Scenes from the 4th Annual Chef Celebration Artisan Food & Craft Beer Festival

Photo by Kelly Orange
May 6, 2014

On Sunday, May 4, the grand finale of this year's Chef Celebration dinner series took place in the gorgeous gardens of Stone World Bistro Liberty Station. The 4th Annual Artisan Food & Craft Beer Festival featured 12 chefs cooking up 12 delicious dishes, each carefully paired with one of 12 local beers, all for a great cause - funding a scholarship that sends 12 aspiring San Diego culinarians for training at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley.

During the Chef Celebration festival, attendees were able to explore Stone's beautifully designed outdoor space, listen to fantastic live music from local, two-man band, Stepping Feet (which was played from a stage constructed over one of Stone's fountains), and enjoy unlimited tastes of a dozen small-bite courses paired with craft beers by Stone Brewing Co.'s craft beer ambassador and certified ciserone 'Dr.' Bill Sysak.  

Stepping Feet during an acoustic rendition of
Metallica's One
Chef Celebration is a non-profit organization made up of local chefs that come together each April to host weekly, multi-course dinners, a fundraising effort that culminates with the Artisan Food & Craft Beer Festival. Chef Celebration's efforts work to strengthen the culinary culture of San Diego by expanding the repertoire of our own, local, aspiring chefs, a team of which is sent each year to hone their skills at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. In attendance cooking at this year's festival were numerous past recipients of the Chef Celebration scholarship, many of whom personally relayed how beneficial that experience was to them.

We tried our best to photograph each dish for the sensory pleasure of those who couldn't make it to the event. Check them out below, and be sure to visit Chef Celebration online, make a donation and follow on Facebook & Twitter to stay apprised of their future fundraising efforts.
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station: Chef Tom Connolly - Bacon Gremolata crusted fried poached egg, frisee and asparagus salad paired with Stone Liberty Station Witty Moron
The Wild Thyme Company: Chef Dawn Parks - Roasted leg of lamb, stuffed with Spanish chorizo, currants & swiss chard, basted with Aged Sherry Vinegar & EVOO /grilled spring onions, charred onion petals, romesco / Patatas Bravas in spicy tomato sauce paired with Stone Smoke Porter with Chipotle Pepper
Sycuan Casino & Resort / Sadie Rose Bakery - Cider Short Rib, apple risotto, barley relish paired with Stone Liberty Station Mimic
Waypoint Public: Chef Amanda Baumgarten - Baby Crab Cake Benedict on a pretzel bun with a smoked tomato hollandiase paired with Matt’s Burning Rosids
Handlery Hotel: Chef Karl Prohaska - Smoked halibut, losch braised onions, egg yolk, confetti microgreens, and sweet potato vinaigrette paired with Stone Saison
The Crossings Carlsbad: Chef Justin Cullimore - hops-cured pork belly-pickled Fresno Chili, quinoa salad, smoked paprika vinaigrette paired with Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
Encore Champagne Bar & Dining Room: Chef Ryan Studebaker - Hiramasa crudo: Blood orange, tarragon, avocado, hazelnut, and smoked salt - paired with Cali Belgique aged in Red Wine Barrels
BlueFire Grill: Chef Greg Frey Jr. - Ricotta and Fava bean angolotti – fava tedrils, green garlic, genovese basil, tuscan pork ragu - paired with Hess Habitus Rye IPA
Monkey Paw/Small Bar/Hamilton's: Chef Karen Blair - Swordfish Birria street taco paired with Stone Enjoy By 5.16.14
Smokehouse BBQ/Carnitas Snack Shack: Chef Hanis - BBQ baby back ribs/ Ivan’s BBQ sauce/ bacon potato salad paired with Smog City Brewing Saber Toothed Squirrel

Table #10: Chef Jason Gethin - roasted wild mushrooms, anson mills grits, grilled ramp vinaigrette, parmesan foam paired with Rip Current Rip Ryeder Red Session IPA
Tom Ham’s Lighthouse: Chef Lance Repp - swordfish bacon slider with whole grain aioli, pickled onion, and cilantro on sweet rolls paired with Societe The Widow
Chef Celebration Foundation: Scholarship Recipient Collaboration - Chimayo Chile braised pork cheeks, white cheddar cheese curd cornbread, bacon masa “tots”