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The Best Food & Drink Events This Month: November-December 2014

San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival, Death for Food, Gingerbread House Competition
San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival

By Troy Johnson

San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival

WHEN: Nov. 16-23

WHERE: Multiple locations

COST: Varies


It’s San Diego’s biggest food and liquids festival, this year with a stronger Baja bend. It starts with a series of events held at restaurants throughout the city. Like a tequila and wine dinner at Comun Kitchen, a craft beer and fish taco dinner at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. A 1,000 point tasting at the U.S. Grant Hotel, etc. And then the big show is held at Embarcadero Marina Park North on Nov. 22, with Grand Tastings of wine and some of the area’s best chefs, including William Bradley (Addison), Richard Blaise (Juniper & Ivy), Jason McLeod (Ironside) and Bernard Guillas (Marine Room), plus some impressive imports (like Makoto Okuwa of D.C.’s Makoto and Katie Barreira, the test kitchen director for Cooking Light).

Death for Food

WHEN: Nov. 23

WHERE: Suzie’s Farms, 2570 Sunset Ave., Chula Vista, 619.662.1780

COST: $150-$300


This is the first American installment of Death for Food, a project spearheaded by local photographer Jaime Fritsch, Camas Davis (Portland Meat Collective), myself and a host of other people who think about America’s food system. The idea is simple. If you’re going to eat meat, it’s weird that we never see the animal. Just a nice rib eye under plastic at the grocery store. Death For Food reconnects people to the food system, by letting participants harvest/kill their own animal, or watch an expert do so. Ideally, that develops a deeper emotional connection to our food—resulting in respect, less waste, all sorts of good. This is no activist dinner. It’s simply a bunch of meat eaters taking a hard look at what has to happen. Participants will have the option of harvesting their own biodynamically raised turkey or chicken to take home and cook for their own Thanksgiving feast. A feast will also be served on the farm that night, with chefs Adria Montano (Mision 19), Ryan Stedebaker (MIHO), Drew Deckman (Deckman’s at Mogor), Andrew Spurgin and pastry chef Rachel King. Fritsch, Greg Koch (CEO of Stone), Camas Davis (Portland Meat Collective), Lucila de Alejandro (Suzie’s Farms), myself and others will speak on the idea of connected eating.

Gingerbread House Competition

WHEN: Dec. 5, 5PM

WHERE: Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, 2100 Costa Del Mar Rd, Carlsbad, 760.438.9111

COST: Free


I once judged a gingerbread house competition in which the homes were designed by architects and designers from throughout San Diego. We had midcentury modern homes, Frank Llloyd Wrights, you name it. Pretty incredible. It takes a positive childhood crafts memory and adds, well, talent. If you’re looking for the ultimate gingerbread competition this year, it’s probably at La Costa. And that’s because the winning house will receive $1,000, plus a $1,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Club in their name. The houses will be on display in the lobby from Dec. 5-Jan. 5. (Note: Final submissions are Nov. 14). The prize will be announced at the Christmas tree lighting celebration on Dec. 5.

The Best Food & Drink Events This Month: November-December 2014

San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival

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