Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro / Catering Done Right ~ Oceanside

So, let me start off by first saying if you are going to cater in Oceanside anymore , I’m going to throw in Taste of Oceanside as catering as well for sake of discussion, you have to bring your A game. The reason is other Chefs are bringing theirs and if you don’t you will not compete. These events, whether it be a catering gig for the city or an event like Taste of Oceanside or Feast, are basically a food business card, a first introduction, and when restaurants like Petite Madeline, 608, LTH, and more are bringing fresh shucked oysters, frog legs, and scratch made desserts a pizza or a cut up sandwich are not going to even register with people. If you are a pizza or sandwich shop I get it it’s what you do, I would just bring the absolute best you have and bring personality not people just handing out samples. This is more directed at restaurants who I see again and again half assing it or not putting an importance on the events..

Luckily that is not the case with Petite Madeline. Every event I have been to that they cater is phenomenal. Christine, and in this case Chef Marc, get it. I guarantee she breaks even or loses money when she caters events. She understands it is marketing.

The event I attended Saturday was held at the Oceanside Public Library. It featured People of different backgrounds speaking to their experience as Immigrants living in Oceanside / San Diego as well as the history of immigration in our area. It was really interesting and I wish the speakers were given more time.

The event was catered by Chef Marc of Petite Madeline. He did a great job of producing food that spoke to the subject matter being discussed by doing some great asian fusion dishes.

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Art on a plate.

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To start a play on Chicken Asada served on what I believe is a shrimp chip.

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Unagi Adobada ~ Unagi, sushi rice, wasabi micro greens, shiso leaf.

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Daikon and Quail ~ Quail tempura, grated daikon radish, miso dressing, red chili and tamarind sauce.

I loved this dish it also had a perfectly cooked quail egg and mushroom. The balance and textures were spot on.

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Chawan-Mushi ~ Custard eggs, enoki mushrooms, lotus root crisps, gingered-coconut snail, carrots, and ginko nuts.

A beautiful and interesting dish (in a good way).

See that is how you cater an event. Every dish was unique and worked well in a catering setting. This was served and plated at the front desk area of the library. Everything worked at the temperature it was served and people went back for seconds. The library received a grant to hold these events, whom ever caters the next one has big shoes to fill..

Or you could have this….

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At least make it cute…

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Panda Sandwiches FTW.

Thought it might be interesting to show his prep list and prep to show how Chefs work…

 

Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro

223 North Coast Highway, Oceanside

#food #foodporn #petitemadeline #oceanside #Filipinofood

Crust Pizzeria ~ Carlsbad

Crust Pizzeria is a Chef driven, gourmet pizza restaurant located on the border of Carlsbad and Encinitas at 3263 Camino De Los Coches, Carlsbad. (sprouts shopping center.)

The restaurant is pretty large with a medium-sized bar area, an open kitchen area, and seating for about 75 inside and an additional 40 on the patio. Still it gets busy on nights and weekends.

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Crust Pizzeria

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Crust Pizzeria interior.

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Master Pizza Chef Charlie Meola working at his craft.

Chef Meola has been working at his craft for 18 years. This experience and his passion for only using the best ingredients shows in his food. I was luck enough to grab some of his time and you can read that interview Here.

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Cheese Pizza by the slice available at lunch.

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Pepperoni Pizza ~ Grande mozzarella, Boars Head pepperoni, and fresh-cut basil.

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Tasia ~ Belle chevre goat cheese, kalamata olives, grilled eggplant, zucchini, Grande Mozzarella, feta cheese, oregano, lemon zest, and chili flake.

The pizza I had on a previous visit was the Sophia ~ Spicy sausage, crispy chard, olive oil, fontina cheese, ricotta, and rosemary.

I do not have a pic because my phone ate it:(  but it was delicious. Perfect crust, loved the quality of the cheese and the balance of flavor.

I would put crust in the top 4 pizza places in San Diego at the moment. First off don’t give me the Filippi’s they are mediocre. Pizza Port is OK if your close and want to grab lunch. Urbn does not know how to cook or time their crust, both times it was charred and inedable around the outside ( and I was there when it was slow so it’s not like they got distracted.)

No, I would say Biga, Crust, and The Privateer followed fourth by Pizza Maniac (for an old school grab a slice after work or school place.)

I know I talked mainly about pizza but Crust also does pastas, salads, and sandwiches.

I plan on going back for non work eating soon to explore the menu a little more along with going back to Biga for lunch because it was too dark for pics at dinner.

