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I watch way too much television, but much of it is related to dining and the culinary arts, so when I’m particularly couch-potato, I try to tell myself it’s business related.

Being a frequent viewer of programs on Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, etc., it’s nice to see more San Diego establishments getting their big moment on the small screen. Best of all, it’s usually places that locals don’t hear about all that much, either because they are off the beaten path or they’ve been around doing a good job for so long that they’re no longer considered new and “fresh.”

A restaurant that falls into that second category is Iris Food and Spirits in Del Mar. The Cooking Channel agrees. Iris and owner Tommy Golden’s method for cooking up lamb ribs will be featured on a show called United Tastes of America on October 11 at 7 p.m.

“The most exciting part of the filming was being able to teach at least one important cooking process to people, in this case brining," says Golden. "We are big on using all kinds of food-preserving methods.

"We cure, confit, pickle, and can tons of the stuff on our menu. The most challenging part was being a bit nervous that I would get things right, but in the end we did it all in one take…they told us that rarely happens. Once I got to be in my natural space behind the line cooking, it made a big difference.”

During the taping, Golden drew off his experiences leading classes at Great News, The Kitchen Witch, and other local educational venues. He also offers private in-home cooking classes to epicures looking to take some lessons from him in person. He prefers those because they are much more hands-on than larger group settings.

For those who prefer to sup than study, Iris Food and Spirits is located at Suite D of 2334 Carmel Valley Road.


Iris Food and Spirits' chef Tommy Golden (right) shoots a segment at his restaurant with United Tastes of America host Jeffrey Saad.

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