Press Release

San Diego Chefs to "Celebrate the Craft"
with a Showcase of California's Bounty

August 2003

Local chefs, farmers, ranchers and vintners come together
for an annual celebration of the very best
of California's culinary offerings

San Diego (August 2003) - In the tradition of renowned culinary enclaves like Provence and Tuscany, California - and San Diego in particular - is embracing local and regional ingredients. Showcasing the abundant resources and flavors of the area by using a remarkable network of local farmers, ranchers and regional vintners, restaurateurs allow visitors to touch, smell and taste the very essence of California.

In recent years a profusion of new and inventive chefs have migrated to the San Diego area opening restaurants that emphasize the local abundance of "fresh," "flavorful" and "simple" foods readily available. Believing in the power of simple foods, prepared beautifully, these chefs create memorable meals relying on the outstanding quality of the ingredients rather than complicated sauces and seasonings.

To showcase the California's bounty and the exceptional ways it is now being prepared, a select group of San Diego chefs will gather on Sunday, October 12 to "Celebrate the Craft." This first-time festival will feature representatives from across California's culinary spectrum gathering to demonstrate, discuss, showcase and taste the vast array of premium food products available throughout the state. With cooking demonstrations, tastings and a culmination dinner prepared especially by participating chefs, "Celebrate the Craft" is certain to delight those who long for delicious food prepared with natural ingredient and authentic care.

"Thanks to the fact that San Diego and its environs offer a 12-month growing season, the area has an incredible variety of fresh produce that can not be found anywhere else," said Jeff Jackson, executive chef at the Lodge at Torrey Pines®. "The different micro-climates throughout the state allow for us to obtain on a daily basis an abundance of foodstuffs including fresh avocados from the northern part of the region, where it is a bit cooler, lettuce from the warmer desert areas and strawberries which flourish in the cooler coastal regions."

Scheduled events include:

  • Picnic on the Arroyo Terrace: This lunchtime event will feature a wide variety of grilled organic meat, fish and vegetable dishes prepared by the Celebrate the Craft's host chefs, as well as the unique opportunity to taste the very best of California's market-fresh products in the company of their purveyors. Guests will be able to amble among a series of stations hosted by area growers, vintners and suppliers to sample products and meet the people who create them. A bluegrass band will provide live entertainment, and diners can take in panoramic ocean views from the lawn at The Lodge at Torrey Pines®. Cost: $50; To purchase tickets log on to
  • Evening Supper: Set at A.R. Valentien, The Lodge at Torrey Pines®' signature dining room, this invitation-only prix-fixe dinner will feature extraordinary dishes prepared exclusively for the event by host chefs using ingredients from local purveyors. A very special evening for invited guests, media and VIPs to experience the "clean cuisine" cooking that is sweeping the San Diego region.

Featured chefs at Celebrate the Craft include:

  • Jeff Jackson of A.R. Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines®
  • Trey Foshee of George's At The Cove
  • Amiko Gubbins of Parallel 33
  • Carl Schroeder of Arterra
  • Michael Stebner of Nine-Ten
  • Jeffrey Strauss of Pamplemousse Grille
  • A.J. Voytko of Chive

Also in attendance will be renowned California wineries and produce, meat and dairy farms including: Straus Family Creamery, Marshal; Kenwood Vineyards, San Diego; The Good Faith Organic Farm, Jamul; Thornton Winter, Temecula; Chuao Chocolatier, Encinitas; Cowgirl Creamery, Petaluma; Niman Ranch, Oakland; Robert Biale Vineyards, Napa; Bread & Cie, San Diego; Fresh Origins; Vista; and Bonny Doon Vineyard; Santa Cruz.

A portion of the day's proceeds will be donated to ALOFT (A Local Organic Farmland Trust) which secures organic farmland in San Diego County to preserve and protect local organic food supplies.

Celebrate the Craft will unfold at The Lodge at Torrey Pines® (, a Five-Diamond resort in La Jolla, California, which embodies the very best of Pacific Coast Living. Designed in the Arts & Crafts tradition of architects Charles and Henry Greene, The Lodge is a loving recreation of California Craftsman architecture, emphasizes authentic materials and craftsmanship, respect for the natural landscape, and integration of indoor and outdoor living.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines® is owned and operated by Evans Hotels, San Diego, and is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. For reservations call 888-826-0224, or for further information contact Steve Pelzer at (858) 777-6706,, or visit