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Our Conversation with Gaston Martinez Gets Smoky As We Discuss Mezcal

Happy Half Hour Podcast 185

By Jenna Miller

We’re here at Provisional Kitchen, Café & Mercantile, one of the restaurants in the Pendry Hotel in downtown San Diego, and today, we have Chef Brandon Sloan with us. Brandon is the Chef de Cuisine of Provisional, where he serves up a sunny side up ostrich egg—an egg so large that it equals 16 chicken eggs and feeds four people.

Today’s guest is Gaston Martinez, the founder and CEO of IZO Mezcal, a line of agave spirits produced in Durango, Mexico. With the special Mexico travel issue of San Diego Magazine being on newsstands for only one more week, Gaston is the perfect guest to tell us everything he knows about one of Mexico’s most popular spirits. Gaston’s mezcal line is headquartered here in San Diego, and he founded the brand in 2018. The mezcal joven won a gold medal at the San Diego International Wine and Spirits challenge last year, and you can find it at restaurants like Cantina Mayahuel, Javier’s Cantina, and at Costco.

For Two People, $50, Gaston chose Javier’s up by UTC and The Taco Stand for their stellar salsas. David chose Venissimo Cheese and Erin chose Tahini, where she enjoyed their fried halloumi cheese sticks. Troy chose another stop on his hunt for San Diego’s best birria, Carnitas las Michoacanas.

In Hot Plates, Addison, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in San Diego, unveiled its new look after closing briefly for a remodel. They also announced that Victoria O’Bryan was promoted to wine director. Bay City Brewing is opening their East Village location on March 2. Two events are happening on Leap Day: Stone Brewing is having its first all-IPA festival at its World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido, and Marina Kitchen at the Marriott Marquis is hosting a special five-course dinner with wine pairings from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa. Troy just announced the winner of the Best Birria in San Diego! To see the full list, visit The Feed.

Today’s hot topic revealed that the largest archive of Mexican cookbooks in North America was released online. The University of Texas-San Antonio library digitized its collection of historic Mexican cookbooks, and anyone can view them on their website. The oldest cookbook in the library dates back to 1789, and about 50 others are handwritten manuscripts. You can also see the oldest cookbook published in Mexico, which dates back to 1831.

Thanks for listening, and we’d love to hear from you! Call us at 619-744-0535 and leave a message. Or if you’re too shy to call, you can email [email protected]. You can give us your recommendations for Two People, $50, tell us about any news happening in San Diego’s culinary world, or let us know who you’d like to hear featured as a guest on the podcast.

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