Weekend Preview: Latin Food Fest, Butcher Dinner, Picasso & San Diego Music Thing
September 12, 2013 1:33 p.m.
Candice Woo, Editor, Eater San Diego
David Coddon, Theater Critic, San Diego CityBeat
CAVANAUGH: Good things to eat and drink! Great shows to see, and interesting music to listen to! Now wonder we love living here in San Diego. On this Weekend Preview we explore food and drink festivals, spend a weekend with Picasso, and welcome back the San Diego Music Thing. My guests, Candice Woo is editor at Eater San Diego.
WOO: Thank you, Maureen.
CAVANAUGH: David Codon is here, hi, David.
CODON: Thanks for having me.
CAVANAUGH: The Latin Foodfest!
WOO: It's not only Mexican food. It focuses primarily on that cuisine, but there's food represented from South America, Peru, Nicaragua. A lot of cultures to cover.
CAVANAUGH: Tell us the kinds of food. What will we be able to sample there?
WOO: Well, there's two great special dinners. A local chef, Javier Plascencia, he's cohosting a dinner on Friday night, that's a benefit for the San Diego food bank. That will highlight Mexico, the Caribbean, central and South America.
CAVANAUGH: He's not the only celebrity chef involved.
WOO: No! If people are accustomed to watching Food TV, they might be familiar with Ingrid Hoffman.
CAVANAUGH: And are they going to be cooking? They won't be there just signing their books right?
WOO: They will be doing celebrity chef demonstrations at a grand tasting event on Saturday, which is probably people's best bet to taste everything there is to offer.
CAVANAUGH: What advice do you have for people to really be able to enjoy the wide range of food at events like this? It's easy to get there and sort of eat everything in the first table, and then you're too full!
[ LAUGHTER ]
CAVANAUGH: What should you do?
WOO: I think the first piece of advice would be to skip lunch so you're primed. But I always love to look at the list of chefs and restaurants that are coming and make a little wish list of restaurants I haven't tried before.
CAVANAUGH: Prepare in advance!
>> Exactly. The grand tasting event, there's something like 100 chefs. So you need to plan.
CAVANAUGH: Will there also be music and entertainment?
WOO: I think there'll be some Latin jazz bands playing.
CAVANAUGH: And if you're into spicy food, what else is there to do? Are there any drinks or anything of that nature?
WOO: Well, it is delicious. I think there's this conception that Latin cuisine is predominantly spicy. You'll find lots of things to try. But if you're into wine, there is a Baja wine pavilion that has some great wineries from the vaye de Guadalupe.
CAVANAUGH: And where was it at?
WOO: The grand tasting event is at the Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier.
CAVANAUGH: This is in different venues?
WOO: The dinners are at different restaurants in downtown San Diego.
CAVANAUGH: So check out Latinfoodfest.com.
CAVANAUGH: David, a weekend with Pablo Picasso.
CODON: Three years ago, Herbert Saguenza wrote it, and it was produced as a workshop at the Rep. Then when it became a full-fledged play, it went on the road, it played in Los Angeles, in the bay area, Denver, and now it's back at the San Diego Rep.
CAVANAUGH: Tell us about the star. What is he known for?
CODON: For being 1/3 of and a cofounder of Culture Clash, which is a group that I really think so highly of. They are from the Bay Area, they combine comedy, theater, and commentary. And most of their material is about the Chicano experience, not only in California but around the country. And they have produced and written many shows about the Chicano culture in many city, including San Diego. They did a show called Border Town. And Herbert is 1/3 of culture clash.
CAVANAUGH: Tell us about this show.
CODON: Picasso is almost 50 at this time, and he's living in France. And the premise is quite interesting. There is apparently some commission he has undertaken in which he has to produce six paintings and three vases in one weekend. That's a lot, even for Picasso. And what should make it extra fun is that even though it is a 1-man show, part of the premise is that these young art students have come to watch him work. And that is the audience. So when he's speaking to the audience, it's as if he's speaking to these young would-be proteges.
CAVANAUGH: One of the fascinating things about this, Saguenza actually paints on stage.
CODON: He does. He is a very accomplished parent. If you go to the San Diego Rep for any show a lot of times, you can see his work on the wall in the lobby there. What he's going to do for this show would be to call it faux Picassos. He's going to paint in Picasso's manner. And that sounds -- who could do that? And I'm sure Herbert would say not even he can do it. But I've seen some of the works he's produced on stage in this production, and I think they're going to certainly harken to the real thing, and that's going to make it all the more interesting to the audience.
CAVANAUGH: Fascinating. What do you think the audience is going to learn about Picasso from this product?
CODON: Two things: One is how compulsive Picasso really was, that he would have the audacity to take on a commission like this. And second of all, and Herbert I'm sure will bring this to the fore, is a sense of humor. A lot of people think of Picasso as obviously a tremendous artist, but he was a womanizer, and a romantic, and somewhat of a brooder. And I think we're going to see the humanness and the humor come out in this show.
CAVANAUGH: Interesting. It runs true October 6th at the San Diego Rep lyceum space. Candice, the heart and trotter butcher's dinner! This is happening at sea and smoke in Del Mar.
