Friday, December 7, 2012

Savor San Diego with Su-Mei Yu

Su-Mei Yu has already started working on some episodes of "Savor San Diego". Above is a shot of her on the set of an episode that will air this May. 
Known best for her Thai cooking, restaurant owner Su-Mei Yu has landed a television show on KPBS in which she'll spotlight the county's wide diversity of food producers.
Airing next May, "Savor San Diego with Su-Mei Yu" evolved out of a competition launched by the public broadcasting station to solicit programs that "embody the explorer spirit."

Owner of the Saffron restaurants on India Street, Yu plans to travel throughout the county, exploring the farms, pastures, ocean and specialty producers that contribute to San Diego's culinary offerings.

For example, in one episode, Yu will check out the boat docks on San Diego Bay, joining local fishermen as they fish for uni. Each of the six half-hour episodes will conclude with a cooking demonstration by Yu.

While Yu was awarded a $15,000 grant from KPBS for the program, she is currently seeking underwriters to help finance the program costs, estimated to be $70,000. If the program is successful once it is aired, it is Yu's hope to tape more episodes. 

Yu, who was out visiting a citrus farm in Jamul Thursday for a future episode, said she's excited about sharing her culinary finds with KPBS viewers.

"The diversity of San Diego's food resources is remarkable and not widely recognized," she said. "It's quite exciting to have the opportunity to share everything I’ve learned and discovered as a local cook and restaurateur with the KPBS audience."

KPBS received 52 submissions for its "Explore San Diego" project, which initially will feature two new shows. The second, "A Growing Passion," hosted by San Diego master gardener Nan Sterman, will be a lifestyle program that digs deep into the county’s agriculture, horticulture, gardening and native habitats.

"We want to further distinguish ourselves as the place for thoughtful local television programs that reflect our unique sense of place," said KPBS Director of Programming, John Decker.

Explore San Diego represents the first time KPBS has held an open call for programs and plans to do it again next summer. The station is interested in programs that are uniquely local while also telling a story.

Su-Mei Yu travels all over San Diego to meet with the local food producers. But what kind of food does San Diego produce exactly? The chart below breaks down what kinds of items are grown in San Diego and how much of each.

Friday, November 16, 2012

PEACE PIES: Vegan, Organic, Gluten-Free

Peace Pies has two locations in Ocean Beach and Encinitas.
 OCEAN BEACH-- Peace Pies is a vegan restaurant in Ocean Beach, CA that specials in raw and live food. This means that they do not cook any of their food above certain temperatures in order to help maintain the body's natural balance. Although there are many vegan restaurants in San Diego to choose from, Peace Pies is unique because all of their products are gluten and soy free, AND because of the selection that they offer.

Some of these items include...

 Peace Pies' raw enchiladas
Peace Pie's raw sandwich with mock tuna and crispy kale chips. 

Peace Pies' raw cinnamon rolls made with almonds and other ingredients. 

Peace Pies can even create wedding cakes in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Their wedding cakes are made with dates, coconut meat, almonds, and other ingredients.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Miguel's Cocina: Point Loma

POINT LOMA-- Miguel's Cocina Mexican Food is an old San Diego favorite. Established in 1982 by Mike and Barbara Morton, Miguel's Cocina was the natural next step after enjoying astounding success with The Brigantine Family of Restaurants. The Morton family saw San Diego as a prime location for Mexican cuisine, and thus, Miguel's Cocina of Coronado was born. Their festive restaurant immediately took off and was followed by five additional locations (Point Loma, 4S Ranch, Carlsbad, Eastlake, & Old Town).

Ed Martinez- General Manager

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Julian Apple Days Festival

JULIAN-- Every fall, San Diegans trek 50-odd miles east to this mountain suburb. They are drawn by what seems to be an endless supply of apple pies, apple muffins, apple fritters, apple doughnuts, and apple cider.
Julian overflows with everything apple-icious, except Julian apples.
That may come as a shock to most visitors at the town’s 101st annual Apple Days Festival, the start of a cinnamon-scented season that runs through Thanksgiving.

 This event features antique tractors and gold-panning demonstrations, but the main attraction is juicy, crisp fruit. Farms like Calico Ranch Orchards may host 2,000 visitors a day, people paying for the thrill of plucking fruit from heavily-laden trees. Many of those same tourists jam the local cafes for apple turnovers or mugs of cider, and on hectic fall days, the Julian Pie Co. may sell almost 5,000 pies.
But the apples baked into Julian desserts or poured into Julian mugs rarely come from Julian orchards. Most come from Washington state, the San Joaquin Valley and other far-off locales.

“The money in Julian is made on pies and restaurants and inns,” said Conrad Young, Calico Ranch’s owner. “You can’t make money (growing) apples here any more.”

That’s because the Julian apple crop, like the typical Julian apple, is tiny, even in good years. And if you take a stroll across Calico Ranch, you’ll notice that this year is rotten. Young’s trees are almost bare of fruit, thanks to an April frost that wiped out his crop. Some local farmers fared better, some did not.

“We were open just one day and then we’re out of apples,” said Les Turner, owner of Peacefield Orchard. “Many of the orchards just aren’t going to open.”

This is bad news to the growers, but a non-factor to the neighboring merchants selling apple-based desserts and drinks. While Julian is San Diego’s foremost apple-growing area, that’s not saying much.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Azúcar: A Cuban Style Patisserie

OCEAN BEACH-- A piece of the Caribbean was brought to Ocean Beach when Cuba native, Vivian Hernandez-Jackson opened her Cuban style patisserie, Azúcar, on Newport Street. Azúcar is the Spanish word for 'sugar', which is definitely an appropriate title to describe the sweet and savory treats that Jackson creates.
Azúcar is the fulfillment of a life-long dream for Jackson. Since she was a small child, she dreamed of working in the culinary world.
"I used to tell my parents that I wanted to be a chef and they laughed at me," said Jackson. "but they're not laughing now!"
After studying hospitality at Florida International University, Jackson attended Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London. The menu at Azúcar is just a combination of Jackson’s Cuban roots and classical European training.
Since these Cuban flavors aren't found anywhere else in San Diego, Jackson has created a niche for herself in Ocean Beach. A lot of the items on Azúcar's menu are pastries she grew up eating. However, the rest of the items are traditional European desserts inspired with Cuban flavors. Jackson has acquired multiple loyal customers throughout her 5 years in business and is excited to see Azúcar continue to blossom in the coming years.