Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Jan. 31
Where the Wild Things Are
If food and wine are involved, chances are I'm there. Add animals, and you can start placing bets. Though I grew up in Chula Vista, I had only in recent years heard of the Chula Vista Nature Center, and I'd never been there, not before last night. This was their second annual "Food and Wine Classic," a benefit held to raise funds for the center, which is located right off I-5 at the E Street exit.
Who was there? Celebrity chefs Joe Busalacchi, Michael McDonald, Jeff Rossman, and Deborah Scott. There were also guests of honor, such as "HIS" honor, Coronado Mayor Casey Tanaka. I was a bit nervous to run into him, after writing that piece about how I tortured him in Mayoral Maltreatment. Fortunately, the man is as good a sport as I had guessed.
The coolest, most unexpected part of the evening was the display of art aquariums for Art Aquatic -- artists had selected glass works to be paired with certain fish. I spent more time gazing into those tanks than I did sampling the food and drink from vendors, or even getting up close to all of the people-tolerant birds on display. Check out a video of the action right here: