Foodie Fest Encinitas VIP Dinner at Coral Tree Farms

A Friday early evening drive just a couple of exits south of The Kate Stanton Inn seemed to take an eternity with the homeward bound and visitor traffic heading to San Diego for the weekend. But, hidden at the end of a residential community cul de sac is Coral Tree Farm & Nursery. It has been a family-owned and operated business since 1958 and grows heirloom vegetables and organic tropical fruits like avocados, cherimoyas, and guavas. They also sell eggs from their healthy, free pasture flock of heritage breed chickens, raised without antibiotics and eat organic feed. They also offer space for private events like the dinner this evening.

The event began with live music and conversation with table mates. Chef John Gonzales, from Bottaro WoodFired Pizza, prepared three items for the first course.

Tuscan Salad included marinated tri-tip steak grilled in the oven atop spring mixed greens, shaved parmigiano, and freshly made lemon olive oil dressing. The steak was grilled to a perfect medium rare complete with juicy and tender texture. The greens and dressing balanced the dish with slight bitter, sour, and sweet flavors all working together.

Margherita Pizza is topped with crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, sea salt, and olive oil. Simple yet delicious! The crust has a nice texture with a bubbled bottom crust and slightly smoky flavor from the wood burning oven. The sweet tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and herbaceous basil tantalized the taste buds.

Blonde Tomato Pizza is topped with ricotta, fresh heirloom tomatoes, garlic, and parmigiano. This is a pizza that you might not be able to stop eating. Luckily, they only served one slice. The creamy ricotta works well with the garlic and tomato flavors, like lasagna. Mangia!

La Jolla Brewing Company paired their Sunny Jim’s IPA with the first course. It is the flagship IPA with a crisp bitter bite then yields to mild citrus tones. It makes a nice pairing with spring/summer salads as well as being an excellent springtime brew all on its own.

Chef Sonia Tryhane, from Foodiesbysonia, prepared the second course. Brazilian Style Shrimp made with yucca root, coconut milk, and spices served with rice. The dish was very flavorful, also reminiscent of Thai curry with the spices and coconut milk being quite addictive. The yucca root brought the South American flavor to the mix. The shrimp were a little over cooked, but keep in mind, she prepared this banquet style for around 100 people.

Boochcraft paired the Tumeric Tangerine Ginger Kombucha with the second course. It is made with simple ingredients: filtered water, black tea, cold pressed tangerine, turmeric, and ginger juices, and cane sugar. It is brewed like a craft beer can contains healthy probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. The citrus, ginger, and turmeric flavors paired well with the coconut milk and spices from the shrimp.

Chef William Eick, from 608 Mission, prepared the third course. Milk Poached Halibut cooked with peas, confit garlic, and clarified milk/flower tea. This wildly imaginative dish really pushed the boundaries of ways to serve halibut. The milk and poaching process of the halibut gave it a buttery flavor while not waterlogging the flesh of the fish. The peas were the perfect color accent and the fresh pea flavor paired well with the halibut.

Robert Young Estate Winery paired their 2014 Alexander Valley Chardonnay with the third course. It’s a tropical beach vacation in a glass with golden color; mango, papaya, and melon aromatics; kiwi, guava, nectarine, caramel and toasted macadamia flavors on the palate.

Chef Alex Carballo, from MotoDeli, prepared the fourth course. Flat Iron Chimichurri served with a grilled spring vegetable salad. An excellent, tender, juicy flat iron steak grilled to a perfect medium rare. The mix of grilled vegetables worked perfectly with the meat and the herbaceous chimichurri.

Robert Young Estate Winery paired their 2012 Scion Cabernet Sauvignon with the fourth course. This cab is aged in 100% French oak barrels and is a hybrid of California and Bordeaux styles. It is structured and balanced with plenty of fruit notes.

Kate O’Hara, from Brothers Provisions, provided an artisan cheese plate. The double cream brie was amazing with its creamy, buttery texture and flavor spread onto the sliced baguette will send you into cheese heaven.

Brian Trout, from Half Pint Ciders, presented three ciders. The first is Cidrerie Daufresne’s Poiré from Normandy, France. This pear cider is made from local pears of lower Normandy. It has a fine effervescence with pale, yet brilliant yellow color. It has a fruity nose and tangy fruit notes are defined on the palate.

The second is 101 Cider House’s Indian Pale Cider from Los Angeles, CA. It is a blend of American cider apples and west coast hops. Tart, fragrant, and citrus notes are experienced on the palate combined with a sparkling effervescence.

The third is Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse’s Prohibition from Vancouver Island, BC. This is made with home-grown heritage apples and aged in rum-soaked barrels for a minimum of six months. This produces deep rich flavors and aromas of brown sugar and rum.

Gourmet Mediterranean Chocolates served two different chocolates. The first was a Jamaican Dark Rum Truffle. The second was an Everything Square. Gourmet Mediterranean makes their dark chocolate treats from cocoa beans grown on sustainable growth plantations. They do not use flour, butter, dairy products, or eggs. They use only the pure Belgian dark chocolate, dried fruits, nuts, tahini (sesame seed butter), coffee, pure vanilla, and cold-pressed olive oil. The products are all gluten-free and vegan.

As the guests started to depart, a schwag bag was offered and filled with foodie goodies from Gogobot, Coola, Nibble, Frazier Farms, and The Salami Store, along with coupons from Bamboo 2 U and Beach House Too, Yelp Eat 24, Outlets at San Clemente, Equinox, Nii Bar, and a Foodie Fest Passport good through October 31, 2016.

With bellies full, it was time to head back to The Kate Stanton Inn for a wonderful night’s sleep to get ready for the Foodie Fest Encinitas at The Lumberyard. Stay tuned for the article!

For more information:

598 Park Ln.
Encinitas, CA 92024
Hours: Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Parking: Street but be mindful of “No Parking” signs on parts of Park Ln. You may need to park around the corner and walk.