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The 13th Annual Festival Wow’d Foodies and Wine Connoisseurs

Written and Photographed By: Bhadri Kubendran San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival 2016

A Sicilian Grand Wine Dinner
Solare Ristorante, Liberty Station
Nov. 15

Cozy warm tones, a lively patio and decorative holiday lights welcome visitors of Liberty Station to a Sicilian-inspired Italian restaurant Solare. Randy Smerik, owner of Solare has carefully assembled a fabulous team for an enhanced hospitality experience. What better setting than this, for a mid-week upscale dining experience as part of San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival. San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival 2016

Closing the third day of this week long culinary festival, A Sicilian Grand Wine Dinner featured a five-course culinary extravaganza cooked to perfection by Executive Chef Accursio Lota and his crew, accompanied by some amazing wines from the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily, Southern Italy. Chef Lota teased the guests with handsome plates of Wild Red Shrimp Carpaccio, Risotto Arancina, flavor-filled Raviolis, traditional Sicilian Beef Falsomagro ending with awesome Cannolis incorporating some modern twists. The staff of Solare including Chef Lota also took turns providing in-depth explanation of each dish and wine, interspersed with cultural influences and stories. Smerik played a perfect host mingling with the guests and also partaking in the culinary experience. San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival 2016

Dinner with the Culinary Icons + Live Auction
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
Nov. 17

San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival’s events have been growing bigger and better each year, and this year’s 13th Annual Classic had some amazing stunners. Imagine a classy, upscale setting with non-stop flow of fine libations, and food cooked by eight different celebrity chefs all under one roof on an evening of extreme indulgence! That’s how Dinner with the Culinary Icons + Live Auction played out Nov. 17 at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, Marriott Grand Ballroom. This star-filled evening featured an initial Tray Pass Reception with Chefs Rick Moonen, Andrew Spurgin and Aron Schwartz creating out-of-the ordinary eclectic small plates, accompanied by beverages sponsored by Stella Artois, Zacapa Rum and Loire Valley Wine. San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival 2016

The main-room dinner turned out to be an epic multi-course feast with Culinary Icons such as Michelle Bernstein, Marcus Samuelsson, Javier Plascencia, Aron Schwartz, Rick Bayless, Bernard Guillas and Ron Oliver each cooking their own course of epicurean delight. Well, it didn’t stop there yet. Main dining was followed by sampling of local artisan chocolate truffles provided by Chuao Chocolatier, and Digestifs by Glenmorangie Whisky. Food Writer and TV Host Troy Johnson enlivened the setting further with his humor filled one-liners and chef interviews. While there was definite fun and frolic for everyone, guests also eagerly participated in the live auction meant to raise scholarships for deserving culinary students and professionals to create a bright future for these next-generation culinary stars.

San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival 2016

Grand Tasting Event Sponsored by Lexus
Embarcadero Marina Park
Nov. 19

On Saturday, Nov. 19 all roads in San Diego were leading to the Bay for only one reason. The week long San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival, culminated to a dazzling Lexus Grand Tasting Event in Embarcadero Marina Park North by Sea Port Village. Touted to be the most talked-about Wine and Food festival in Southern California, this outdoor mega-event offered a dizzying array of options for indulgence from 150 Wine & Spirit Purveyors, 60 of the city’s top chefs including samplings from new and upcoming restaurants, 30 different gourmet artisans  and food companies, interesting swag to take home as well as live musical entertainment. A specialized VIP tent added some extra sizzle for a lucky few, providing them with culinary experiences from Celebrity Chefs such as Jason McLeod, Cosmo Goss, Erling Wu-Bower, Tim Kolanko, Steven Riemer and Giselle Wellman. Set up in the center of it all, Lexus showcased their latest automobiles while serving some avant-garde frozen cocktails in a space akin to a hip lounge. A culinary theater right beside the Lexus stalls with its scheduled cooking demonstrations from the most popular chefs like The Hearty Boys, Marjorie Meek-Bradley, Rick Bayless, Javier Plascencia, Cosmo Goss and Erling Wu-Bower, turned out to be a huge hit among the visitors. To top it all, San Diego’s top chefs were cooking with their heart out not only to impress the visitors, but also to grab a chance to win over $50, 000 in cash and other prizes. The scale of the event was so grand, that four hours were insufficient to grasp it all. San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival 2016

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