Wednesday, December 3, 2008

San Diego Foodstuff Miscellany: The Holiday Edition - Take One

We've got holiday magic all over the place and I'm going to start giving you some ideas on where you can spend your time -- both for your benefit and that of others...

  • Leading off is the "Gingerbread and the City" gala event on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel. The gala, which is otherwise known as the 15th Annual Gingerbread City Design Competition, benefits the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. This year, all of the gingerbread structures will be well-known buildings in San Diego, creating a Gingerbread City. The participants include Ellie's Sugar Arts, Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, JSIX, Great News! Discount Cookware and Cooking School, Roy's Downtown San Diego and the San Diego Culinary Institute. Singer Rita Coolidge will be performing and the food will be prepared by chefs from a wide range of terrific restaurants--Sbicca Bistro, Terra Restaurant, The Shores Restaurant, Addison Restaurant at The Grand Del Mar, Mille Fleurs, Napa Valley Grille and more. For more information and to buy tickets, call (619) 296-0161 or visit
  • Shop at Whole Foods? Well, you can get some ideas for dishes to prepare for Christmas and Chanukah on Sunday, Dec. 14 from noon to 3 p.m. at both the Hillcrest and La Jolla stores. Among the menu items featured are ham, pheasant breast, mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, green bean Almandine, traditional pot roast and rum raisin empanada. You'll also be able to get personalized cooking and menu tips from Whole Foods' experts.
  • Will Gustwiller of Eclipse Chocolat is doing another of his 5-course chocolate tasting dinners. This one, to be held on Dec. 13 at 4, 6 and 8 p.m., is a Creole Christmas Dinner. Here's the menu: Fried Plantains with Chile-Burnt Caramel Dipping Sauce; Crawfish Bisque with White Chocolate Olive Oil Crostini; Dirty Rice with Cocoa-Bacon and Pepper Melody; Chicken Jambalaya with Smoked Beef-Cocoa Nib Sausage;
    Beignets with Dark Chocolate Chicory Drizzle. Call Will at 619-578-2984 for reservations.

As more events pop up, I'll add them to the list. And, stay tuned. I've been visiting a slew of wonderful dessert shops looking for holidays sweets. I'll start posting my findings in the next couple of days. We're talking Opera Patisserie, Extraordinary Desserts, Heaven Sent and more.

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