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Haley Messner
San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival



Scholarship Dinner Raises Funds for Culinary, Hospitality and Oenology Students to Help Them Pursue Their Passions and Career Goals

San Diego, CA (November 8, 2016) – The 13th annual San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival ®, welcomes a new dining experience that will leave the taste buds mesmerized. Dinner with the Culinary Icons Presented by Lexus, is held on Thursday, November 17, 2016 at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina and features a collection of some of the country’s most talented chefs.

Dinner with the Culinary Icons +Live Auction Presented by Lexus raises scholarship funds for culinary, hospitality and oenology students and professionals to help pursue their passion and work towards making their career goals a reality. To date, the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival has raised over $350,000 in scholarship funds.

This once and a lifetime culinary experience features an all-star roster of celebrity chefs from across the country who each contribute one dish to the multi-course menu. From, television personalities, James Beard Award recipients, Executive Chefs, Authors, Restaurateurs, and local San Diego standouts, culinary icons include:

• Rick Bayless: Author of nine cookbooks, James Beard Award recipient, and winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Bayless has received a number of accolades for his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated public television series, Mexico: One Plate at a Time, has wrapped its 11th season and is broadcasted from coast-to-coast.
• Michelle Bernstein: A James Beard Award winner and author, Bernstein regularly appears on national TV shows, from Top Chef to Good Morning America. Bernstein also hosts the Emmy award-winning PBS television series, Check, Please! South Florida; is a Lexus culinary master; member of Macy’s Culinary Council; and consults for Delta Airlines, creating in-flight menus.
• Rick Moonen: Chef Rick Moonen has devoted his career to being the country’s top culinary advocate for sustainable seafood. Since opening rm seafood, Moonen has enjoyed national attention and acclaim, appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Bravo’s Top Chef Las Vegas, Top Chef Masters, and Top Chef Masters 2. When not behind the stove, Moonen can be found throughout the country educating about ocean conservation and the dangers of over fishing.
• Marcus Samuelsson: The youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times, Samuelsson has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards and was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State Dinner. Samuelsson was also crowned champion of television shows Top Chef Masters and Chopped All Stars, and served as a mentor on ABC’s The Taste.
• Javier Plascencia: The charismatic personality of Tijuana-born Chef Javier Plascencia reflects on his take on Baja Mediterranean cuisine, of which he is a fervent and energetic promoter. Appearing in seminars, festivals, conferences, and presentations, Plascencia works arduously both in Mexico and the United States fostering the value and use of local ingredients. He has been recognized as Chef of the Year by Eater San Diego and his restaurants were among the 100 best in Latin America by The Daily Meal.
• Bernard Guillas + Ron Oliver: Between the two of them, they have now travelled the globe to co-author two award-winning cookbooks and sit at the helm
of San Diego’s ne dining scene. Guillas has been invited as a guest chef to the prestigious James Beard House in New York on many occasions. As one of only two French Master Chefs in the city, Guillas’ infectious energy and unending hospitality set the tone for the event as he leads the culinary cast to a masterfully composed the experience.
• Aron Schwartz: Chef Aron Schwartz’s love of food led him to study at the Culinary Institute of America, where he developed a passion for farm-to-table cuisine. After graduation, Schwartz’s career has taken him to acclaimed dining concepts throughout the country, including Lutèce at The Venetian in Las Vegas and at Marina Kitchen located in the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, where he currently serves as Executive Chef. Schwartz has received numerous awards and accolades, including winner of the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival’s Chef of the Fest competition.
• Andrew Spurgin: Andrew has produced over 9,000 events honoring dignitaries
and glitterati for over 40 years throughout the US, The UK, Canada and México. He has cooked for three U.S. presidents, heads of state such as President Gorbachev and Prince Charles, in addition to Martha Stewart and Lady Jane Goodall. Each chef-crafted course will be paired with a wine from a top producer, including: Lewis Cellars, Kistler, Louis Latour, Adobe Guadalupe, Ferrari-Carano, Robert Mondavi, and Loire Valley. An exciting live auction will take place throughout the dinner with lots including big bottle formats, private chef dinners, culinary getaways and more.

The menu will be as follows:

Tray Passed Reception
Rick Moonen:
Moroccan Cured True North Salmon | Grilled Naan Bread, Harissa, And Raita
Fish N’ Chips | Meyer Lemon Tartar

Andrew Spurgin:
Smoked Milk Dashi Chowder | Bamboo Charcoal Oyster Crackers
Persimmon| Midnight Moon, Hijiki Ash, Pistachio, Chestnut Honey

Aron Schwartz:
Waygu Beef Tartar | Uni, Black Truffle
Foie Gras Torchon | Concord Grape Gastric, Brioche


Michelle Bernstein:
Ajo Blanco |Pickled Sunchokes, Charred Grapes, Celery Leaves

First Course
Marcus Samuelsson:
Fried Chicken Oysters | Mustard Seed Vinaigrette, Whisky Apple Sorbet

Second Course Javier Plascencia: Octopus and Local Opah Birria | Pickled Onions and Tomatillos, Fermented Corn Masa Chochoyon Third Course
Aron Schwartz:
Crispy Duck Confit | Foie Gras Raviolis, Bone Broth

Fourth Course
Rick Bayless:
Beef Four Ways | Roasted Creekstone Ribeye, Seared Beef Tongue, Crispy Mochomos, Beefy Heirloom Beans, Herby Green Adobo, Fresh Purslane


Bernard Guillas and Ron Oliver:
Barberry Valrhona Chocolate Croquant | Maron Chestnut, Liqueur Pot de Crème, Pear Green Tea Gelato, Miso Tuille


Glenmorangie Whisky | Coffee

Scholarships are awarded by Fast Forward Futures, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, Women’s Wine Alliance and the Berry Good Night Foundation.

Tickets to this unforgettable event are on sale for $300 per seat and $2400 for a table, which includes eight seats. Tickets can be purchased at

For a complete schedule of events taking place at the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival, visit

The 13th Annual San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival® is an international showcase of the world's premier wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities, and gourmet foods. Held November 14-20, 2016, the event benefits culinary arts and oenology scholarships awarded by Fast Forward Futures and the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. Over 150 wineries, breweries and spirit companies, 60 of San Diego’s top fine dining restaurants and 30 gourmet food companies will participate in the 2016 Festival. For more information visit Produced by World of Wine Events and Fast Forward Event Productions. For more information call 619-312-1212