Crust Pizzeria

3263 Camino De Los Coches, Carlsbad

#food #foodporn #Pizza

Chef Interview With Chef Charlie Meola Of Crust Pizzeria ~ Carlsbad

I had a chance to sit down and talk with Chef Charlie Meola of Crust Pizzeria in Carlsbad recently. You can also see my article on Crust HERE.

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Chef Meola working at his craft.

 I know you started in NY correct?

Yes.

Can you tell me what your seminal moment was or what made you decide you wanted to pursue being a Chef?

Basically I was 13, started off as a dishwasher, went to counter, went to prep, went to sandwiches and basically learned the whole thing. But at that point and time I did not realize this is what I want to do forever. I enjoyed it but I was going to college.

At The University of Arizona right?

Ended going to University of Arizona. Went for three years, did not graduate. I started bartending, making really good money. I worked from 81 to 87 bartending. At that time I kind of realized there are not many old bartenders around, so maybe I need to look for something else.

I was just driving down the road and saw a pizza place for sale. I called the guy made a deal. Then I put two weeks of renovation in it and opened up. I owned it for 26 years, I just sold it about two years ago.

After That?

Went to Alabama, opened up two restaurants in Alabama. I did not like Alabama at all. Then I came here and opened this.

So the moment I realized I wanted to do this was in 88, when I opened up that pizzeria. The goal became just to make pizza better. With the basis of knowledge I already knew I knew I could do it.

Basically for 5 years from 88 to 93 I strived for that. I went on to resource different products from different parts of the country. Research and development trying this and trying that. Still to this day I do the same thing.

What I tell people who come in, like if a purveyor walks in I say “if you’re here to try to save me money and lessen my product, we are wasting each other’s time”. “If you are here to make my product better we can talk.” If you’re here to make my product better and save me money, that’s the cu de gras.”

I’m open to making it better and paying more as opposed to going the other way. I have fights with my accountant on how much I pay for cheese.

When I had my pizzeria in Tucson the Montage in Laguna Beach would fly me out to make pizza for the Chefs who were cooking for the James Beard Award Dinners. So, I cooked for Alex Stratta, Nancy Silverton, these top chefs in Southern California. That’s really it. The integrity of the food the craft are the most important things.

Editor’s Note: making pizza for Nancy Silverton (Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza..) is damn impressive. Just had to say that.

That’s about it, I have noticed now that it’s not all about food it’s about service too. When I started service was an afterthought. I was just in Mexico and noticed how people would be waiting an hour and a half for their food and not even care. Here people 15 min. and want it for free. You are a product of your environment and have to adapt.

Tell me about the products you use.

It’s real simple I keep rules to certain things. I just changed my tomato sauce for the first time in 28 years. These guys from Italy came in, brought some Italian tomatoes. I put what I was using, which was Escalon, next to this Sanyo(sp), it’s a Campagnia tomato, and I was like “this is better I’m gonna buy them.” That’s a big change to make.

You have your three bases your dough, your sauce, and your cheese. That’s your foundation. To change one of those is a big move. You can change your mushroom.

Or your pepperoni

Actually not, we buy Boars Head, which is $5.99 a pound where I could be getting it for $2.00. We get our sausage from a guy named Phil Scimeca who owns a little sausage shop. I met him in Alabama. I get goat cheese from a lady who makes goat cheese. I know everyone goes local and I would if I could find a product that equals. I’m all go local for vegetables, but if I’m going to buy a cheese…. I actually brought my Italian sausage to a guy in little Italy and said “can you duplicate this” and he said no.

Every day we make our own dough, all our salad dressings from scratch everything.

On a side note Chef also dabbles in photography. I was admiring the Surf photography on the wall, thinking it was Aaron Chang’s work, nope it turned out to be his. When you go there check it out, it’s really good.

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 So, there you have it Chef Charlie Meola of Crust Pizzeria. It always interest me to talk with Chefs. You go to someplace that is really good and then learn in talking with the Chef, oh that’s why. Plus as a food writer you have to listen and learn.

Crust Pizzeria

3263 Camino De Los Coches

Things To Do This Weekend In Oceanside.

Saturday ~ After waking up from you Saint Patrick’s Day exploits, head to Masters Kitchen and Cocktail for brunch featuring dishes like…

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Chef Richardi’s upscale take on Chicken and Waffles. Perfect post party night meal. Bonus, they have endless Mimosas if you need a little hair of the dog.

Brunch runs 10am till 2pm at Masters Kitchen and Cocktail 208 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside

Afterwords head to the beach and enjoy this weather.

Sunday ~ Head over to Wisconsin Street and join in Living Tea’s Community Pancake Breakfast.

