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The Best Food and Drink Events in August and September

Beau MacMillan and Brian Malarkey Dinner, Cooking Class with a Thai Food Master, and KAABOO
KAABOO | Photo:

By Troy Johnson

Beau MacMillan and Brian Malarkey Dinner

When: Aug. 22, 6-9 p.m.

Where: Herb & Wood, 2210 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy

Full disclosure. I know Beau MacMillan. He and I have been judges on Guy’s Grocery Games for a few years now. But I should also disclose that this has nothing to do with the fact that he’s one of my favorite loud humans on the planet. This has to do with his cooking. Beau Mac has been the exec chef of Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort for years. He also beat Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America. For this tag-team, unrelentingly carnivorous dinner (some proceeds will go to C-CAP, a nonprofit helping fund careers in the culinary arts), he and Malarkey will do tray-pass dishes (grilled meatballs with lemon yogurt, beef cheek and bone marrow bao buns with kimchi pickles and smoked oyster remoulade), dinner mains (beef carpaccio, oxtail gnocchi, wood-roasted ribeye cap and bone marrow, braised Korean bbq with fermented garlic and chive butter), and desserts (bourbon butterscotch pudding).

Cost: $150

Cooking Class with a Thai Food Master

When: Sept. 7, 2:30-5 p.m.

Where: Saffron Thai La Jolla, 1055 Torrey Pines South Road

People may rightfully complain about San Diego’s lack of decent Chinese, but the city does Thai food very, very well. And if one chef stands as the iconic leader of Thai cuisine, it’s Su-Mei Yu. Born and raised in Bangkok, she moved to the states and opened Saffron Thai over 34 years ago. Things don’t last that long unless they’re a front, or they’re special. Yu’s special, having cooked on Martha Stewart, Good Morning America, and The Today Show. Her cookbook Elements of Life is one of my go-tos, a mix of traditional Thai recipes with a focus on healthy, soulful eating. At this cooking demo, she’ll teach how to make her anti-inflammatory paste, which is the base for a lot of her dishes at Saffron, as well as yellow curry, chicken sate, and “brain food.” Each attendee will get a signed copy of Elements of Life (that alone is worth the price of admission). It’s limited to 20 students, so do it now.

Cost: $55

For Reservations: [email protected] or (858) 263-4324


When: Sept. 13-15

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar

The music gets all the headlines (Kings of Leon, Mumford & Sons, Dave Matthews Band, Duran Duran, Sheryl Crowe, etc.), but this year’s lineup on their “Palate” stage is being headed by Michael Mina, who just opened International Smoke in Carmel Valley. The headliners include Mina, Richard Blais (Juniper & Ivy), Antonia Lofaso (Scopa Italian Roots), Travis Swikard (ex-Boulud Sud, opening new restaurant in San Diego soon), Nyesha Arrington (Top Chef, Knife Fight), Eduardo Garcia (Montana Mex) and Ryan Gilbert (Lafayette Hotel), giving cooking demos. Expect fire (Mina) and ice (Blais).

Cost: $115-up

The Best Food and Drink Events in August and September

KAABOO | Photo:

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