Radio Cherry Bombe: Food For Thought
San Diego, California
Monday, July 8th
6 to 8 p.m.
On Monday, July 8th, join the Bombesquad at El Jardín for the San Diego stop on our "Food for Thought" Radio Cherry Bombe Tour. We can’t wait to see you! We'll be talking to Claudette Zepeda of El Jardín, Crystal White of Wayfarer Bread, cookbook collector Diane Rocha, farmer Mai Nguyen, Laura Johnson of You & Yours, and Monica Maccioni of Bobboi Natural Gelato about their journeys through food. This panel will be recorded for a future episode of Radio Cherry Bombe.
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James Beard Best Chef: West semifinalist Claudette Zepeda is executive chef & partner of El Jardín, a regional Mexican restaurant in San Diego. Inspired by the regional cuisine in Mexico, where her passion for food was first cultivated, El Jardín is an expression of Zepeda’s culinary journey as a chef as well as her upbringing as a border kid raised between Tijuana and her birth town, San Diego. Prior to El Jardín, Zepeda was chef de cuisine at Javier Plascencia’s celebrated Bracero and also spent time alongside chef Gavin Kaysen at his former San Diego restaurant, El Bizcocho. A member of Buzzfeed's inaugural Tasty talent program and former Top Chef Season 15 + Top Chef Mexico competitor, Zepeda continues to find inspiration from her frequent visits to Mexico. Since opening, El Jardín has received local and national critical acclaim, including a glowing review from the New York Times and inclusion on Esquire’s 2018 Best New Restaurant; while Claudette was named both Eater San Diego and San Diego Union Tribune’s Chef of the Year in 2018.
Crystal White is the head baker and owner of Wayfarer Bread & Pastry in San Diego, CA. Crystal grew up in Napa, CA surrounded by world-class food and hospitality. She determined from a young age that baking was her calling. For 17 years she has worked her way through kitchens, honing her skills and narrowing her focus. In 2010 she co-founded and managed Proof Bakery in Los Angeles, Calif. After that she worked her way up through the bread department at the world-renowned Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. The culmination of this experience led her to open Wayfarer in May of 2018.
Diane graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in art and became a professional weaver. Thirteen years later, she went back to SDSU, where she holds a teaching credential and a master’s degree in education, which led to her 22 year teaching career. Throughout these incarnations, Diane has been a serious home cook. When she was 22, she made her first loaf of homemade bread and never looked back. While a stay- at-home mom to her children, Cate and Matthew, Diane baked English muffins twice a week for the local coffee shop. In 2009, she participated in the Bread Baker’s Challenge in which over 200 bread bakers across the globe attempted to bake every recipe in Peter Reinhart’s instructive book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. It took a year and a half and only a handful of bakers made it to the finish line; Diane was one of them, chronicling her journey on her blog, itsallaboutthebread.blogspot.com. She has amassed a comprehensive cookbook collection of nearly 4000 titles. Now retired from her teaching career, Diane continues her life-long avocation of cooking, bread baking, and cookbook collecting.
Mai Nguyen is a farmer, known as Farmer Mai, and social justice activist. Mai applies their background in climate research and Buddhist farming to cultivate Southeast Asian seed crops and heritage grains. They also organize farmers and eaters for economic democracy and racial justice in the food system. In 2017, Mai helped pass the Farmer Equity Act--a momentous civil rights bill for California agriculture. Mai is the National Young Farmers Coalition's California Organizer and California Grain Campaign co-founder, and has been recognized for their farming and advocacy work as a Berkeley Food Institute Changemaker, 2018 Grist 50 Fixer, and BALLE Fellow.
Laura Johnson is the owner and founder of You & Yours Distilling Co., California’s first urban destination distillery. One of the few female distillers in the country, Johnson is committed to crafting high quality spirits, with the goal of creating products for every palate from locally-sourced ingredients. Johnson is trained at the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, Dry Fly Distilling School and the Distilled Spirits Epicenter’s Master Distiller’s program. In 2018, she made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, with You & