Jason pretty much summed up my sentiments for the night in that one quote… Well, maybe I might’ve said “That was effing awesome…”
It was the perfect venue for Chef’s Whim Spring Fling! A 9 Chef Collaboration dinner where a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the San Diego Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!
Kitchen 4140 is a hidden gem with a picturesque patio on the west side of Morena Boulevard.
So let me say this again… 9 multiple award-winning Chefs from San Diego, a Top Chef Season 12 Contestant, and a Michelin-starred Chef. Each of them carefully and methodically, preparing and plating, delectable dishes! Try arranging that lineup on your own for dinner – NOT. Chef’s flying in for 48 hours, spending time away from their fams, and putting countless hours into the dinner. The time, product and heart that goes into an event like tonight’s was there in spades.
No advance notice of the menu, of course. And why ever would you need it since Chef’s Whim is exactly that! Drop any preconceived notion of how the dish should be made, and focus on savoring each dish! I was excited the moment I arrived; it’s not every day that you attend an event where a Michelin-starred Chef is shucking phenomenal oysters and serving abalone from the get go! I think I had like 10! (Drew, don’t hate me, ha). The Chefs flung the best of their whims at us!
In the patio we were greeted by Chef Drew Deckman of Deckman’s en El Mogor, who chatted it up with the night’s attendees. As he shucked oysters, he talked temperature, sauce, and walked those who haven’t had oysters through the process. It’s always nice to hear the chef describe what you are about to eat and how it was prepared. Your senses are heightened which makes each bite waaay more enjoyable!
Baja Oysters with mignonette sauce / smoked abalone with beet salad
In the wine room we were greeted by the communal table that would be the setting for the feast. A big fan of these settings, I chatted it up with people. How did they find out about the dinner? What made them decide to come? The lineup? A Chef in particular? The fact there was no menu? Truth be told, these were all given as reasons. But one thing was evident. We all enjoy food. Not the “shove your face with as much as you can” dinner, but the kind of dinner where the chef gets to tell you about their inspiration of each dish, before you enjoy it.
And without further ado…
1st Course – Chef Jeff Roberto
Protein Duo / Halibut / Blue Crab / Asparagus / Spicy Tuna / Avocado / Wasabi Micro
2nd Course – Chef Alex Emery
Sweetbreads / Mole / Smoke Carrot Tamarindo Jam / Radish / Mustard / Ramps / Borrage
3rd Course – Chef Drew Deckman
Grilled Quail / Cauliflower puree / beet top pesto
4th Course – Chef Mikel Anthony
Maillard Scallop / Creamy Parsnip / Cumin / Pine Nut / Gooseberries x2 / In the Wild Ramps
5th Course – Chef Kurt P. Metzger
Smoked Leg of Lamb / Spring Vegetables / Green Garlic Lemon Truffle Beurre Blanc / Blistered Heirloom Tomatoes
6th Course – Chef Stephen Gage
Smoked Beef Cheek / Red Miso BBQ / Sweet Corn Puree / Bean Medley / Bonito Corn Bread / Jalapeño – Mustard Bratwurst
7th Course – Chef Chad Kilgore
Roasted duck Breast / Carbonated Blackberries / Compressed Peaches / Sourdough Croutons / Oyster Mushrooms / Jus
8th Course – Chef Katie Weinner
Rhubarb / Fuzzy Green Almonds / Cauliflower
Cocktail – Collaboration with Best in the Business Master Molecular Mixologist Mike Yen & Chef Jeff Bonilla
Pickled Cherry Meringue / Almond Ash / Black House Ganache / Cherry Vermouth Sphere
That’s right… That little orb when popped into your mouth, dissolves into a splash of Cherry Vermouth… Yep. Radical!
9th Course – Chef Jeff Bonilla
32% Caramelized Whipped Goat Cheese / Almond Smoked Cherries / Chocolate
Adding to our night was Mike “The Wine Guy” from Quigley Fine Wines! Based in Oceanside, they are importers of artisanal wines from sustainable, small production vineyards in Italy, France, & Spain. He explained how chefs worked with him and chose wines for each of the dishes! He was one enthusiastic and passionate “Wine Guy” perfectly paired with the Chef lineup!
p.s. I know these chef’s love what they do, but thank you for having PS I Love San Diego,
and I appreciate the heart that went into the night!