The Padres will eat well on opening day! Known for his eclectic fusion of Italian cooking techniques that he demonstrates daily at East Village's TOAST Enoteca & Cucina and the Gaslamp's Acqua Al 2 Executive Chef Martin Gonzalez will be stepping to the plate at the Padre’s clubhouse to fuel the Padres post-game hunger on April 9 after they take on the San Francisco Giants. This year marks Gonzalez’ eight consecutive years cooking for the team.
This year’s post opening day game menu will include a baby kale salad tossed with homemade raspberry dressing, cranberries, pine nuts, crispy pancetta and goat cheese; bow tie pasta with tomato, pancetta, onions, red pepper and grated Parmesan cheese; pan-roasted chicken breast with cremini mushrooms, garlic and white wine sauce; and a hand carved filet mignon with a balsamic vinegar glaze. Most offerings are found in Acqua al 2's restaurant menu and are available for guests to savor.
“The guys really enjoy the food,” said Gonzalez. “Cooking for them is a treat. If everyone likes the food, that’s the best feeling you can get as a chef.”
When he’s not working at Acqua Al 2 or TOAST Enoteca & Cucina, Gonzalez can be found with his wife and three children in San Diego, where they are both involved supporting numerous local foundations. Gonzalez’s background includes extensive training and education into traditional Italian cooking techniques. After learning from Acqua Al 2’s Florentine Executive Chef Stefano Innocenti, he opened Acqua Al 2 in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter in September 2000, the restaurant’s international sister location.
After almost ten years, Gonzalez has established Acqua Al 2 as a favorite Italian cuisine destination for locals and visitors alike. In 2010, Gonzalez opened his second Italian restaurant, Toast Enoteca & Cucina in the charming neighborhood of East Village San Diego. The restaurant and wine bar offers up to 400 wines at a time, typically difficult to find in San Diego.