WOO: They're collaborating with sea and smoke's chef owner Matt Gordon and calling the dinner Turf by the Surf. So chef Gordon is doing a four-course meal featuring local animals. And the butchery folks will be breaking down a four quarter of beef live for the audience.
CAVANAUGH: Right before your very eyes!
[ LAUGHTER ]
CAVANAUGH: Are these butcher dinners becoming popular?
WOO: They really are. People are becoming more and more interested in where their food comes from. And going to a dinner and meeting the farmer, the fishermen really helps bring the food closer to you. And I think the events are so numerous that they add an element like a demo makes it more appealing.
CAVANAUGH: I would imagine this is not for the faint of heart though! What are you actually going to see?
WOO: Well, I think we all need to learn that food doesn't come in a --?
Doesn't come from a supermarket in a plastic bag?
[ LAUGHTER ]
WOO: Right. And butchering is really a lost art that we don't see nowadays. And these are two young guys that want to bring that back. And they're hoping to source from ranches within 250 miles of San Diego. So we'll really get to meet our meat.
[ LAUGHTER ]
CAVANAUGH: A local rabbit with card mom parsnip puree.
WOO: Doesn't that sound good?
CAVANAUGH: I don't know!
[ LAUGHTER ]
CAVANAUGH: Tell us about the heart and trot of butchery. This is part of their Kickstarter campaign?
WOO: It's two young local guys who really want to bring back the concept of the neighborhood butcher shop and the craft that goes along with that. One of them trained in Los Angeles at a really well known butcher shop, and they're looking to bring that experience to San Diego. So they're launching a Kickstarter campaign on Sunday that will help them build their shop.
CAVANAUGH: I see! I remember from butcher, because I grew up in New York, they were butchering behind the scenes!
>> No, they're going to do it front and from. And they're going to be doing classes. And they'll also be making things like charcuterie, and cured meats. Salami, pates, terrines.
CAVANAUGH: When will they open?
WOO: They're shooting to be open by Thanksgiving. They're looking right now at some locations in Northpark. Hoping to find something in the heart of the neighborhood. And if they secure something, then by the holidays.
CAVANAUGH: The butcher's dinners, the tickets were not cheap.
WOO: Well, they're $65, not including gratuity, but that's for four big courses, and I think they're doing drink pairings with each course as well.
CAVANAUGH: Okay. Monday September 16th at sea and smoke in Del Mar. David, San Diego Music Thing is back with us.
CODON: This is the sixth time they've done this. I was still working for Night and day when they started this. It originally was the Northpark music thing. It is a combination showcase for musicians and educational seminar. A series of seminars, panels, forums, discussions for musicians to learn about the music industry.
CAVANAUGH: And who are the featured performers this year?
CODON: It runs the gamut. You've got local artist like the Album Leaf and Lil Hurricane, all the way to Graham Rabbit, which is from Joshua Tree, and then the opening night at the Casbah is a group called New Politics, and they are from Denmark. So you have musicians from all over the world.
CAVANAUGH: We have a montage of some the performers.
(Audio Recording Played)
CAVANAUGH: You just heard snippets from hills like elephants, pocket, Lil Hurricane, and a house for lions. This event is mainly for musician; is that right?
CODON: That's how it was conceived. But it's become more than that. First of all, music fans will hear -- you just heard a great sampling of the kinds of music you can hear. And there are other events during the day. If you're not a musichead going to a seminar to learn how to make your own CD, there are trade shows, happy hours, I'm sure merch shows where you can buy the merchandise. So I think the casual music fan can be a terrific time.
CAVANAUGH: And I also read there's an instrument petting zoo.
[ LAUGHTER ]
CODON: I wish I could tell you exactly what that is. I'm going to make a guess and say it's something where you can put your hands on instrument. That would seem obvious. And for people who are interested in being musicians, that's got to be a treat.
CAVANAUGH: There are some change this is year, including where the main event is going to be held.
CODON: The main event is now at the Sheraton, Missions Valley. And lest you think that means the bands have sold out, I think that speaks more to the popularity of this festival, and that they need a space that big. Northpark doesn't really have a space that big at the moment. So I think it signifies that this event is growing. Also you're going to be seeing some venues outside of Northpark where music will be held, including the whistle stop in south park/Golden Hill, and of course the Casbah downtown.
CAVANAUGH: How big a deal is this for the San Diego Music Thing? Is it something that musicians from around town will look forward to all year long?
CODON: It is. And I don't think it gets the acclaim that it really deserves. For a young music, or even just a new musician to have a place where you can go and learn about -- I want to do this. I want to play on a stage. I want to make my own CD, maybe even want to make a little money, but I have no idea about the mechanics of doing that. That is what this offers. Plus there are some featured speakers like Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, who is a goddess to the alternative music fan. She'll be there. And for a young musician to go there and listen to her is special.
CAVANAUGH: September 13th through the 14th. Daytime activities at the Sheraton in Missions Valley, nighttime activities at venues throughout San Diego.