Hello everyone, I know the last few segments have been about me going on a tirade about things that bug me, so today I will be blogging about something I LOVE!!!! I LOVE SUPPORTING LOCAL EVERYTHINGS!!!! By that I mean music, community events, farmer’s markets etc. I think that if you support your community it makes your community that much stronger. Living in San Diego makes doing this easy; everyday out here there is something going on. Any given day out here you can find open mics, street vendors, street fairs, food trucks, and just about every day you can find a farmer’s market somewhere. So I think I will be talking about them first.
I live in the North Park area of San Diego and my favorite FM (farmer’s market) is at North Park Way between 32nd Street and Herman, South of CVS. It goes on Thursdays from 3 pm to 7 pm, and there are so many cool vendors to see. You can find some of the freshest fruits and veggies, usually picked at their peak freshness and at a really reasonable price too! Along with that there are always some great fish and meat vendors selling top quality products. I went there a few weeks ago and picked up some live stone crab at a buy 1 get 1 rate, (they were pretty good even though there wasn’t a whole lot to them) 5 bucks for the two of them so I couldn’t pass them up! On that same trip and the main reason my wife and I went, were the food trucks!!!!
There was one in particular that really caught our attention…. FOOD FARM!!!! They had us from jump. Their street guy or hype man was exactly that, full of energy and very easy to talk to without being obnoxious. The truck is run by Chef Kari Rich, who was trained at Le Cordon Bleu California and worked under some amazing chefs. Here is her website bio from http://www.foodfarmsd.com
Chef Kari Rich began her career with a degree and training at Le Cordon Bleu California. Chef Richs’ fine dining premier was at the landmark Top o the Cove Restaurant in La Jolla, where she studied under great chefs Alaine Redelsperger currently of Chez Michel in San Francisco, and Paul McCabe, currently of Kitchen 1540. Chef Rich progressed from an intern to the Lead Line Cook within the first year. From Top o the Cove she followed McCabe to Star of the Sea in Downtown San Diego where she further honed her skills in French, Mediterranean, Asian, and South American cuisines under the direction of Executive Chef Jesse Paul. When the famed Star closed its doors, Chef Rich went on to be Executive Sous Chef of Optimal Nutrition Inc. while doing Personal Catering for pro-athletes. Before opening the restaurant of Voyeur Night Club (Revolver) she worked at many fine dining restaurants and headed kitchens in the LA area before she took a job as Pastry Manager at Jack’s La Jolla. Executive Chef Rich has a passion for preparing local, organic, and sustainable food from scratch and is excited to bring her food to hungry San Diegans via FOOD FARM!
She works with her husband Dave Rich (the best food truck hype man I’ve ever met), and Xocihtl (its pronounced “so-chee” crazy huh? She was such a sweetheart), she helps cook, takes orders, and she is the 5’2” (actual size may vary lol! But she is a shorty!!) glue that helps make the Food Farm family what they are….a trio of wonderful! Together they make FOOD FARM a food truck that serves healthy and really delicious food. For us the dish of choice were the sliders, you get 2 with blue cheese, mixed greens, mustard marinated onions (which brings this beautiful sweetness to the burger that I normally wouldn’t go for but WOW is it great!), and delicious grass fed beef. If you haven’t had grass fed beef you are missing out on a damn near orgasmic experience.
They were delicious; we actually had them add Swiss cheese to one and bacon to both (duh!!! Bacon is a total no brainer!!!). The only problem was that I didn’t have an endless supply of sliders to walk around with. SOOOO FRICKIN GOOD!!!! Dave and Kari are expecting a baby girl in September. CONGRATS AND GOOD LUCK!!! Please go out and see Chef Kari, Xochitl, and Dave at the North Park Farmers Market. Here they are explaining their vision, and what a tasty vision it is!!
Another local thing that I love is musicians, and over the last few months my wife and I have been going to a lot local artist showcases here in San Diego. By going to these shows we have actually been able to meet a lot of the artists and develop friendships. There is so much local talent it’s hard to believe. The singer/songwriter community in SD is a pretty down to earth group. They are all so happy to meet fans since most of them are trying to make it big, but I think it’s mostly because a lot of them are genuinely great people! There are a few of them that we have been following lately, and with very good reason….THEY ARE PRETTY AMAZING!!! Some of them will be showcased here with their websites and a few videos. All of these videos are ones that I have taken from various local shows.
