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Stories by Pamela Hunt-Cloyd

Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Recipe by Ricardo Heredia, executive chef, Alchemy What I make depends on how I feel that day. I love Latin food. Anything South American. My grandmother was Mexican, so I grew up with Mexican food ...

Coq au Vin

Recipe by Matt Richman, executive chef, Market Street Café. I like the colors and freshness of food. The simplicity of it. That’s really where it’s at, I think. In a perfect world, I would love ...

Melon Gazpacho

Recipe by Patrick Ponsaty, executive chef, Bernard’O Restaurant As a fifth-generation chef, my father didn’t give me another choice or allow me to take another direction. He owned a restaurant in Cazeres, France. I started ...

Mom’s Banana Walnut Salad

Recipe from Chris Idso, executive chef, Pacifica Del Mar One of my biggest accomplishments as a chef has been to use the local food that grows in San Diego. It was a challenge when I ...

Ukha (Fish Soup)

Recipe by John Skorepa, executive chef, Pomegranate Russian-Georgian Restaurant I have a long and checkered career. After graduating from San Diego State with a BS in biology, I worked in the plumbing and mechanical business ...

Annual Dysfunctional Family Thanksgiving Dinner

Many ways of giving thanks

To Be Thankful Requires Humility To be thankful for anything much at all requires humility, I believe. I have little enough of it; in fact, I have a dichotomy common to alcoholics, and that is ...

Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe by Chef Martin Woesle, executive chef, Mille Fleurs. I grew up on a dairy farm, and my mom cooked every day for our family of six. We only went out to eat for very ...

Basil-Marinated Strawberries

Recipe by William Bradley, executive chef, Addison Back when I started, I worked in an Italian restaurant in Bonita. I did it for the money. But, eventually, I fell in love with cooking — the ...

Buttercup Squash Nectar with Spiced Rum, Açai Berries, Fromage Blanc

Recipe by Chef Bernard Guillas, executive chef, the Marine Room My grandmother was the root of this madness I would say, this passion for food. I lived with her in Brittany until I was six ...

Thai Grilled Steak Salad

Recipe by Jack Jaroen, executive chef, Lanna Thai I grew up in Bangkok with three siblings. My mom was always in the kitchen preparing and cooking for us. At dinnertime, we all helped out in ...

Green Papaya and Mango Seafood Salad

Recipe by Gerald Warner, executive sushi chef, Café Japengo Cooking is a family thing for me. We live in a cul de sac, so sometimes the neighbors come over, too. A lot of times, I ...

Gluten-Free Corn Bread

Recipe by David Warner, executive chef, JRDN Restaurant I always wanted to be a rock star. Cooking was the last thing on my list. As a kid, I couldn’t cook. I would burn water. But ...

Quick Chicken Tostadas

Recipe by Chris Walsh, executive chef, Bite. Back in the ’80s, when I was executive chef at California Cuisine, cooking went through this really exciting time. All of a sudden there was Alice Waters and ...

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Recipe by Jason Knibb, executive chef, Nine-Ten Restaurant I got into cooking because I used to surf in the day and needed a night job. One day, a friend of mine asked me to fill ...

Café India’s Famous Potatoes

Recipe from Kirti Srivastava Honestly, I grew up in the restaurant. We’ve had it since I was little, when my parents came to San Diego from Uttar Pradesh to help my uncle. At the time, ...

Tomato, Basil, and Ginger Jam

Recipe by Jay Payne, executive chef, Café Japengo. What really started me cooking was that both my parents worked, so my job was to start dinner. Many times I just ended up cooking dinner. My ...

Shrimp and Sweet Pea Risotto

Recipe by Paul McCabe, executive chef, Kitchen 1540. I grew up in a family where my mom didn’t work out of the home. She was a good country cook — actually, one of the last. ...

Sautéed White Shrimp and Sweet Pea Risotto

by Paul Mccabe, Executive Chef, Kitchen 1540 I grew up in a family where my mom didn’t work out of the home. She was a good country cook — actually, one of the last. I ...

Belgian Endive Soup with Hoegaarden Beer

Recipe by Nathan Coulon, executive chef, Quarter Kitchen. I started cooking before I can remember. My grandparents owned the Belgian Lion in Ocean Beach and my mom is a pastry chef, so it definitely runs ...

Spiny Lobster with Chanterelles

Recipe by Mark Kropczynski, executive chef, Grant Grill. My kids (aged 15 and 9) will eat whatever I put in front of them. They’ve had duck confit, lobster, chanterelles, and all kinds of fish. We ...

Sashimi with Watermelon “Margarita”

Recipe by Christopher Lee, consulting chef, Suite & Tender. The thing about food that people don’t realize is that we’re all involved with it — either consciously or subconsciously because you have to survive. I ...

Our Favorite Drinks and Where We Drink Them

You don’t know how to make a Tora!Tora!Tora!?

There are times, sometimes in the midst of otherwise polite conversation, when it comes out that I make my living writing for the Reader. The follow-up to this revelation is almost never “Oh, that’s right, ...

Curried Pea Soup

Recipe by John Robert Kennedy, executive chef, The Better Half. I started cooking growing up. At big family gatherings, I was always in the kitchen. When you were brought into my household, into my family, ...

Fish Tacos with Street Fruit

Recipe by Dean Thomas, executive chef, Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino. I started out as a dishwasher for an Italian chef. One day, his cook didn’t show up and he said, “Come on over ...

