants. There will also be farmers and ranchers there to highlight Southern California’s bounty of fresh ingredients, as well as vintners and brewers representing the burgeoning wine and craft beer scene. The venue overlooks the Torrey Pines Golf Course, with views of the ocean.
A portion of proceeds from the event go to Slow Food Urban San Diego that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.
I had a great time at Celebrate the Craft! I didn’t realize that all the restaurants actually pair up with local farmers/ranchers to use their ingredients in the dish they’re serving. All the popular purveyors were represented – Suzie’s Farm, Crows Pass Farm, Catalina Offshore, as well as many I hadn’t heard of before. My favorite dishes of the day were the Cochinita Pibil taco from Bracero Cocina (& Cook Pigs Ranch) and the King Salmon from Urban Solace (& Bristol Bay Salmon Company). I also loved the dessert from Grossmont College Culinary Arts Program (& El Campito Farm) that was a butternut squash creme fraiche cheesecake with curry caramel, pepita florentine and toasted meringue. I tasted a lot of really good wine, too, and it just so happened that two of my favorite wineries were there – Tablas Creek Vineyard and Palmina.
I would definitely go to Celebrate the Craft again—and next time I would know it’s key to reserve a table as soon as you get there. People laid claim to tables as they arrived so that they would have a place to set their glass down to avoid doing a balancing act with their plate. I noticed many people were sending others to grab plates for them so they could hold on to their valuable table real estate.
Also, The Lodge at Torrey Pines is beautiful – I’d love to spend more time on the property, and try the famous drugstore-style hamburger at The Grill that everyone is always talking about. And if you’re a golfer (I’m not), you don’t want to miss this iconic course. The spa looks right up my alley, though…