Actually, scratch that. He’s been in one kitchen during the entire 25 years he’s lived, cooked, and managed here, and that’s in La Jolla at George’s (and its related establishments). In an age where people hop around faster than you can post about a new job on Instagram, there’s something to be said for digging in your heels and perfecting your craft, and, in turn, turning out a generation of decorated chefs whose careers started in your kitchen. That’s exactly what Foshee has done.
This year brings the 40th anniversary of the George’s empire, one of the longest-running and consistently most delicious in town. We asked Foshee to come on the pod to talk about changes to the restaurant scene and its menus over time, what he’s learned in the last few years during which he stepped out of the kitchen for the first time and into management, what working with his daughter is like, and to talk about the anniversary celebrations at the restaurant.
About those celebrations, they are decidedly stacked with world-class talent, all of which began in Foshee’s George’s kitchen once-upon-a-time. Beginning in January, visiting chefs who once worked there will cook special supper club–style dinners on specific Tuesdays, with two seatings each night.
Connor McVay, who went on to work in the Wolfgang Puck Universe; Christine Rivera, who was a cook at California Modern, helped Trey open and run Galaxy Taco for seven years before transitioning the spot into Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill and Oysters, and is now the executive chef of The Bishop’s School; barkeeps Stephen Kurpinsky and Sam Peters, who helmed the Georges-centric cocktail book Neighborhoods of San Diego; and Christopher Kostow, the second chef to receive three Michelin stars in California at the restaurant Meadowood before opening The Charter Oak; are among the notable guest chefs.
Foshee also dishes on his not-so-secret but still effective weapon (and that of chefs around the county): Chino Farm. “Coming to San Diego,” he says of his move to town over two decades ago, “[Chino Farm] was a really big part of it. I won’t say it’s the reason we came here, but it was a really big fringe benefit. It’s one of the reasons why we looked at North County to settle down in, because it’s on my way to work. I can just stop off at the farm, and having them in your backyard is just a really special thing.”
We also get into some news: Las Ahumaderas, the famous adobada taco spot in Tijuana, opened in Chula Vista; so did Butcher’s Plate in National City’s Market on 8th; Ambrely Ouimette told us she pulled out of her partnership with Hasekura, the omakase-only spot that will be opening in Barrio Logan above Fish Guts. She says she’s got “a full sushi restaurant” and no space, and is looking for takers…same with Hasekura, which now needs a chef; Downtown Chula Vista is hosting their annual Taste of Third event on March 21; and Oceanside’s Northern Pine Brewing Co. opened an Idaho-inspired restaurant by the same name with a former Dija Mara chef at its helm.