The birria flatbread at Stone World Bistro & Gardens is one of those dishes that’s gone in minutes. On this podcast, we huddle around it. Poke at it. Demolish it with chef Israel Ortiz. It’s the kickoff of our new video series with Stone, which will highlight a few local restaurants and our favorite dishes that their cooks and chefs and food people have created. It’s a celebration of Stone’s Delicious IPA. After years of tinkering on the recipe of the ultimate beer that pairs well with food, Delicious is the result.
Izzy walks us through what makes the flatbread sing, and we talk about how birria has overtaken the fish taco as the official food of San Diego.
Our other guest?
She was working at a branding agency in San Diego. At company events, she’d bring her salsa. Everyone loved it. On a lark, she tried out to be a contestant on Masterchef—that massive cooking competition on TV with Gordon Ramsey. She told her job she’d be gone for a bit. She wasn’t allowed to tell them anything about how well she was doing on the show. As it became longer and longer that she was away, her company had to let her go.
She came home, jobless, and couldn’t tell a single soul what had happened. She’d won. She’d get the $250,000 check in six months. Until then, no money, no job, a young daughter at home, a single mom.
Half a year later, she got the check for $250,000. She’d won. She is Claudia Sandoval—friend, talented chef, Richter-scale personality, judge on Masterchef Latino, and with her own series of Food Network travelogues now, Taste of the Border—in which she visits with chefs, farm workers, and food people along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The people were so amazing, and the food was incredible,” she says of Taste of the Border. “We meet these migrant workers who are out picking chiles in the heat of New Mexico. At nine in the morning, it was 109. So we got to know these families who are living on the farms, hand-picking every Hatch chile you buy at the grocery store. That is teh grit and the soul of the show, plus we get to explore some amazing restaurants.”
On this episode, she talks about her experience filming and the things she’s learned (hint: the border-regions of Mexico are the North American epicenters of Chinese food). She explains her new line of next-day delivery meals (chile rellenos, adobada pork chop, etc.). And we just kind of loudly laugh a lot.
In “Hot Plates,” we talk about the opening of Sandpiper (in the place that was formerly Galaxy Taco), and I give a few of the can’t-miss dishes from chefs Trey Foshee and Christine Rivera; talk about the new restaurants going into a remodeled historical building in Oceanside from the same people who brought you Louisiana Purchase (Grind and Prosper Hospitality); I announce I have finally given up a life-long effort to appreciate the charms of uni (everyone at the table thinks my mouth is broken); we talk about the two new restaurants being opened by the Jeune et Jolie and Campfire team (Wildlands and Lilo).
For “Two People, Fifty Bucks,” chef Izzy says he can’t get enough of Cocina de Barrio; Troy raves about the corn cake and double-cut pork chop at Sandpiper; and David is all about the North Park farmers’ market Knockout Bread, and other vendors.
See ya next week.