THE CHANCE TO GATHER... among people who love trying new flavors, and pondering ingredients, and getting to know each other, and getting to know a new-to-them chef, if indeed they don't know the person behind the menu? All while sitting on one of California's most picturesque terraces at a hotel of noble note? It's a delicious daydream that can only be further enhanced by the warmer evenings that flow from April through to September. But this foodie fantasy becomes real, once every month, beginning on Thursday, April 12 when the brand-new Artisan Table Series opens at The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla. If you know the pretty landmark inn, then you know its A.R. Valentien Terrace, a sublime place to enjoy a multi-course supper. And that's just what's in store for the series, which will be helmed by Executive Chef Jeff Jackson and visited by guest chefs, masters "... who will work with The Lodge's culinary team to craft a unique menu or explore a culinary theme."
IT'S A 40-PERSON AFFAIR, with a cost of $165 ("inclusive of tax and fees"), and Chef Kara Snyder of Tender Greens is up first, on April 12. The theme is "Local farms' spring harvest," with green garlic flan and charred green tomatoes with salsa verde making showings on the menu. Coming up? There's more in May, with a theme of Indian, Thai, and Malaysian-inspired cuisine, with visiting Chef Timothy Kolanko, and French in June, as a tribute to the memory of Chef Paul Bocuse (Chef Drew Deckman will be in the house). For more about the series, the menus, the lovely terrace, and The Lodge at Torrey Pines, visit the page now and read up, dream up, then prepare to tuck that napkin in for one of the gourmet-iest, alfresco-elegant-est to-dos of the spring and summer.