Tonight I’m going to the 11th annual Chef Showdown event, sponsored by the Center for Community Solutions (CCS). The fundraising event is held in The Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier downtown, and features 10 local chefs who battle it out through five cooking competitions. Food stations will be set up, and guests can vote on their favorite station. There’s also a Baja wine lounge, live auction, raffle, and cocktails.
Broadway Pier seems to be an increasingly popular event venue – I love looking out over the water there. Although this is the 11th year, tonight will be my first time attending this event.
This year’s participating chefs are:
- Paul McCabe, Town and Country
- Hanis Cavin, Carnitas’ Snack Shack
- James Montejano, La Valencia
- Accursio Lota, Solare Ristorante
- Lori Sauer, George’s at the Cove
- Robert Ruiz, The Land & Water Co.
- Davin Waite, Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub
- Augie Saucedo, Brother’s Signature Catering & Events
- Rose Peyron, High Dive
- Jaimie Chavez, Sirena Gourmet Latin Seafood
CCS’s mission is to heal and prevent sexual assault and relationship violence.
The Chef Showdown was a bit of a disappointment. The way it was advertised, I assumed you actually got to taste the dishes prepared by the battling chefs – that’s not the case unless you pay $1,000+ for special seating. It didn’t seem like much of a “showdown” because the competing chefs were cooking in their separate stations away from one another, so there was no sense of competition. The only thing to watch was them plating food under the way-too-bright blue and red lights. Also, the alcohol selections were very limited – one wine vendor, one brewery, and one spirits brand. And it took us 23 minutes to check-in upon arrival. As in, we stood there for 10 minutes before the check-in person actually acknowledged us, and then another 13 minutes until we were entered into their disorganized computer system. It was a total clusterf*ck, which is surprising since it’s their 11th year… you’d think they have the logistics figured out by now. In my experience, people who spend $250 on a ticket, aren’t the same people who are inclined to wait in long lines. Just saying. Ohhh well, at least the money goes toward a good cause, right?
One highlight of the event was meeting Claudia Sandoval, recent winner of FOX TV’s MasterChef (season six) and a local San Diegan. She was very kind and still has that awesome fiery red hair. You go, girl!