Celebrity Chefs Love The Party Scene, Too
One night and one event, and I’m already having a blast.
I’m in San Diego’s Gaslamp for the annual Wine & Food Festival and this is an event I highly recommend. And I’ve not even gone to any of the wine tasting events yet!
And that’s the thing about the San Diego Wine & Food Festival (first of all, note the name of the event, wine before food). It is not just a single wine tasting with great food, but a week-long series of events leading up to what is called the Grand Tasting. And I’ve attended two other grand events leading up to it.
The first was a kind of welcoming reception, a fairly intimate but wildly fun party at Searsucker, a fine steakhouse in San Diego’s Gaslamp. It had fantastic food – crab legs, mini deviled eggs, salmon – and all the Stella Artois, Leffe, Hoegaarden you could consume in two hours, plus some sort of cocktail concoction that girls were bringing around on trays. And we got to mingle with the chefs who are being featured at the festival.
I’ve become friends with Chef Daniel Joly, a jovial Belgian who seems as if he can’t go 30 seconds without one of the Belgian beers in his hand. And he introduced me to another fun chef friend, James Campbell Caruso of Santa Fe, New Mexico. And let me tell you, these chefs love to party!
“Of course we do,” James said. “We’re fun.”
As if to prove it, we all went to a bar across the street afterward. Chef Daniel, by the way, was out until closing and had to do live San Diego morning TV on the local Fox affiliate at 6:30 a.m.!
Shaking off the cobwebs the next morning, it was back at it by the afternoon. Chef Daniel hosts an annual Taste of Belgian in which he pairs food with the three Belgian beers Stella Artois, Leffe and Hoegaarden. Basically, you pound three beers in an hour and get to have some samples of great food.
Next on the party agenda is an event featuring the art of making cocktails mixed with salty snacks. And right after that it’s the big Friday night wine tasting, which leads Saturday morning into the main Grand Tasting.
Not quite sure how I will survive it all – especially since the chefs will demand going to the Gaslamp bars afterward – but all I can say to it all is this: Cheers!