Dave Rice 12:38 p.m., May 21
I knew these guys could cook...that's their job! But who knew their interest in alcohol went beyond deglazing and consumption. Even I have to admit to being surprised to find that some of San Diego's most noted chefs are as handy with a jigger and shaker as they are with a spatula and sauté pan.
The proof comes from Quality Social's new Wednesday evening Shift Night events, where back-of-the-house talent from other restaurants cuts out early to moonlight as mixologists at the downtown from-scratch bar/resto starting at 10 p.m.
Several weeks in, Quality Social has hosted the likes of Ricardo Heredia (from Alchemy in South Park), Chad White (North Park's Sea Rocket Bistro), and Craig Jimenez (Craft & Commerce in Little Italy). Each has brought a signature cocktail.
Not surprisingly, the cocktails tend to be pretty culinarily driven. White's Swine Fashioned combined añejo tequilla with "molé bitters" and a garnish of chipotle molasses bacon jam brittle (White sells bacon jam via his side biz, EGO Culinary Trends), while Heredia's Mammajuana Cocktail (I'm not even going there) included a cherry purée and fresh hibiscus.
Future Shift Night participants will include North Parkers Matt Gordan from Urban Solace, Max Bonacci from The Linkery, and John Sloan from Roy's in the UTC Area. Quality Social is located at 789 Sixth Avenue.