The Giant-Big Chef News at Iconic Lodge in Torrey Pines | Restaurants

Kelli Crosson volunteered her time, put in the work, earned it. The California native cooked alongside Jeff Jackson for 11 years at AR Valentien as head chef (the iconic restaurant’s second manager). Starting out at The Lodge at Torrey Pines more than 20 years ago, Jackson was one of the oldest and brightest stars on the San Diego dining scene. of America was “just cooking the sexy cuts.” Under his leadership, the family-run Lodge has become a gastronomic attraction on par with the famous golf course on which it sits. Is still.

And now he’s stepping back to let his over-ready apprentice take the reins. Crosson is now the Executive Chef for all things Lodge – AR, The Grill, banquets, events. If you eat it, she had a say in its creation. Jackson is still very “around”. The Evans family created a starring role for Jackson – corporate culinary adviser (you’ll soon see his guiding influence in the new restaurant at the Evans family’s other Mission Bay property, The Bahia).

In this episode of “Happy Half Hour,” we get to know Crosson beyond the kitchen. How she grew up on a fruit tree farm (“we took our whole bedroom and put it under the orange trees, lived right under it”), how at 27 with a good marketing job she decided to turn it all upside down and to grab his knives, and how the magic of AR Valentien and the Lodge is achieved (hint: source the absolute best ingredients from the local part of the planet, modify them with just enough of your accumulated art as chef, but let them shine), and what makes this famous “Drugstore Burger” so good.

In “Hot Plates,” we talk about the rise of OB restaurant The Joint, which recently hired a chef whose resume includes Cowboy Star and Mister A’s. We’re planning the Lakehouse Food & Wine Festival – some of North County’s top chefs (including Jeff Jackson) and restaurants cooking and serving drinks on Lake San Marcos (at the Lakehouse Hotel & Resort). Dog lovers have a new hangout – a massive utopia for pets and humans called Dog Society (there’s craft beer and putt putt golf and acai bowls and dog toys and sandwiches and massive TVs and dog racing). We discuss the closure of International Smoke, the concept of star chef Michael Mina and Ayesha Curry, and in brighter news, the owners of Beeside Balcony in Del Mar have opened a modern Italian concept next door called Cevasco’s (for the chef Christophe Cevasco).

For “Two People, Fifty Bucks”, Kelly professes her love for ramen, identifying Tajima as her go-to and Menya Ultra on her hit list. David raves about Kingfisher, the new modern Vietnamese concept from famous local chef Jon Bautista and the local owners of the must-see Crab Hut. And Troy continues his personal brunch journey, raving about house-smoked lox donuts and cinnamon donuts at the Pendry Hotel’s Provisional Kitchen.

Thank you for listening to me.


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