I still dream about the Tiradito de la Casa that I relished on my first trip to Zarco, Cocina de Baja in Chula Vista. The tender slices of hamachi crudo, the smokey chunks of grilled octopus, the delicate citrus of the yuzu sauce combined with just a hint of bite from two separate peppers— all had the unmistakable signature of Chef Flor Franco’s creative palette and totally appealed to my own particular palate. I’m not much of a wine connoisseur, (I know that may seem odd for a food writer), but it seemed to me that the wine list, carefully curated by Fernando Gaxiola of Baja Wine +Food, perfectly represented why wines from the Valle de Guadalupe are such a hot commodity these days.
Today Chef Franco and Gaxiola announced that they were no longer involved with Zarco.
In a statement, the pair said “We’re so grateful for the support and love we’ve received since opening Zarco this past September. Unfortunately, due to fundamental differences with our partners about how the restaurant should be managed, we’ve decided to discontinue our involvement with the project. It is important to mention that we do believe in the concept, and in the idea of bringing Baja and its culinary treasures to the US. Chef Flor Franco will continue focusing on her projects in Mexico and San Diego.”
Franco went on to elaborate, “Zarco was a passion project for me: the intersection of soulful Baja-style food, wine and bountiful ingredients and products from the region. I am grateful for the purveyors and other people we met while building the concept and I will continue to focus my energy on projects on both sides of the border, including Indulge Contemporary Catering, Baja Wine + Food, and Convivia at Encuentro in the Valle de Guadalupe. As always, my deeper creative compass is spinning within me, so I’ll keep you updated on what I’m working on.”
Ok, I admit it. Life can taste pretty sweet when you’re a food writer. It’s especially enjoyable when gourmet dining amidst great conviviality with the growers, harvesters, and curators of the delicacies on the plates in front of me.
This was the case last night (January 15) at San Diego’s Red Door Restaurant and Wine Bar for the Baja edition of their Farmers, Friends & Fisherman Dinner series, which proved so popular that seating spilled over into The Wellington Steak and Martini Lounge, Red Door’s adjoining sister restaurant. The seasonal series showcases area farmers, fishermen, ranchers, and wine or spirit makers who personify Red Door’s sustainable, local and organic credo. Continue reading →
Winter rains at the coast can mean snow in San diego County’s eastern mountain areas.
Ah, the joys of winter: sledding, cross country skiing, making snow angels and building snowmen… think you can’t do that in San Diego County? Well, think again—-and head for the hills!
When rare winter rains drench the city and the temperatures drop at the coast, it’s highly likely that snow will cover the tallest mountain peaks in the eastern reaches of the county. It may only happen a few times a winter, and any accumulation will certainly melt within days after a snowstorm, so, if you’re yearning for the quintessential snow day, be ready with your call-in-sick-to-work excuse, put on those layers of clothes and drive east ASAP!
Here’s a flurry of snow-possible locations, each only about an hour’s drive from San Diego—close enough to spend the day and still be back at the beach by sunset. Continue reading →