From edible flower garnishes and messy-delicious tortilla breakfasts, to watching seals sunbathe on Casa Beach, Canada’s celebrated chef takes in the good life in sunny San Diego.
What an introduction to California cuisine! As you’ll see in tonight’s episode of Gourmet Escapes, I met a young local chef who was so into greens and edible flowers!
Matthew Porter is the executive chef at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla hotel and is responsible for four of their onsite restaurants and bars. I very much enjoyed cooking with him: Seeing the smiles of our guests’ faces as they saw the colourful array of flowers on each plate we prepared was priceless for me. The edible flowers also really spruced up our swordfish main dish.
Speaking of swordfish, Matt made sure we visited the famous seafood supplier, Chesapeake Fish Co. on the San Diego waterfront, really early in the morning. I had a chance to really practice filleting fish and seeing what goes into the catch of the day as I watched big swordfish being lifted off the boat. The amount of fish in this place was staggering and all fished from the San Diego coast! Both Matt and I were excited to see the beautiful slice of swordfish we were going to cook, which was, as you can imagine, making us both very hungry.
Given that it was Sunday and quickly approaching 8 a.m., Matt wanted us to go for breakfast at the La Jolla Open Aire Market. He explained that this farmers’ market is quite unique in that all proceeds derived from the market go to benefit the local public school. Isn’t that great?
I couldn’t believe the array of food vendors, farmers and artisans that were present! We jumped right in, did a lot of tasting, and bought the fruits and vegetables that we needed for the meal we were going to prepare.
Finally he pointed to a stand called “Belinda’s Cocina”: We were going to have a Mexican breakfast – I said Olé! Imagine, if you will, the biggest, roundest tortilla filled with the most delectable vegetables, spicy salsas, spices, rice and eggs. This was the tastiest, most filling and messiest breakfast I have ever had – in short, very delicious!
After we cleaned up from our market visit, Matt wanted to show me a very interesting site. We drove to the coast, just a short drive from The Marriott La Jolla where he works, to Casa Beach. What an amazing sight: seals sun tanning on the beach! They were so close, you could touch them and didn’t even seem bothered by all of the onlookers. I definitely snapped a few photos here.
All in all, I found San Diego and La Jolla to be very laid back. The cuisine is indeed all about organic foods.
I learned a lot. And I love that.
Buon appetito dude!
JOIN ME ON T+E’s GOURMET ESCAPES EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 8 p.m.!
Did you miss last week’s episode in South Carolina? No problemo! Catch up now before tonight’s show: