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Guide to the Del Mar Wine + Food Festival: Friday

A complete list of events taking place on Friday, Sept. 8 during the DMWFF
Courtesy of Bobby Riggs Racket & Paddle
Bobby Riggs Racket & Paddle Drew Brees Del Mar Wine + Food Festival 2023 San Diego

Bobby Riggs Racket & Paddle Drew Brees Del Mar Wine + Food Festival 2023 San Diego

Courtesy of Bobby Riggs Racket & Paddle

Del Mar Wine + Food Festival: Friday, September 8

Drew Brees Hosts the Whispering Angel Celebrity Pickleball Tournament

12 noon-4 p.m. | Bobby Riggs Racket & Paddle | TICKETS: $100-$500Former NFL star quarterback Drew Brees kickstarts Friday by hosting the Whispering Angel Celebrity pickleball tournament benefiting Feeding San Diego. Rob Machado, tennis pro Coco Vandeweghe, ex-NFL star Golden Tate, former Padre Mark Loretta, and our very own Food Network personality Troy Johnson will all be playing, plus other celebrities announced closer to the date. It’s a mix of pros and average joes. Players and spectators will have bites and sips from local restaurants.

The Food:

Baja Vida Jerky

Dang Brother Pizza

Lia’s Lumpia

NuttZo Bars

Palmys Pacific Beach Tacos

Sweetgreen Healthy Bowls

Temaki Hand Rolls


The Drinks:

Taptruck Cocktails: Hendrick’s Gin, Milagro Tequila & Monkey Shoulder

AleSmith .394



Dos Hombres Mezcal

Nova Kombucha

Rancho La Puerta (Agua Frescas)

Safu Sake

Volley Tequila Seltzer

Whispering Angel

SOLD OUT: Aaron Paul and Bryan Crandston Host the Dos Hombres Mezcal Dinner

6-9:30 p.m. | The Lodge at Torrey Pines | TICKETS: $495Breaking Bad leading men Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston host the Dos Hombres Mezcal Dinner at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Guests will be served a five-course meal prepared by some pretty iconic chefs, including Food Network’s Beau MacMillan. The menu has yet to be announced (but we’ve been assured nothing “blue” will be involved). Reception starts at 6 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m.

Winemakers of Napa Valley Tasting

6-9 p.m.| Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa | TICKETS: $240Oh, this is good. A healthy portion of Napa Valley’s winemakers and owners/partners are flying down with their prized bottles to eat and mingle on the grand croquet lawn at Rancho Valencia. The RV culinary team—headed by executive chef Chris Gentile—has created a feast of bites to go with the wines:

The Winemakers/Owners

(each bringing a minimum of two wines)

Atlas Peak

B Cellars

Baldacci Family Vineyards,

Paradigm Winery

Priest Ranch

Rutherford Ranch Winery

Schweiger Vineyards


William Cole Vineyards


The Food

Chino Watermelon + Moroccan Feta

San Diego Blue Fin Tuna Cornette

Chino Street Corn with Flowering Cilantro

Garden Heirloom Tomato + Ricotta Tart

Lamb Lolli + Tandoori Yogurt

Potatoes + Caviar

Wagyu Beef + Flowering Rosemary Skewers

Chocolate Bite Furnished by Valeria

Moet Hennessy-Paired Dinner

6 p.m. | Pamplemousse Grille | TICKETS: $550If bubbles are your thing, this is your night. Pamplemousse Grille follows Thursday’s event with Friday’s Moet Hennessy-paired dinner from chef Jeffrey Strauss. Guests will be treated to a reception and five-course meal along with cocktails, bubbly, and fine wines.

The Menu

The Reception

Wonton Chip with Glazed Toro + Osetra Caviar; Porcelain Spoon with Gnocchi, Parmesan Cream + Shaved Black Truffles; Fig Tart Surprise.

Veuve Cliquot Rose, Woodenville Bourbon Old Fashioned, Belvedere Silent Spring

First Course

Lobster Poached in Savoy Cabbage, Tomato Confit, Caviar Pepper Beurre Blanc, Puff Pastry Lobster.

2012 Dom Perignon, 2013 Dom Perignon

Second Course

Porcini-Dusted Dayboat Scallop, Petite Tri-Color Beet Fondant, Cherry Balsamic Reduction.

