A few months ago, we asked you who has the best sushi in town. You voted for Harney Sushi in our Golden Local debate, and apparently the folks at Southern California's Largest Wine and Food Festival agreed.
Chef Anthony Sinsay of Harney Sushi won first place in the "Chef of the Fest" competition for his Sou Vide Kabocha with Kabocha Puff, Kabocha Panna Cotta, Carbonated Citrus and "malty" truffle air.
The 2009 San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival featured 170 world-class wineries and spirit producers, 70 of San Diego’s award-winning fine dining restaurants and plenty of satisfied San Diegans. Attendees paid their ticket fee to taste wonderful wines and eat amazing food.
"The 'Chef of the Fest' Competition sheds light on some true culinary innovation taking place in San Diego, and gives food-loving attendees the chance to sample from the city's best chefs,” the Festival's co-producer Michelle Metter said.
A field of 40 chefs was narrowed down to a group of 10 finalists and five category winners:
- 2nd Place Winner: Chef Paul McCabe of Kitchen 1540 for his Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly, BBQ Consommé, Organic Root Vegetable Salad and Pickled Mustard Vinaigrette
- 3rd Place Winner: Chef Jeff Rossman of Terra Restaurant & Catering for his Shrimp Mojito with Avocado Wasabi Sorbet
- 4th Place Winner: Chef Eric Sarkisian of Tom Ham's Lighthouse for his Scallops and Oysters Cortez with Chipotle Burre Blanc, Avocado Pico de Gallo, Cotija Cheese and Micro Cilantro
- 5th Place Winner: Chef Eric Bauer of Anthology for his House Ground Braised Duck Ragout with Parisienne Style Herb Gnocchi and Parmigiano Reggiano Broth.
"The panel of 20 judges had a very difficult time narrowing down the chefs to just a top 10, let alone pick out a winner," said Head Judge Chef William Ramsey. "The chefs this year really came prepared with top notch cuisine that showcased the best in innovative, fresh and creative cooking in San Diego.”
Judges graded each restaurant with a point system including scores for presentation, flavor, innovation, quality of product, and preparation in the allotted time.
Chef Anthony Sinsay of Harney Sushi walked away with nearly $50,000 in cash and prizes.