The 2020 San Diego County Fair is canceled, and it has left thousands of seasonal workers without a gig. Dozens of fair vendors are now coming up with ways on how to survive without the fair.
Del Mar Fairgrounds executive chef, Barry Schneider, managed to save a few roles with a creative new food service.
“We have over 400 events a year here and of course the fair is one of our biggest,” said Schneider.
With no events to cook for Schneider created “Del Mar Meals on the Go” allowing him to staff at least eight employees.
“We’re not going to be bringing back about 100 seasonal employees right now,” he said. “We’re just doing what we can right now to service the community and keep it going.”
The pick-up service offers ready to go gourmet meals Monday through Friday between noon and 6 p.m.
Schneider said he hopes “Del Mar Meals on the Go” can keep running through the stay at home order, otherwise he’s looking at his entire team being furloughed.
Popular fair vendor Chicken Charlie’s runs at least five stands across the County Fair, and it’s where Charlie Boghosian got his very first job.
“That was 37 years ago and I’m still there,” Boghosian said with a laugh. “I love the San Diego County fair, it’s in my blood.”
This will be the first San Diego County Fair Boghosian will miss and Chicken Charlie’s is already feeling the loss.
“Our whole life is based around the fair, so the money we make at the fair pays all our bills all year long,” said Boghosian.
Boghosian has a Rancho Bernardo restaurant where he is offering take-out and delivery.
“You’re getting a good two to 300 people on a great day where at the fair you’re getting 50 to 60,000 to 100,000 people a day. You can’t compare the money it’s not even in the same ballpark,” said Boghosian.
Despite the challenge, Chicken Charlie’s owner has some fair themed plans cooking.
“We’re going to start offering fair food, we’re going to do turkey legs, cotton candy, triple decker’s,” Boghosian shared excitedly. “I’m gonna do it right here and we’re gonna have deep-fried saltwater taffy!”
Boghosian said customers can check Chicken Charlie's social media sites with announcements of their special fair foods.