By Wendy Lemlin
Wonder how much San Diego loves food and drink? Just look at the success of the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival, now in it’s 12th year, bigger and more comprehensive than ever. Running November 15-22, with a full roster of events, dinners, tastings, classes, and exhibits, it is one of the largest food and wine festivals in the country, shining a spotlight on both San Diego’s burgeoning gourmet dining scene and our cross-border connection with Baja’s exciting culinary landscape. From tacos and beer to wine paired-haute cuisine, there is something for anyone who loves indulging in crave-worthy food and spirits. And really, who doesn’t?
More than a dozen celebrated national chefs, including Rick Bayless, Gayle Gand, and Suzette Gresham will join over 40 local luminaries in presenting delicacies and/or cuisine-related educational programs. Look for such regional favorites as The Marine Room’s Bernard Guillas, Javier Plascencia of Bracero, Finca Altozano, and Mision 19, Jason Knibb of NINE-TEN, Chad White of Comun and La Justina, Ironside Fish & Oyster’s Jason McLeod, Flor Franco of Finca La Carrodilla and Indulge Contemporary Catering, Mario Medina of Bernini’s Bistro, The Patio Group’s John Medall, Anthony Sinsay of Dukes’s La Jolla, James Montejano of La Valencia Hotel, and a host of others.
About 35 winemakers and brewmasters, as well as sommeliers, mixologists and wine experts will guide festival goers in their beverage knowledge.
Classes held at the Macy’s School of Cooking on Friday, November 20 include:
- A Taste for Tapas: Presented by Cooking Light Magazine
- Cheese: A Class to Make You Melt
- Ooh La La! Paris Pastries with Chef Gale Gand
The packed-full schedule includes the always popular Celebrity Chef Dinner, Grand Tasting, Tastemaker Meals, Reserve Wine Events, as well as some exciting first time experiences:
San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival Golf Invitational – This year’s Festival kicks off with a brand new wine and culinary classic at Maderas Golf Club. The 18-hole course features six culinary tasting holes, six wine, brewery and spirit experiences and six hole challenges complete with over-the-top prizes including a brand new 2016 Lexus. The golf tournament is held from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and is priced at $200 per individual, and $750 per foursome.
Bayless + Plascencia Opening Feast – Chefs Rick Bayless, Javier Plascencia and
Chad White host the epic opening night feast at Bracero Cocina on Monday, November 16. Watch the masters at work from the observation kitchen, then head upstairs to a four-curse dinner expertly paired with wines hand selected by Fernando Gaxiola, Owner of Baja Wine and Food.
Bernard Guillas & Friends Host an Ocean-to-Table Luncheon – Join Chef Bernard
Guillas for an exclusive five-course ocean-to-table wine-paired lunch at the Marine Room. Joining Bernard is a selection of chefs from throughout San Diego that are known for their respect, creative and passion for the fruits de mer, including: Chef Evan Cruz of Arterra, Chef Amy DiBiase of Tidal, Chef Jason Knibb of NINE-TEN Restaurant, Chef Jason McLeod of Ironside Fish & Oyster, and Chef Andrew Spurgin of Bespoke Event Styling & Menu. The reception will be hosted from 11:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. with bubbles and tray passed bites from Percy Oani of The Shores, with the luncheon immediately following from 12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $85 per person, and the entire menu can be viewed here.
Expedition: BAJA – Expedition: BAJA, is a cross-border exploration and guided tour of some of the most prestigious, award-winning wineries and culinary experiences found in Baja. On Thursday, November 19, epicurean enthusiasts will travel to the Valle de Guadalupe for a journey of culinary discovery and cross-cultural immersion. Regional expert and Owner of Baja Wine and Food, Fernando Gaxiola leads the day-long tour to uncover the wineries, chefs and restaurants that have played a role in placing Baja on the bucket list of globe-trotters around the world. Tickets are priced at $325 per person and include transportation, wine tastings, lunch and dinner.
SommCon – This year, the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival has partnered with SommCon – a four day educational conference for wine, beer and spirit professionals as well as serious enthusiasts. This new partnership is the first educational event of this kind in Southern California, and gives festival attendees access to over 50 new tasting and educational experiences led by the brightest minds in the business. Committed to enhancing the “business of wine,” the educational content featured at SommCon was designed by a team of over 25 of the wine industry’s top professionals who have joined together to form “Team SommCon.”
For a complete list of all the events and ticket information, go to http://www.sandiegowineclassic.com/events.html. Ticket packages, with or without hotel accommodations, are available. For everything you need to know about San Diego Bay Wine+Food Festival, click