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Two weeks ago, I reported chef Daniel Barron's departure from Blue Point Coastal Cuisine. I also shared the opinion that he'd never seemed a conventional fit for that restaurant due to his affinity for futuristic molecular gastronomy. After doing so, I began to ponder what the proper local venue might be for this forward-thinker. To be honest, I felt stumped.

Perhaps he did, too, for his next cheffing venture will not involve a restaurant...at least not at first. Barron is teaming with Urban Chicken and Indulge Contemporary Catering owner, Flor Franco, and KITCHEN 1540's standout pastry chef, Jeff Bonilla, to form Evolve, a multi-faceted confluence of modernist cuisine and organic ingredients. The aforementioned trio will work together and with a network of other culinary professionals to present Barron's cutting edge dishes to small to mid-size groups via an array of formats.

Evolve clients can choose to venture to the group's home base at Chula Vista, where a pair of exhibition kitchens await - one pastry and one modernistt (decked out with space-age gadgets, liquid nitrogen, powders, gels, etc.). Willing participants can also choose to meet at one of Evolve's numerous "premier locations" or have Evolve come to them at their residences. In either case, Evolve will provide decorative touches and a trained wait staff. As far as the food goes, clients can choose from various pre-existing Evolve menus or work with the culinary team so they can develop something that meets the personal tastes of the party.

Evolve's first event will be a pop-up at The Wellington in Mission Hills on March 6. A series of other events will follow throughout the month. Eventually (within a year's time), the Evolve team hopes to open a restaurant of their own. For now, the dual-kitchen space they call home is located at 277 Third Avenue.

photo: Flor Franco

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