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“We’ll be making GREEN pancakes, infused with Spirulina…. that’s right, Organic Gluten-Free GREEN Pancakes! We’ll also have our organic raw kombucha and organic coffee available.”

“Everything is donation based, so whatever you can afford to donate is great. And those who can’t donate, come eat for free and enjoy some good community time. All donations go towards future community breakfasts, and additional funds are donated to local charities. It’s a Give Back Oceanside event with Living Tea and Nii Foods!”

The event runs 10am to 12pm at Living Tea  302 Wisconsin Ave, Oceanside.

Also Sunday ~ Another communal event will be hosted By the The T House equinox event starts at noon and goes until 6pm.

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There will be light food (I believe he said lobster bisque and bread) and lots of information about food, urban homesteading, gardening, spiritualism and more. contact chefbeaub@gmail.com to learn more you can also check out the T Houses website or you can also contact me through this website.

To learn a little about what they are about you can read my interview with Chef Beau T house co-founder HERE.

Have a great weekend.

Interview With Beau Bonham.

So, I am just going to post this raw. Meaning I am stopping to try to edit myself. This person is one of the strongest pastry and savory Chefs in North County. Also, one of the strongest chocolatiers I have ever met. What he is doing now is impressive.

So, embrace and understand this is what is coming.

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I had a chance to sit down and talk to Chef Beau Bonham. Actually he has kind of moved away from Solely the Chef title and is now more Chef, educator, entrepreneur, and wellness nature advocate. Urban Shaman would not be that far off of a term.

I first met Beau when he was Chef at Petite Madeline Bakery and Bistro in Oceanside, CA. Since them he has become a good friend and a great source of food and restaurant knowledge for me. I followed him through stints with his Truffle trike business ( exactly what it sounds like an ice cream pedal trike selling gourmet hand-made truffles), his stint at Masters Kitchen and Cocktail as Chef de Partie, and now his latest venture, which this interview delves into…….

So, tell me about what’s going on and your new venture the T-House.

The new venture is a social experiment and business with Staceylou Westbrook. ( Staceylou Westbrook is Beau’s partner). So, until now it has been “Chef Beau” and this business and this business and so on. Now Staceylou Westbrook and I have come together to figure out, what does it take to live your life and how do you make that into a business? How do we live our lives and still sustain ourselves?

It is multi faceted, it is based in wellness and healing. Our goal is to provide everything from services to education.

So, what made you decide to focus your life on this aspect of food and physical, mental, and spiritual health?

So, if you think about being a Chef. What I love about being a Chef is being a damn good cook. Well, the higher you get up in the Chef world, the less you get to be a damn good cook. You end up having to be a manager or a babysitter. I found this to be true with a lot of people. A lot of people have shared that sentiment with me.

Maybe the best damn Barista in the world just wants to be a damn good barista, he does not want to own a coffee shop or a chain of coffee shops. So, how can you do what makes you happy without falling into the trap of following the next logical step in order to make money or be sufficient at it? Does that make sence?

Yes, I think that Makes total sence.

…and you can put all of this under what we are trying to do with The T-House

So, why do you think this aspect of food and commerce that you are trying to do has been neglected or forgotten? Is it the pursuit of capitalism? The force feeding of you are only successful or happy if you drive this car or have this house?

Maybe, it’s as simple as not seeing the forest for the trees. Maybe we get caught up in these set of rules, Go to work, cash your paycheck, buy your stuff, and we don’t see the resources that are available to us in our own yard, in our own neighbors, or our own friends. I am actually trying to free up resources.

So, what is an easy way of someone to get involved in this, get started?

There are so many aspects to what we are doing. We want to incorporate an experiential learning project, holding classes on bio-diversity, permaculture. We want to teach people about using whole plants, seed saving, seed fixing, and essential oils. How to make salves and balms, Ozark medicine stuff.

The best way to contact us and see what we are doing is to contact us. Join our email list, or like the the Facebook page. All of this is being done at our personal house. I use my personal email, we are not running a business. We are creating a community of friends. Its chefbeaub@gmail.com if they email me I will add them to one of a few lists depending on what they are interested in. They could be interested in parties, classes, maybe holding classes themselves. Empower people to hold classes themselves and not things they are 100% proficient in but things they want to learn and have a group learning process.

We don’t want to simply provide this information, that is something the internet can do. We want to have it be an experiential learning, where people actually do these things themselves so they can feel the effects and see what its like. That is one aspect. The other aspect is Staceylou provides energy work, healing sessions, and Tarot. She will hold classes on pendulum work, getting touch with your own reality and becoming more aware of yourself.