One of the more recent show/local event/benefits that my wife and I attended was the “Farm to Table Brunch at Seabreeze Organic Farm” in Solana Beach, CA. We heard about the function through our friend and local musician Dawn Mitschele (http://dawnmitschele.com/). She is an extremely talented singer songwriter that we met at a show at “Across the Street” aka Mueller Massage School in SD. She’s got a folky vibe that is super sweet and really easy on the ears…SHE IS DAMN GOOD. To be honest she is actually hands down one of my favorite female singer songwriters that most people have probably never heard of, because they don’t take the time to support local music. Please take time to visit her site and give her a listen! I can pretty much give her album “IN THE MOONLIGHT’ the newly coveted (as of right now) “GOLDEN PENGUIN”, because I can listen to it over and over, and first song to last without skipping any tracks, while being totally satisfied in the whopping 10 bucks I spent on it (basically stole it for that price).
So at this brunch, filled with delicious food, farm tours and silent auctions (all benefiting the Sea Breeze Farm) there were great performances by local acts. Dawn of course being one of those performers got to sing with a friend of hers…you might know him as Mr. A-Z or by his superstar name Jason Mraz. That’s right the local boy gone universal was accompanying Ms. Mitschele in a beautiful rendition of “Across The Universe” by the Beatles (you know that little group from across the pond). They really sounded great together, but when you have artists of their caliber together you shouldn’t expect anything less. Here is the video of them, enjoy!
After all the performances were done we got the chance to meet Jason and he was so nice. We gave him a bracelet that means a lot to us from a company that does a lot for the community. The company is called Every Monday Matters (http://everymondaymatters.com/). The basics thought of that company is that every day (not just Mondays) is a day to do something that matters to someone (everyone needs to be about this company and should go to the site to see what they are all about). My wife and I both think that not only Jason but all of the artist are doing something that matters to so many people by bringing music to our hearts. Along with the bracelet I gave Mr. Mraz my blog address so hopefully he will give it a read and send a comment (fingers crossed).
There are 3 other performers that I want to let you all know about and the only reason I am lumping them together is because you usually don’t see one without the other two too far behind. They each stand very well on their own as well. Their names are John Hull (http://www.johnhullmusic.com/Main/Home.html), Kenny Eng (http://www.kennyeng.com/) and Rob Deez (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rob-Deez/70404533033). These guys each have their own distinct sound as you will read and see.
John Hull has a pop/acoustic sound that is easy listening no matter what age. His music is great to sing along with and the lyrics are insightful and playful. He does a lot of shows at Lestat’s Coffee House on 3343 Adams Ave San Diego, CA 92116 (http://www.lestats.com/main.htm as do the other guys) and has a loyal bunch of followers. Some of them have been long time friends and some, like my wife and I along with others, are pleasantly surprised to find new songs from an original artist, who puts his heart into every song. Here is a video for you of John playing "Definition of Insane", it's a song about the TV show Dexter season 2. In this season Dexter meets this crazy chick named Lila that burns her place down to try and lure Dexter into her little crazy web....
Kenny Eng has more of a bluesy vibe. His soul rings out through his fingers as he plays his guitar. His timing and sound are reminiscent of some of the best in blues, jazz, rock and contemporary. His artistry is only met by his kindness. He is genuinely one of the nicest guys I’ve met in a while. Here is a little piece of his bio that you can find on his site (listed above). “What makes Kenny different from so many other artists is the fact that his sound is so hard to categorize. He is equal parts Motown R&B, classic rock and Jeff Buckley but not really any of them at the same time. He can shift from the dark, ominous landscape heard on “The Tongue” to the whimsical, light-hearted “If I See You Again” in a split second. And his own musical tastes are just as varied. At any given performance, Kenny could perform songs by The Beatles to Bill Withers to Radiohead without even batting an eye.” Here is Kenny along with John Hull, Dawn Mitschele, Jason Ford, and Ernie Halter doing a version of “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles at Mueller.
Rob Deez is quite the character. His sound is a cross between Bushwalla, Ray Stevens, Sublime, and Tenacious D. with a mix of some O.D.B. He has this infectious flow that will stick with you and have you humming his hits that he gets paid by the hour to write (song lyric from his song about writing rhymes on the job). While he’s usually the first to let you know that he is no “virtuoso” on the guitar his lyrical skills more than make up for it. They can either make you laugh hysterically or make you relate 100% to the situations he talks about. In my case it’s usually both. “Not A Friend” and “Dear Love” are examples of this. If you haven’t had a chance to catch him you’re in luck because I will give you a taste of Rob Deez here…..hmmm…..never mind! Watch this video of "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and enjoy...
There are so many local music acts out there that everyone should know about and if I wanted this blog to go on for days I would continue, but you see in the title that this is just part 1 of this blog, so please tune in next week for Part 2 of “Support Your Local EVERYTHING” to hear about the rest of the best of local San Diego music and events! So until next time, please support local everythings and be good to yourself! As always subscribe if you like what I have going on here!
-Editor & Chief of The Penguin Gazette,
P.S. I'd love to hear what you think about this topic. Comment below.