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Guide to the Del Mar Wine + Food Festival: Thursday

A complete list of events taking place on Thursday, Sept. 7 during the DMWFF
Chef Claudette Zepeda and Antonia Lofaso VAGA Del Mar Wine + Food Festival 2023 San Diego

Chef Claudette Zepeda and Antonia Lofaso VAGA Del Mar Wine + Food Festival 2023 San Diego

Del Mar Wine + Food Festival: Thursday, September 7

Raw Bar + Seafood Lunch with Chefs Drew Deckman and Jackson Kalb

1-3 p.m. | Pacific Coast Grill | TICKETS: $200Two of the region’s top chefs—Drew Deckman (Deckman’s En El Mogor) and Jackson Kalb (Top Chef, Jame Enoteca, Ospi)—team with PCG exec chef Izzy Balderas to create the ultimate raw bar and seafood lunch overlooking the surf in Cardiff. There will be three stations, both with raw and cooked elements, including:

Station 1: Drew Deckman

Raw: Oysters from Baja California (Kumiai, Pai Pai, Chingon) with a selection of mignonettes

Boatique Winery, Brut NV Sonoma

Cooked: Duo of Geoduck (raw and tempura) with wakame pesto, fermented habañero

2022 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Silvaner

Station 2: Chef Jackson Kalb

Raw: Rockfish crudo Siciliana, colatura, “latte de tigre,” caramelized olive, crispy caper

2013 Karthäuserhof Schieferkristall Trocken Riesling

Cooked: Spicy prawn, fermented chili lacquer, herbs, zucchini remoulade

2021 Pfeffingen Blanc de Noir

Station 3: Chef Izzy Balderas

Raw: Torched yellowtail tiradito over shishito pepper aioli, crispy wonton shreds, chili oil, micro shisho

Boatique Winery Chardonnay, Baccigalupi Vineyard, Russian River Valley 2022

Cooked: Pacific paella with grilled lobster tail, mahi, clams, scallops, shrimp and saffron arborio rice

Boatique Winery, Pinot Noir, Walaa Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 2021

Chateau Montelena + Rare Society Dinner

6-9 p.m. | Rare Society Solana Beach | TICKETS: $585A rare experience for steak and wine fans. Chef Brad Wise is creating a four-course meal to be paired with legendary wines from Chateau Montelena. Montelena is the famed winery who won the “Judgment of Paris,” where the Napa winery bested the top French wines in a blind taste test (they eventually made a feature film out of it called Bottle Shock). DMWFF co-founder Ernie Hahn is part of that story. His grandfather was one of the founders. So San Diego has a tie to one of the biggest moments in U.S. wine history, and this dinner tips a hat to that.

The Menu

Course One

“Seafood Royale” featuring golden osetra caviar with buckwheat blini, Pacific oyster with pickled onion mignonette, bluefin tuna with black garlic glaze, negi.

Chateau Montelena Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Course Two

Embered Scallops with Rare Society bacon, creamless creamed corn, fava beans, mushroom.

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2020

Course Three

American Wagyu NY Strip with potato aligote, embered shishito relish, pickled asparagus, black truffle bearnaise.

Two Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernets—2018 and 2006

Dessert Course

Malted chocolate cake, vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate ganache.

Chateau Montelena Zinfandel, 2019

David Arthur Wine-Paired Dinner

6 p.m. | Pamplemousse Grille | TICKETS: $690Have dinner with one of California’s most iconic winemakers. David Arthur is personally bringing ten of his most famous wines to Pamplemousse Grille. And chef Jeffrey Strauss—the renowned chef who’s cooked for all of San Diego, and also Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Prince Charles, Hillary Clinton and Sir Elton John—will create a four-course feast plus snacks to pair with them all.

The Menu


Tiny Kobe burgers with truffle cheese; tempura rock shrimp with plum wine sauce; mini duck tacos with hoisin and porcini mushroom shu mai.

2022 David Arthur Annalyce Rose, 2022 David Arthur Quatrro Bianchi, 2018 David Arthur Propriety Red (6L)

Course One

Acorn squash filled with lobster ragout, shrimp, scallop, jumbo lump crab, leek fondue and Champagne glacage with a lobster puff pastry.

2020 David Arthur Chardonnay, 2021 David Arthur Chardonnay

Course Two

Fig and goat cheese-stuffed quail, pork belly and bean medley, cherry balsamic reduction.

