Celebrate the Craft Dishes 14th Annual Gourmet Festival

Written By: Melissa Colombo
Photographed By: Bhadri Kubendran Celebrate the Craft

The Lodge at Torrey Pines hosted its 14th Annual Celebrate the Craft event on Saturday, Oct. 30. This event is one of the top showcases for regionally grown ingredients and innovative cooking and winemaking in Southern California. Chefs, vintners and brewers from all around were present to display their gourmet creations. Each chef prepared dishes by partnering with local farms and ranches to highlight ingredients they produce. The event took place on the Lodge’s Arroyo Terrace, a large outdoor venue at the edge of the resort’s large golf course. Jazzy, upbeat live music was provided by The Robin Henkel Band with Billy Watson. Despite the overcast and breezy October weather, there were over 300 guests in attendance to the event.

The Arroyo Terrace was lined with over 19 booths, where chefs from some of San Diego’s finest and most popular restaurants filled the air with decadent aromas as they prepared a vast arrangement of food and desserts, paired with fine wines, beers and cocktails.

Jeff Jackson, Executive Chef at A.R. Valentien at The Lodge, was also among the lineup. Chefs Pete Balistreri and Kara Snyder of Tender Greens (paired with Point Loma Farm and Eric Kent Wine Cellars) served a dish of Wood Fired Seared Scallops, accompanied by roasted mushrooms and octopus. Chef Jarrod Molies of Rancho Valencia (paired with Niman Ranch and Linked Vineyards) featured a Beef Cheek Toast, served with roasted beet butter and a duck egg yolk confit.

Chef Eric Gallerstein of the Mastiff Sausage Co. (paired with Bloom Family Farm and Frog’s Leap Winery) was present in front of the company’s food truck, where he carved a large Slow Roasted Sausage-Stuffed Pig, served with red cabbage and house Sauerkraut.

Barcon Cocktail Company was also on hand in a mobile bar, serving two cocktail specialties, including a bourbon cider and a tequila citrus cocktail. These were extremely popular amongst guests.

Those who have more of a sweet tooth were certainly not forgotten at the event. Chef James Foran and students of the Grossmont College of Culinary Arts (paired with Windrose Farm and Grgich Hills Estate) served a warm spiced apple butter doughnut atop a bed of Vanilla Crème Fraîche. The Lodge’s own A.R. Valentin (paired with Debruin Provisions/Miradero Ranch and ZD Wines) served a Rabbit Pie a la Mode accompanied with ricotta, lime jelly spigarello with spicy currant vinaigrette.

In addition to gourmet eats, the resort also provided a booth for guests to experience a short massage, courtesy of the Lodge’s spa staff. Guests were treated to a shoulder and back massage, as well as samples of products and a coupon for a visit to the spa.

Local artist Michael Totah, of the nationally renowned business The Wheel, was on site with his pottery wheel. Totah created the beautiful, handmade plates and glassware used in the Lodge’s restaurants as well as a number of other restaurants in the area. He created pieces for a display of his work accompanied by his wife’s, Dominique, handmade jewelry.

A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit Slow Food Urban San Diego, a grassroots organization dedicated to raising public awareness, improving access and encouraging the enjoyment of foods that are local, seasonal and sustainably grown. The organization was also present at the event to distribute information on their work, as well as the programs and workshops they offer to help educate people on the importance of good, clean and fair food.

This year’s Celebrate the Craft was a great success that highlighted top-notch food, drinks and local talents. This event has only gotten better as the years have gone on. For more information and to keep updated with information for next year’s event, please visit the Lodge at Torrey Pines website as well as the Celebrate the Craft website.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines
11480 N Torrey Pines Rd
La Jolla, CA 92037
Feast on Highlights of Celebrate the Craft’s 14th Annual Festival

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