Celebration of San Diego Chefs
The chef celebrations held annually in May serve the good cause of furthering the culinary education of young local chefs. (It's not just good for the young chefs; it's good for all of us who eat out.) And the format -- a month of twice-weekly dinners with groups of top San Diego chefs cooking thoughtfully conceived, multi-course dinners together at restaurants all over the area -- provides a marvelously engaging series of culinary talent shows for patrons to enjoy at a reasonable cost. But the 2002 edition of the celebration brought an additional set of benefits: each dinner featured produce from a specific local small farm. This focus awakened many chefs to the superb quality and freshness that only comes from using newly harvested, locally grown produce, and it's inspired many home chefs to shop at the weekly neighborhood Farmers' Markets. Perhaps the increased demand for locally grown fruits, herbs, and veggies may eventually even save some of our lush, climate-blessed local farmland from conversion into suburban housing tracts.