Another part is we want to have fun. We want to throw parties and grow community. We want to provide nourishment, food, and entertainment. We want to have people get together on a friendly status. Outside of the realm of business. What makes business more legit then that backyard BBQ?  Why aren’t we doing our networking there?

…maybe we are? What if we challenge the model? What if instead of getting bigger to make more money, we go smaller to gain more resources? By finding those resources communally, we free up our money. You may drive 20 minutes to find the best hairdresser in the world and pay this price. There maybe a hairdresser in your community with whom you can trade. I’ll do your nails, you do my hair and that frees up all those resources. There are already apps available to share this information already.

So, I know one of your interests is food as medicine. What are some of the programs and offerings you want to expose people to?

We want to talk about..there is an idea called “wild crafting”, ours is not “Wild Crafting” I guess you would call it “garden Crafting”. It’s about drying out your own teas, the efficacy of tea, how we used to ingest medicinal plants simply by steeping them in boiling water. What a tea tastes like and what that particular plant is purported to do. The difference in different delivery systems such as an alcohol tincture or an infused oil or simply essential oils themselves. What these things can be used for culinary for taste and flavor and how they affect the different systems in your body and how they maybe good or not good for you in particular. Also a thing I call intuitive nutrition. We have a program we can develop with people to help them figure out what is the best thing for their body.

So, one thing I want to talk about. There is the social experiment, that is the free commerce thing. There is Staceylou business which is energy and healing. The third is both social, political, and healing. We are devoted to educating the senior community on the legality and benefits of cannabis. Not just the senior community, but because we have aging parents and grand parents it is a big part of what they are doing right now, reaching out and educating. That is a special program and if someone is interested in that they need to mention that when they contact us, because of laws and other factors.

It’s funny You get the concept, you have seen it you have been to the house. You get what we are doing, you get that there can be 5 different things going on at once.

Yeah, I think it is about getting people involved and getting them out there. That’s why I did this interview as an awareness piece. So, hopefully take advantage and check it out. Because the barter non-commerce aspect, I think, people will kind of have to wrap their head around. I think the open house on March xxx would be a good start.

So, if any of these things interests you I would highly recommend contacting Beau at chefbeaub@gmail.com and checking out the Facebook or their website, which I will link below.

Again it is something you have to personally check out to kind of get it and see if it is for you. It really is an intellectual and physical community based barter or free trade community group. That’s the best I got to sum it up.

The T house

Himalayan Dine Inn ~ San Diego

This place has been on my radar for so long. I finally made it a point to eat there. I am glad I did.

So, the Himalayans are a mountain range shared by seven countries.This food comes from Napal. The best I can describe it is China meets India. Mild curries and what I had, Momos. Little dumplings of love:)

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These were perfection. Made to order..you do understand why that is important. This was made with love. This with tip was under $15 dollars a steal.This is when words fail me..Go the best I got. I will be back.

Actually I have more the lamb..the filling was insane. This is why I love food. Simple brilliant..sorry you need to eat here.

Himalayan Dine Inn

1010 Broadway, San Diego

Sinaloa MXN & Seafood

This is why I write. I am very lucky to eat the way I do and know the Chefs I know. As much as I love Monchong with tangerine salt and anything with snail butter from Chef Willy this is again what I relish. Family recipes passed down from generations. Do not go here and get a carne asada burrito, talk to the family, because that is who you will be dealing with. The mother cooks the son and daughter run the front of house.

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A modest interior hides what is really going on. On a side note the eldest son is a professional boxer.

I just said cook me something you love. She thought about it and it paid off.

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She asked me if I wanted to see how my food was being made. Yes, please and thank you.

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A starter bonus dish. Soup made from the braise that my main was cooked in with star pasta. I felt like a little kid, this meal brought me back to my childhood. This what food is supposed to do.

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The menu..I do not see what I ate on there. They do .99 cent fish tacos as well.

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Hands down the best chili relleno I have ever had. The fry? perfect, the bell pepper still had a crunch and was fresh. The sides flawless. I was told this was her mother’s and her mother’s and her mother’s recipe …it showed.

Then I was asked do want to try her flan she made this morning? You can not say no to that.

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Yep, and then this. Perfect.

Look I do not preach a lot but this place needs to be supported. You do not get this very often. They are lucky that a new Crunch Fitness is about to open in the same plaza along with a something I am not supposed to talk about gourmet doughnut place.

I tipped heavy and walked out spending $20 dollars a steal for what I ate.

Go, talk, eat. nuff said!

