Competing Chefs and Participating Restaurants Announced for I Love Poke Festival | May 30, 2012

May 11, 2012

The I Love Poke Festival has announced an impressive lineup of competing chefs who, along with participating restaurants and food vendors, will be present at this large-scale Hawaiian food and culture-fest, taking place May 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island.

The event’s main focus will be a competition between fifteen top San Diego chefs to create the best poke dish in San Diego. Competing chefs include Justin Shea, Hapa J's; Kari Rich, Food Farm Truck; Kurt Metzger, Kitchen 4140; Antonio Friscia, Gaijin; Simon Dolinky, Saltbox; David Bland, Peohe's; Tommy Fraioli, Sea Rocket Bistro; Syd Marshall, Sushi Foods Catering; Johnny Duran, Top Of The Market; Paul Murphy, Humphrey's Restaurant and Marc Brislin, Blue Wave Bar and Grill.

With the price of admission, attendees will be able to taste each competing chef’s poke creations in both the “Traditional” category (use of tuna required) and the “Any Kine” category (anything goes). Poke (pronounce "POH-keh") is a Hawaiian delicacy traditionally made with raw ahi tuna, cut into cubes and lightly seasoned. In addition to the anticipated poke competition, a bevy of San Diego’s best restaurants and food brands will also provide party-goers with complimentary tastes of Hawaiian, Asian and South Pacific Island-inspired cuisine through an assortment of savory and sweet food and drink. Restaurants will be divided into savory and sweet categories, which the festival has aptly named “Food Land” and “Sweet Land.”

Participating restaurants and food vendors of the savory (Food Land) variety include Gabardine, Isabel’s Cantina, Da Kine’s Catering, Bad Ass Coffee Company, Cups Culinary, Quality Time Catering, King’s Hawaiian Bread, Casanova Fish Tacos, Chris Onolicious Grinds, Pop Chips, Honest Tea. These restaurants’ dishes will include Kalua pig and cabbage, musubi, coffee from Kona, brazil bowls with carnitas, fish tacos, chicken wings, macaroni salad and seafood. King’s Hawaiian Bread will also serve hot dogs in the company’s newest item debuting at the I Love Poke Festival: hot dog buns.

Sweet-oriented restaurants and food vendors of the festival’s “Sweet Land” will include Kam Shave Ice, Chuao Chocolate, Specialty Produce, Sweet Layers, Wahine Kai Shave Ice, Ho’onani Cakes, Kona Kakes, CUPS and more. Sweet treats will vary between shave ice, cupcakes, bon bons, li hing mui fresh fruit and an assortment of cakes and other desserts.

Bali Hai Restaurant is located at 2230 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106. Tickets are available at Connect with the I Love Poke Festival at or