A Local Feast

Last month an interesting event invitation was seen floating around on the Facebook profiles of foodies, wine aficionados and chefs alike in San Diego for something called the “El Campito Farm Loves” Series. It had caught my eye because the invitation itself was simple in its beauty with charcoal-colored drawings of vegetables and text THEN I remembered that I had been told about this event at the Blind Burro hosted Taco Fights when I met Sofia Ariza who was married to a “farmer”. I was glad to have made the connection, thanks to local foodie fanatic, Carlos Walther-Meade, because that led to a personal invitation to experience this farm dinner in person to see what was happening in Alpine.

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In the days leading up to the event, San Diego was cool and even a bit on the cloudy side but then, as so often happens in our lovely piece of the country, Saturday morning greeted us with what was to be a very warm, sunny, 79°F on the coast. I put on some boots, grabbed a sweater and camera and headed east. Dropping into El Cajon temperatures were rising quickly to well into the 80’s and I wondered if I chose my attire wisely. Off a dirt road, we followed the yellow and green El Campito Farm signs over a lovely knoll that opened up to an idyllic farm.

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Guests were received with a bottle of wine and tastings of Iberico Ham, fresh Taj Farms cheeses and delightful company. Curro & Jan (pronounced “yahn”), the co-owners of the farm, freely walked among their guests to introduce us to the concept and mission of El Campito and the upcoming dinner series.

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Su-Mei, San Diego Food Scene

Su-Mei, chef owner of Saffron & Savor San Diego host.

El Campito Farm, San Diego Food Scene

Snake Oil Cocktail’s, Michael Esposito & Rachel Helmer from Specialty Produce

Our hosts invited us to take a seat at long tables under a canopy of trees overlooking the 80 acre farm’s valley as Flamenco guitarists and dancers entertained 115 guests who came to experience the wonderful foods from El Campito Farm prepared by Chef Javier Plascencia, Chef Flor Franco, Lou Preger Breads and Taj Farms cheeses.

Aguachiles, Chef Flor Franco, San Diego Food Scene

Fresh, greens, El Campito, San Diego Food Scene

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An exquisite meal and incredible ambiance filled both our bellies and our souls with a feeling of gratitude and appreciation for the effort, time and love that was put into our experience for the day. My take away? Every meal we eat is not without sacrifice and work. There is a process behind getting food on the table which is a link that is not often seen and often left in the recesses of our mental card catalogues. Food brings together an opportunity to explore, acknowledge and savor your surroundings with the people you share it with and the love you express with it. Thank you El Campito Farm for sharing your very special vision.

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It was a blast!


El Campito Farm – 24611 MARTIN WAY | ALPINE CA
Look for their next dinner in the series by following them on Facebook.

CHEFS CONNECT

chef javier plascensia – Born and Raised in Tijuana, Mexico. After High School he went to study Culinary Arts in San Diego, California. Chef and Owner of Restaurante Villa Saverios that has been awarded with the “Distintivo H” , distinction that is given by the Tourism Board of Mexico and supported by the Federal Mexican Government for achieving excellent standards in the management of quality and hygiene. From of 2004, 2005 until 2007 Villa Saverios was awarded with the best wine list on mexican wines, an Award given by Rodolfo Gerschman, Director of “Catadores” Magazine, edited in Mexico City and distributed by “Reforma” News Paper. On the month of December of 2006, Villa Saverios Restaurant was awarded by culinary critics Enrique Castillo Pesado y Victor Hugo Rodriguez in their book from the series “Conoce y Viaja” as being within the one hundred best restaurants in Mexico.
 
chef flor franco – Living in Southern California for the last 20 years and working closely with many event companies, Chef Franco had not only the experience and knowledge, but the style and passion for unique tasteful events through her company, Indulge Contemporary Catering. With the firm belief that good, nutritious food should be accessible to all, Franco established Kitchen Commandos, a program inspired by her experience learned with the acclaimed Alice Waters in her Edible School Yard Academy. Kitchen Commandos provides families with the tools to change their eating habits. She launched the first series at Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center, where she volunteers her time to teach children in underserved communities to cook with fresh produce.
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