The Dish: the restaurant manager swaps the costume for the chef’s jacket

The chefs in the news

Flamboyant noodles at the Pechanga Resort Casino has a new chef: Bobby Cheng, 27. Accustomed to the world of catering or Asian cuisine, Cheng previously oversaw front of house operations for three years. He decided it was time to emerge from the backstage in the “heart” of the kitchen. “I’ve always wanted to make Asian cuisine as I grew up – its flavors, its essences – and to have a team around me who are involved in creating great things and who have passion and love what we do. “, did he declare. His experience flourished while working in restaurant and hotel management at casinos in New Jersey, Connecticut and California. Prior to that, he worked at his parents’ restaurants in Philadelphia’s Chinatown and Atlantic City. Family dinners were a big part of his childhood. Her favorite food was her grandmother’s chicken wings with soy sauce and green onions. “She would do it for family reunions,” he said. “She was a constant in my life and taught me important things about cooking. But she never let me into her kitchen. Cheng has already updated the restaurant’s menu, while adding hints of his grandmother’s Old World cuisine to some of the popular dishes. 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula. (877) 711-2946.

Nathan Coulon

(Courtesy of Jimmy’s Famous American Taverns)

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern appointed leader Nathan Coulon as culinary director of the five restaurants in Southern California. Coming from a well-known San Diego restaurant family, the Point Loma native began his career under the tutelage of his grandparents, Don and Arlene Coulon, at a nationally recognized restaurant that pioneered the kitchen. classic and new French in America’s most beautiful city. His grandparents taught him everything about the restaurant business, including managing the dining room staff. He has progressed in the field by honing his craft through various culinary ventures, such as executive chef, manager and co-owner of Modus; and sous chef at The Quarter Kitchen at the Ivy Hotel, where he was later promoted to executive chef. At the behest of brand chef Michael Stebner, Coulon accepted the position of executive chef at Fox Restaurant Group, where he traveled the country opening True Food Kitchen restaurants, ultimately becoming responsible for culinary standards. Last year Coulon helped develop the Nolita Hall opening menu for Black Swan Hospitality. In his role as the Tavern’s Culinary Director, he will work closely with the Executive Chef of each outpost, leading the brand forward with a revamped menu while committing high standards of sustainability to the kitchen. The Promenade, 4990 N. Harbor Drive, Point Loma. Other locations: Brea, Dana Point, Santa Monica and Woodland Hills.

Daniela martinez

Daniela martinez

(Courtesy of Il Dandy)

Daniela martinez, pastry chef at He Dandy and ARAMA, was crowned the winner last month of Food Network’s contest reality show “Chopped: Sweets Showdown: Grand finale. “ The final episode, which aired October 29, starred celebrity chief judges Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli and Martha Stewart. On the show, Martinez and his fellow competitors Tarron Hatton, Ivan Marquez, and Rachel Klemek of Orange County (owner of Blackmarket Bakery in North Park, came second) complete three candy-centric challenges. In the final round, Martinez opted for cotton candy to complete his flambé dish, which won over the judges. In addition to the bragging rights, Martinez walked away with the Sweets Showdown grand prize of $ 50,000. 2550 Fifth Ave., Suite 120, San Diego. (619) 310-5669.

What is happening

Tacos will be the talk of the city on Sunday at the eighth annual Taco TKO competition.

Tacos will be the talk of the city on Sunday at the eighth annual Taco TKO competition.

(Courtesy of KDN Studio)

San Diego Bay Food and Wine Festival will host the ultimate taco showdown – the eighth annual Taco TKO competition. Hundreds of taco lovers will feast and vote for their favorite in this tantalizing battle of flavors. Local chefs from Sandbox, PB Fish Shop, Global Tacos Grill, Miss B’s Coconut Club and more will compete to be named “San Diego’s Greatest Taco”. The event features live music, beer and tequila stations. Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Lane Field Park, 1009 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego. $ 55 per person.

Sirloin ramen with truffle

Sirloin ramen with truffle

(Courtesy of Tajima)

Tajima will organize a Thanksgiving food drive to benefit the San Diego Food Bank. Bring non-perishable food to any of the five Tajima locations and receive a free Tajima sticker and headband. Suggested items include: canned tuna and chicken, dried and canned beans, grains, rice, nuts and seeds, peanut butter, canned soup, canned and dried fruit , canned vegetables, powdered milk and infant formula. While you’re at it, try the ramen flavor of the month, Black Truffle Ribeye with Chicken Broth and Black Beehive Oil, Egg Noodles, Thinly Sliced ​​Beef Rib Eye, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, and Chives. Monday to November 24. Locations: Convoy Street and Mercury Street (both in Kearny Mesa), Hillcrest, East Village and North Park.

Seasonal tastes

Kryptonite Mahi taco of the month

Kryptonite Mahi taco of the month

(Courtesy of City Tacos)

City tacos welcomes November with its taco of the month: Kryptonite Mahi. The flavorful taco mahi mahi is made with serrano pepper, cilantro and white wine, garnished with smoked pepper, garlic and onion aioli, and finished with coriander and amaranth seeds, spread on a blue corn tortilla with melted asadero cheese. Locations: North Park, La Mesa and Imperial Beach.

Get a cranberry sauce throughout the month of November with Duck Divingthe specialty cocktail of the month. This creative concoction is a blend of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, homemade cranberry simple syrup, cloves, angostura and orange bitter. 4650 Mission Boulevard, San Diego.

Hot toddy cocktail

Hot toddy cocktail

(Courtesy of Little Italy Food Hall)

Little Italy Dining Bar launched a new fall menu on November 5th. Libations include Growing Tree Hot Toddy, made with Noble Oak Bourbon, simple maple syrup, lemon, and allspice liqueur. Every bottle of Noble Oak Bourbon used will help replenish trees that were burnt in the devastating fires in California. You can also purchase Food Hall branded mugs. Other craft drinks include Cold Fashioned, a Hibiscus Margarita, and Bobbing For Apples, made with Old Harbor Barrelflag rum and Julian apple cider. 550 W. Date St., Little Italy. (619) 269-7187.


Simsim Exceptional Shawarma will open its second location Monday at Carmel Mountain Plaza. The interior of the new space reflects the brand’s bright and modern design, with accents of terrazzo and cork, touches of greenery, and plenty of seating inside and out. Customers will find an extensive menu with grilled specialties such as lamb kebab, shish tawook chicken, and beef and lamb kebab, all charcoal grilled, vegetable kebabs and served with rice and a salad fattoush. Simsim’s signature from scratch menu items including his namesake shawarma, as well as bowls and sides like super creamy homemade hummus, moutabel and baba ganoush. 11640 Carmel Mountain Road, Suite 124, San Diego.

Mediterranean-Greek restaurant that of Daphne will open its ninth location Wednesday at the Torrey Hills Center. To commemorate the opening, customers will receive free samples of its signature gyro fries, with no purchase necessary. Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. 4639 Carmel Mountain Road, Suite 103, San Diego. (858) 369-0190.

About Vivian J. Smith

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