Tabouleh

Recipe from Sahar Nashashibi, chef, Fairouz (story told by daughter Haya). My mom has always had a feel for cooking, even when she was young. Her mom — my grandmother — was a great cook ...

Amy’s Grandmother’s Gnocchi

Recipe from Amy Dibiase, former executive chef, Roseville. I have been cooking since a very young age. A lot of pasta and gnocchi. Soups and stews. I grew up in a very large Italian family, ...

Juniper Berry Brined Pork Chops

Recipe by Danny Bannister, executive chef, Red Marlin. I’ve been a chef my whole life. It’s always been inside me. My mom hates it, but I attribute it to her because she’s not that good ...

Basic Risotto

Recipe by Jeff Rossman, executive chef, Terra. I learned to cook on the job. My dad opened up Pam Pam Café and Grill in Hotel Circle, and I managed the floor at night. During the ...

Linguine with Sea Urchins

Recipe by Gordon Smith, private chef and former owner/chef, Gordon’s Basil St. Cafe. I’ve always been a chef in San Diego for San Diego. In the ’90s, Basil St. Café was one of the first ...

Braised Chicken with Green Olives and Roasted Peppers

Recipe by Victor Jimenez, executive chef, Cowboy Star. The idea for Cowboy Star came from my partner Jon. When he told me this idea, I was taken aback at first. Then he started to describe ...

Weekend Beer Bread

Recipe by Benjamin Moore, executive chef, Parallel 33. I like to take everyday food and pair it in unique ways people wouldn’t think of. I taste something and think, Oh my gosh, this would go ...

Soba Noodle Salad

Recipe by Jim Pearson, Sous Chef, Rice I love Asian food. All types, especially Thai, such as seafood and pho. I love spice. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I was always surrounded by Asian ...

Gingerbread House

Recipe by Marguerite Grifka, the Starlite. I have always been an avid home cook. I would characterize my food philosophy as using the best, freshest ingredients and highlighting the natural flavors. I try to screw ...

Seafood Brodo

Recipe by Joe Magnanelli, executive chef, Laurel Restaurant. I’m a self-taught cook. I never went to culinary school, even though I worked at some very established restaurants, such as those in the Ritz-Carlton and the ...

Roast Chicken

Recipe by Brian Malarkey, Oceanaire Restaurant. I became a chef after a lot of trial and error with other professions. The culinary major came after the business, history, theater, and liberal arts majors. When I ...

“Not So Red” Velvet Cake

Recipe by Matt Gordon, Urban Solace. I got into cooking as a way of self-defense growing up. I worked in restaurants in high school and stayed in it through college, as a sous chef. I ...

Pesto Lasagna

Recipe by Ryan Johnston, executive chef, Whisknladle. Basil Pesto Ingredients: Serves 4–6 10 1/2 oz blanched fresh basil2 oz mortared peeled garlic5 oz grated Parmesan cheese3 oz toasted pine nuts20 oz extra virgin olive oilLasagna ...

Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets

Recipe by Martin Gonzalez, executive chef, Acqua Al 2. I really like to cook — at home or at a friend’s house. Even when I’m invited to a barbecue, I manage to take over the ...

Chile Verde

Recipe by Hanis Cavin, Chef de Cuisine, Kensington Grill. I work a lot, usually about 75 hours a week. During “Restaurant Week” I broke 100, so I cook very little at home. I don’t get ...

Pasta Sauce with Sausage

Recipe by Matt Gardner, owner of Bronx Pizza, Hillcrest. Every Sunday is pasta day, so that’s probably my favorite thing to make. I make my traditional pasta sauce with sausage. I start it in the ...

Parkhouse Benedict

Recipe by Gilberto Villareal, Chef, Parkhouse Eatery. I like cooking meat with crazy sauces. Sometimes rib-eyes. Sometimes ribs or pork tenderloins with pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette. But I like breakfast too. The Parkhouse Benedict is a ...

Chocolate Mousse

Recipe by Paul Niles, executive chef, Thee Bungalow. I have appreciated cooking all of my life. When I was growing up, we sat down and had dinner together every night, so that was kind of ...

Spring Vegetable Pasta with Butter and Parmesan Nage

Recipe by Trey Foshee, executive chef, George’s at the Cove I cook at home just like everyone else cooks at home — I look in the fridge and see what’s in there. But I have ...

White Asparagus Soup

Recipe by Stéphane Voitzwinkler, executive chef, Bertrand at Mister A’s I am from Alsace-Lorraine, which is east of Paris, so I am a country boy. I am very simple and live a simple life. I ...

Oysters Rockefeller

Recipe by Deborah Scott, executive chef at Island Prime, Kemo Sabe, and Indigo Grill. I’m from the South, so I love ribs and side dishes like spoon bread, which hardly anyone out here is familiar ...

Halibut with Herb Hash

Recipe by Christian Graves, executive chef, JSix Restaurant. I like to cook whole things — chickens, ducks, fish. Whatever the boys will eat. If my kids have some part in the whole act, they are ...

Rockin' Baby Boomers

Girls don’t care if you’re old, skinny, and wrinkled.

By half past nine, all of the pool tables at Bar Leucadian are taken, and fortysomething couples line the bar like birds on a wire. They are exposing an inordinate amount of cleavage and chest ...

Coronado Saved Me

When I was 28, and a man much too old for me had again broken my heart, I spent most of my free time in the car, as if I could outrun my sadness. Many ...