Thursday, June 7, 2012

Living Coast Discovery Center Food & Wine Benefit

Did you know that there’s a marine nature center in Chula Vista? Me neither. Well, there is one, and it’s quite a nice one at that. Going to the Living Coast Discovery Center event, “Where the Wild Things Are Food and Wine Classic” made me realize that I need to be a little less centrally focused. San Diego is a big place – I should go out and experience more of the surrounding area and the offerings therein.

The Living Coast Discovery Center (LCDC) is a wildlife refuge tucked into the marshlands of Chula Vista. Their center is small, but quite impressive, combining artwork and wildlife. Check out the sculptures created with “washed ashore” items, such as plastic bottles, flip flops, sand buckets, and other “trash”. Marvelous; I love upcycling! They're all about conservation, people, and so it's thoroughly an organization that I want to support.


I actually had to tear myself away from admiring the art and the animals to sample the offerings from the vendors present. I mean, there were handlers walking around with OWLS!

Okay, on to the food and wine. There were more vendors of food, wine, beer, and liquor than I could count. All amazing, and running the course from appetizers and aperatifs to main courses and robust wines and beers, to desserts and spirits.

Check out this cupcake from Allures. Based on the Lemon Drop drink (a shot of vodka followed by eating a sugared lemon wedge), this cupcake combines the two with a small vial of premium vodka followed by a mini lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting. Wonderfully inventive and tasty!

Another favorite was the ceviche from Karina’s, featuring both a shrimp and avocado ceviche and a traditional fish. Both were so fresh-tasting and delicious. I could eat a bucket of this stuff!

Oh, and steak, chicken and potatoes from Roberto DePhillippi’s. Everyone seemed very excited by the fresh steak and decadent mashed potatoes.

I loved the wines from Quigley, a distributor that features fine European wines. Lovely chardonnay, and I’m not a chardonnay drinker. Very crisp and clean. I also loved both the name and the wine from Cinnabar. I think that my mom wore a perfume named Cinnabar in the 80s.

Another favorite was Barrio Logan Winery. They had a great, fun attitude, and presented a nice table red wine.

Cinnabar Wines

Of course, no wine tasting would be truly complete without wines from Trader Joe’s and Sprouts. Seriously, I buy most of my wines from these establishments. Some of the best, cheap wines come from their wide selections, and most are under $10.

And the beer! There was apple and pear cider from Magner’s, cans from Tailgate (cans are the future!), and two European brews from Mechant du Vin, among others.

Sushi on a Roll
There were also demonstrations from renowned chefs, demonstrating their special offering. A nice chance to relax and be entertained (particularly if you’re a Food Network junkie that loves watching pro chefs in action!)

A silent auction was held featuring some interesting prizes.

Deeeeeeelicious gourmet olive oils and balsamic vinegars from Leonardo o Roberto Gourmet Blends!!! Their white balsamics are to die for!!!

Interaction with the animals! There was a shark and ray feeding, which I declined (I’m a little skittish), but my husband did. The feeding was very telling that the animals are extremely well-kept. The rays were simply uninterested in the fish that my husband held!

I'm normally not a fan of meringues, but these from Meringues Light were excellent, and only 4 calories!!!

Always a classic: a shrimp taco from Rubios.

All in all, a very, very enjoyable event! I will certainly go back to the Center, and now I have a list of new places to visit and try out for full courses!!!!
June 07, 2012 / by / 0 Comments

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