1991 David Arthur Cabernet (6L)—First Vintage; 1999 David Arthur 1147 (6L)

Course Three

Roast rack and herbed loin of lamb with potato and truffle tartare, golden beet fondant, lamb-and-thyme jus.

2002 David Arthur Elevation 1147 (6L); 2008 David Arthur Elevation 1147 (6L)

Dessert Course

Trio of desserts including warm chocolate caramel cake, chocolate espresso creme brulee, and mini chocolate peanut butter bombe with melange of berries.

2018 Brielle Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc

Aaron May WhistlePig Whiskey-Paired Dinner

6:30-9:30 p.m. | Monarch Ocean Pub | TICKETS: $200There’s a reason Aaron May is in Arizona’s Culinary Hall of Fame. Most know him from Food Network (Best Thing I Ever Ate, Guy’s Grocery Games), but he’s a classically trained chef who’s with some of food’s biggest names (Douglas Rodriguez, Mario Batali). He and Monarch chef Craig Jimenez will create a seven-course WhistlePig whiskey-paired feast. It starts with a mushroom terrine with butter-basted king trumpets, winds its way up through the pleasure spectrum, and finishes with a peanut butter mousse and dark chocolate Del Mar silk pie. The only thing prettier should be the sunset.

The Menu (pairings TBD)  

Course 1

Mushroom terrine with butter-basted trumpet king mushroom

Course 2

Bluefin toro, passionfruit acid, yellow watermelon, buzz button furikake, pyrolyzed A5 Wagyu fat

Course 3

Salmon and white soy ceviche with chive and sweet 100 tomato

Course 4

Stuffed chicken wing yakitori, aromatic rice, summer peach WhistlePig tare, bincho wisps, smoked salt

Course 5

Smoked Bone Marrow, Kurobuta Carbonara Ragu Bucatini. Yuzu. Peas. Mint

Course 6

Beef tallow and bourbon cured Brandt Beef ribeye with potato pave and bacon creamed poblanos

Course 7

Peanut butter mousse and dark chocolate Del Mar silk pie

Mille Fleurs 1er Cru Burgundy Dinner

6:30 p.m. | Mille Fleurs | TICKETS: $575Mille Fleur owner Bertrand Hug is one of the most accomplished French restaurateurs in San Diego history. And, damn does he know his French wine. For this dinner at his Rancho Santa Fe spot, he’s pulling out three 1er Cru wines from his vault—Chassagne Montrachet 2019 1er Cru, Puligny Montrachet 2019 1er Cru, Nuits St Georges 1er Cru 2017, plus a Vintage Port 2017 Dow’s—and pairing it with a four-course feast (amuse bouche, appetizer, fish course, venison course, and dessert). The menu and wines will be curated by chef Brandon Jennings & maître d’ Marco Dedic.

Meet the New Michelin Star: Tequila Reserva de la Familia and Adobe Guadalupe Dinner at Valle

6:30-10 p.m. | Valle | TICKETS: $360The ultimate experience at San Diego’s newest Michelin-star restaurant—Valle. Chef Roberto Alcocer will be joined by Eduardo Morali of Pangea Restaurant (No. 34 on the “50 Best Restaurants in Latin America”) to cook a six-course feast paired with Tequila Reserva de la Familia and Adobe Guadalupe Wine-Paired Dinner. Three courses will be served with wine, three with tequila. Everything takes place in Valle’s oceanfront dining room.

Chef Claudette Zepeda and chef Antonia Lofaso Host a Kosta Browne Wine-Paired Dinner

6:30 p.m. | VAGA | TICKETS: $210-$270Award-winning chef Claudette Zepeda (Top Chef, Food Network) joins forces with celebrity chef and restaurateur Antonia Lofaso (Top Chef, Beachside Brawl, Tournament of Champions) for a Kosta Browne wine-paired dinner. The event will take place at Vaga within the Alila Marea Beach Resort with a special multi-course menu paired with 2021 Kosta Browne One Sixteen Chardonnay, 2021 Kosta Browne Sta. Rita Hills pinot noir, 2017 Kosta Browne Cerise Vineyard pinot noir, and 2019 Kosta Browne Gap’s Crown pinot noir (en MAGNUM). Welcome cocktails and bites start at 6: 30 p.m.; seating starts at 7 p.m.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.

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