Sinaloa MXN & Seafood

1759 Oceanside Blvd. Oceanside, Ca

#food #foodporn #Oceanside #mexicanfood

New Brunch Menu @ Masters Kitchen and Cocktail ~ Oceanside

It has been a while since I visited Masters, at least 3 months. Their new Chef and Brunch menu caused a stir for me to meet up with my friend Beau Bonham and check it out.

Chef Richardi is originally from Florida. He began his culinary career as a line cook at Pacifica Del Mar, from there he rose through the ranks at  Rancho Valencia, La Valencia Hotel, The Chart House, The Santaluz Club and Roppongi. He is now Executive Chef at Masters and has started to put his stamp on their menu.

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Chef Richardi and Ryan (owner) both great people.

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This Beau person and Ryan:)

The new brunch menu features a good range of dishes from decadent to healthy and simple.

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Of course we went for decadent. I just did a three-mile beach walk and Beau, like me, eats very simple when not dining out.

Before we could begin Chef brought this out…

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House cured salmon, micro greens, and radish.

Perfect, and I mean perfect cured salmon. I almost went with the everything bagel on the menu because of the salmon but this scratched that itch perfectly, freeing me up for other choices. Thanks Chef.

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Steak and Eggs Benedict ~ Flat Iron steak (cooked perfect medium rare), poached eggs, artisan sourdough, hollandaise, and breakfast potatoes.

The steak was on point and the hollandaise was not over powering. A lot of hollandaise is thick and for lack of a better term gluggy..not this one. Also those potatoes, next time I am ordering an additional side order of those. They reminded me of patatas bravas..so good.

Beau stole the show though…

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Chicken and Waffle ~ Rosemary waffle, fried chicken breast, smoked bacon, chicken apple sausage gravy, over easy eggs.

A lot of brunch places near by do a chicken and waffles dish. This one is different, it ditched the classic maple syrup route for something more complex. The gravy, I believe due to the apple sausage kept the sweet element and the fry on the chicken breast was almost reminiscent of a Milanese. Also huge, leftovers to take home kind of dish.

The other thing that made me happy was it was crowded.

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Great to see busy restaurants before tourist season has even started.

 

Masters Kitchen & Cocktail

208 South Coast Highway, Oceanside Ca

#food #foodporn #oceanside #brunch

 

 

 

 

The Power of Food. The Pork Chop @ The Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen~ Vista

So, this is just a quick post about the power of food. The fact that great food transcends a meal. It is a memory or creates one. It brings you to your childhood or suspends the outside world around you.

I am very lucky to eat and experience a lot of great food. Beyond that, in eating that food, it has brought people into my life who are now great friends. It has given me memories and knowledge. So when I talk or write about food, I am actually writing or conveying a lot more (or trying to).

Every payday it has become a ritual of mine to go to the Flying Pig (mostly the Vista location) and eat their pork chop. Now it’s a great pork chop, probably the best I have ever had, but beyond that I just sit and savor it. The tenderness from the brine, the sweetness from the char, and the flavor from quality of the pork, and while I am eating it everything is right in my universe.

I am back home now writing this and I am just happy, I totally believe in the food high and it’s not the wine because I only had 1 glass:) I am going to go to bed now to dream of magical pigs.

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The pork chop.

The Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen

Vista, Ca

Orange Wine and Autostrata @ The Miller’s Table ~ Oceanside

So, I have been on the hunt for “Orange” wine ever since I saw Mario Batali pour some for Action Bronson and Chef Missy Robins on an episode of Moltissimo (I’ll link the video at the bottom of the post).

Trouble was finding it on a wine list in San Diego turned out to be impossible and ordering it was killed by shipping that doubled the bottle cost.

Staci at the Miller’s Table was kind enough, being the awesome person she is, to bring some in for me.

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2014 Doqi Qvevri Mtsvane. This is a wine from the republic of Georgia. The grapes are pressed and then the juice, stalks, skin, and pips are aged in clay Qvevri which are clay vessels that are then buried in the ground. The fermentation process with the skins give the wine its deep amber or orange color.Doqi is the winery, Qvevri refers to the fermentation process, and  Mtsvane is the grape.

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The wine itself is very dry and fruit forward. It is like a very aggressive Fume Blanc. It probably would benefit from some decanting. I liked it. Something different, it would pair well with strong cheeses and charcuterie.

I had it with The Miller’s table Autostrada sandwich. This is a great sandwich with Italian meats and cheese, so it held up against the wine.

If you want to try a unique wine you’re not going to find many places go check it out at The Miller’s Table, I only had 1/2 a bottle so there is plenty left:)

The Miller’s Table

415 Coast Highway Oceanside

Moltissimo Video