Ayesha Curry isn’t letting recent bad publicity — or her husband, NBA Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry’s highly-anticipated NBA Finals run — distract her from growing her booming food business.
The renowned restaurateur, in partnership with Michelin award-winning chef Michael Mina, is opening the fourth installment of her International Smoke restaurant chain, to be located in One Paseo in Del Mar, this summer.
Part of the inspiration behind bringing International Smoke, known for its grilled and smoked meats, to San Diego was the accessibility to good local produce and meat, according to Curry.
“After I had my first child, that is when I started to pay more attention to sourcing local produce, where things come from, how things are grown and harvested,” said Curry, a mother of three.
Mina, who has helped Curry with the launch of International Smoke in Houston, Texas, San Francisco, and Aventura, Florida, agreed, adding that being that San Diego is a foodie town was also a driving force.
“We really look at the clientele because, in our industry, it is a lot more fun to be in a place where people really appreciate great food and what it takes to source products and really create and execute at a high level,” he said.
Curry and Mina consider their competitors and inspirations to be Herb & Wood and Juniper & Ivy.
In terms of North County and in close proximity to One Paseo, Curry and Mina said North Italia (also located at One Paseo) and Searsucker (located across the street) are two restaurants to watch.
Some of International Smoke’s top menu items include Korean-style smoked short rib, the pork ribs al pastor and the whole wood grilled branzino with tomatoes and olive oil, said Mina. Ayesha’s signature is her cornbread with coconut soup recipe, the latter a play on chili. International Smoke will also offer vegan and vegetarian wood fire items, said Mina.
The San Diego International Smoke location will have a 6,200 square foot interior and 2,000 square foot patio. It will seat 288 and will employ 104 locally.