Festival Honors San Diego's Favorite Fish Monger | ReCappin' San Diego Chefs Salute Tommy Gomes

March 1, 2014

San Diego's best chefs love him.  They respect and trust him.  They depend on him.  Tommy Gomes is the face of Catalina Offshore Products, a wholesale and retail fish supplier that stocks more than 30 local restaurants with the freshest seafood in town, but he is so much more than that to so many.  On Sunday, February 23, our culinary community came together to honor him at a delicious event entitled San Diego Chefs Salute Tommy Gomes.  A pair of breweries, a master mixologist, and over 15 area chefs and food purveyors gathered with 100 or so attendees at Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley where Tommy Gomes was paid tribute the best way possible - with a party featuring scrumptious dishes, desserts, craft beers and cocktails!

Carnitas' Snack Shack's pork wing
Organized by the Handlery bad boys - Gus Thompson & Executive Chef Karl Prohaska - this event was the most recent in Handlery's lineup of awesome and intimate gatherings, which include the Mission Valley Craft Beer & Food Fest and several other smaller festivals and themed dinners, each of which ensures that attendees leave satiated with high quality eats and San Diego's finest libations.

For San Diego Chefs Salute Tommy Gomes, attendees were offered unlimited samplings of various dishes, as well as beer fills from Societe Brewing, Mike Hess Brewing, and cocktails from Ian Ward of Picks & Rocks.  Highlights from the food offerings included Chef Hanis Cavin's of Carnitas' Snack Shack BBQ pork wing with housemade kimchi, R Gang Eatery's (and soon Florent's) Chef Rich Sweeney's delicious tuna casserole ravioli, and Wellington Steak House's short rib empanada, to name a few; but in all honesty, everything tasted was quite impressive.

Sam the Cooking guy crackin' wise
Toward the end of the afternoon, chefs, friends, Sam the Cooking Guy, and even Tommy's daughter stood at attention to cheers, salute, and gently roast the man of the hour.  Then it was time for Tommy himself to take to stage. Being a man's man, he made it a point to fight back his tears, but his overwhelming appreciation toward his friends, family and peers shined through as he thanked the loyal crowd. 

San Diego Chefs Salute Tommy Gomes was a great event to honor a humble and hardworking man. As is always the case with Handlery events, a lot of heart and pride was devoted to this event, even more so than usual this time around. 

Be sure to follow Mission Valley Craft Beer & Food Fest on Facebook to stay updated on more events and happenings at Handlery, and check out the photos below to see what you missed!

Chef Karl's seared scallop over Tobiko risotto with a pickled oyster
Small Bar's crabcake bike
Chef Rich Sweeney's tuna casserole fried ravioli
Chef Daniel Barron's Éclair
Encore Champagne Room did pâté

Chef Alex Carballo's smoked fish tostada
Chef Daniel Barron of La Valencia making ice cream on the spot
Cupcakes squared!
Uni rice pudding
Wellington Steak House's empanada