Jake's Del Mar Chef Earns Top Honors at Food Fest | NBC 7 San Diego

Jake's Del Mar Chef Earns Top Honors at Food Fest

Chef Duvinh Ta won the coveted "Chef of the Fest" title

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    Chef Duvinh Ta of Jake's Del Mar was named "Chef of the Fest" at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.

    San Diego’s top chefs sliced, simmered and sautéed Saturday for the chance to be named “Chef of the Fest” at the 11th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.

    In the end, Chef Duvinh Ta of Jake’s Del Mar beat out 35 cooking competitors to win the coveted title.

    His culinary creation – dry rubbed pork ribs with sambal BBQ sauce and watermelon radish and zucchini slaw – wooed a panel of celebrity judges, which included Executive Chef of Culinary Operations at SeaWorld Axel Dirolf and RJ Cooper, owner of the innovative and ultra-modern Rogue 24 in Washington, D.C.

    The judges evaluated each dish based on presentation, flavor, innovation, quality of product and preparation in the allotted time. The panel did not know which chef created which entrée.

    Chef Ta, a San Diego native, went to college to be an aerospace engineer before following his culinary calling. He started cooking with fresh seafood and local ingredients at Jake’s Del Mar in 2005 and was promoted to executive chef in 2013.

    Ta received a bounty of prizes for his win, including features in “Cooking Light” and “Dining Out” magazines, swag from Big Green Egg and Calphalon and more.

    Inside the Grand Tasting at the SDBWFFInside the Grand Tasting at the SDBWFF

    Festival attendees cast votes via text message for the People’s Choice Award. Chef James Montejano of the Med at La Valencia Hotel won over the crowd with his seafood trilogy: Opah prosciutto, seared kajiki, sake, plum sauce, coconut foam and uni crème brulee.

    Chef Rich Sweeney of R-Gang Eatery in Hillcrest took top honors at last year’s event.

    This year’s festival attracted 5,000 foodies and wine aficionados to the Embarcadero, and we can’t wait to see what’s on tap for next year. Mark your calendars for Nov. 15-22, 2015.

    Sights and Sounds of the SDBWFF Grand TastingSights and Sounds of the SDBWFF Grand TastingWine and delicious eats were the theme at the 11th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival’s Grand Tasting event on Nov. 22, 2014. The party boasted samplings of hundreds of wines and spirits, plus decadent dishes from some of San Diego’s finest chefs. (Published Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014)

    Complete List of Winners from the 2014 San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

    1st Place
    Duvinh Ta – Jake’s Del Mar
    Dry Rubbed Pork Ribs | Sambal BBQ Sauce | Watermelon Radish | Zucchini Slaw

    2nd Place
    Todd Nash – Bub’s At The Ballpark
    House-Smoked Pork Collar BLT: House-Smoked Pork Collar Bacon| Tomato Jam | Frisée | Quail Egg | Kewpie Mayo | Sweet Role

    3rd Place
    Alex Carballo – URBN Coal Fired Pizza
    Pork Rojo Street Tacos: Pork Braised in Ancho Chili Sauce | Cilantro Slaw | Avocado Crema

    4th Place
    Chef Kappa – Bang Bang
    Tuna Tartare Tacos: Crispy Wonton Shells | Garlic Ginger Ponzu | Marinated Tuna Tartare | Guacamole Espuma | Micro Cilantro

    5th Place
    Aron Schwartz – Marina Kitchen
    Roasted Butternut Squash Soup | Smoked Brisket

    Honorable Mention
    Tomas Baistrocchi – Avant
    Uni Panna Cotta | Cauliflower | Lardo

    Honorable Mention
    Brandon Fortune – Kitchen 1540
    Chicken n’ Dumplings

    Honorable Mention
    Jon Sloan / Richard Blais – Juniper & Ivy
    Sunchoke Bark | Uni | Matsutake | Smoke

    Honorable Mention
    James Montejano – La Valencia Hotel
    Seafood Trilogy: Opah Prosciutto | Seared Kajiki | Sake | Plum Sauce | Coconut Foam | Uni Crème Brulee (Also People's Choice Award Winner)

    Honorable Mention
    Abe Botello – West Coast Tavern
    Pork Belly & Waffles: Bourbon Smoked Maple Syrup | Garlic Butter & Bacon

    Vegetarian/Raw Category
    Francesca Penoncelli – BiCE Ristorante
    Piava Cheese | Delicate Chestnut Honey Tempura | Tomato Jam

    Meat Category
    Todd Nash – Bub’s At The Ballpark
    House-Smoked Pork Collar BLT: House-Smoked Pork Collar Bacon | Tomato Jam | Frisée | Quail Egg | Kewpie Mayo | Sweet Role

    Poultry Category
    Brandon Fortune – Kitchen 1540
    Chicken n’ Dumplings

    Seafood Category
    Chef Kappa – Bang Bang
    Tuna Tartare Tacos: Crispy Wonton Shells | Garlic Ginger Ponzu | Marinated Tuna Tartare | Guacamole Espuma | Micro Cilantro

    Dessert Category
    Derek Jaeger– The Cravory
    Persian inspired Cookies and Cream: Saffron Vanilla Ice Cream | Ginger Oil | Honey Pistachio Cookie | Pistachio Brittle, Fleur de Sel
     

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