The city of Chula Vista celebrated summer with a huge community event at the harbor filled with human
hamster bubbles (XORBS), roots rock and reggae acts, swift boat and kayak rides, jr. chef competitions and plenty more. Within HarborFest were 2 featured tasting events, the SeafoodFest (sold out) and the Wine, Craft Beer, Liquor and Margarita Fest which were BIG hits. I had the pleasure of being a part of the production team for the event.
3 incredible chefs with completely different styles took to the stage to share their talent and knowledge with the crowd with a little help from the Demo Chefs sponsors Catalina Offshore Products and El Campito Farms. Master Chef Bernard Guillas from La Jolla’s Marine Room spoke about how to choose fish while at the market and the proper way to cut raw fish. He created a beautiful dish under the afternoon sun. Newly opened Don Chido‘s beautiful Sous Chef, Fern Tran, showed guests how to deep fry a whole white Seabass and showcased big, sweet chocolate clams with narration about the seafood from San Diego’s most famous fishmonger, Catalina Offshore’s Tommy Gomes. And for those not so versed foodies, we introduced a little hole in the wall restaurant (literally), The Wrench and Rodent and the edgy, progressive chef who is turning sushi lovers on their ears. Chef Davin Waite was a ribs man on Saturday. He pulled out a gorgeous Monchong, a fish only found in Hawaiian waters, and grilled up the ribs. They smelled great and once the wind died down enough to get his oil hot, that fish grilled up perfectly and the audience got in line for a taste. As a display, Chef had a whole fish on the demo table and one audience member was lucky enough to take that nice whole fish home for some good eats that night.
AND THE WINNER IS…
Outstanding judges who know their way around a plate made their way to the SeafoodFest to judge the best dish alongside the crowd of hungry attendees. The best overall dish went to Tidal‘s Executive Chef Amy DiBiase for the “I’ll Take Another”. The “Crowd Cravings” trophy overwhelmingly went to Chef Mario Medina, La Jolla’s Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar while the “Wow Factor” was taken by Chula Vista’s own, California Sushi Bar. Take a peek at what you shouldn’t miss next year!