Krug Grande Cuvee 171 eme Edition

Third Course

Risotto with Hudson Valley Duck Confit, Morels, English Peas.

2018 Cloudy Bay Te Wahi Pinot Noir Central Otago, New Zealand; 2021 Freestone (by Joseph Phelps) Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

Fourth Course

Telecherry Lightly-Peppered Venison Chop, Asparagus and Tri-Color Carrot Bundle, Truffle Reduction.

2010 Joseph Phelps Insignia; 2015 Joseph Phelps Insignia

Dessert Course

Pear Tarte Tatin, Vanilla Gelato, Melange of Berries.

2003 Chateau D’Yquem

Celebrating a Century of Grgich at Ranch 45

6:30 p.m. | Ranch 45 | TICKETS: $300Del Mar’s Ranch 45 hosts Celebrating a Century of Grgich at Ranch 45 with a five-course menu paired by award-winning chef Aaron Schwartz (Bernard’O Restaurant, Ranch 45). A San Diego native, chef Schwartz grew up frequenting Chino Farm, getting a taste of fresh produce regularly. Today, he continues to seek only the best and highest quality ingredients to create his menus.

The Menu


Chef’s Bite

Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Rose 2022

First Course

Grilled Shrimp, Thai Carmel Sauce, Herb Salad

Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Paris Tasting Commemorative Chardonnay 2020

Second Course

Smoked Colossal Rib, BBQ Sauce, Tallow Roll

Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Zinfandel 2018

Third Course

Dry Aged New York, Chino Farm Corn-Potato Hash, Green Peppercorn Sauce

Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Fourth Course

Seared A5 Wagyu, Blackberry Demi

Grgich Hills Estate Yountville Single Vineyard Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon 2019


Vanilla Semi Frido, Chino Farms Berries

Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Violetta Late Harvest Dessert Wine 2018

Fine Wines of Tuscany Dinner with chefs Jackson Kalb and Silvio Salmoiraghi

7-10 p.m. | Cucina Enoteca | TICKETS: $420Cucina Enoteca’s chef team Cesar Sarmiento and Tim Kolanko have invited two pretty remarkable friends for a collaborative dinner—a Michelin-star Italian classicist from Lombardy, and one of the top Italian chefs in the U.S. Each course will be paired with rare Tuscan wines. Silvio Salmoiraghi is the Italian master who runs Michelin-starred Acquerello and is also partner at Ambrogio by Acquerello in La Jolla.Jackson Kalb is the rising U.S. star who trained at a couple of the country’s top three-star Michelins (Joel Robuchon, Alinea) before being cast on Top Chef and opening his own spots in L.A. (Jame Enoteca, Ospi, Jemma di Mare).Together, they’re cooking:

The Menu

Amuse bouche

Course 1 – Chef Silvio Salmoiraghi

Stravaganza Mediterranea (seafood)

Isole e Olena ‘Collezione Privata’ Chardonnay 2020

Course 2 – Chef Jackson Kalb

brentwood corn cappelletti, parmigiano fonduta, shaved truffle

Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva Poggio delle Rose 2008

Course 3 – Chef Silvio Salmoiraghi

Rossini Acquerello (vegan) – grilled eggplant steak & daikon

Marchesi Antinori ‘Pian Delle Vigne’ Brunello di Montalcino 2009

Course 4 – Chef Jackson Kalb

Wagyu strip & beef cheek brasato, potato puree, shallot confit, “succo vietnamita,” herbs

Tenuta San Guido ‘Sassicaia’ 2008

Montevertine ‘Le Pergole Torte’ 2018 Magnum

Course 5 – Chef Cesar Sarmiento

Hazelnut semifreddo, poached peach, caramelized honey

Paneretta Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2007

Interested in attending Saturday and Sunday’s Grand Tasting events? Check out the two-day passes starting at $325 per person. For more information on the biggest food and drink event in San Diego, visit the official website.

By Troy Johnson

Troy Johnson is the magazine’s award-winning food writer and humorist, and a long-standing expert on Food Network. His work has been featured on NatGeo, Travel Channel, NPR, and in Food Matters, a textbook of the best American food writing.

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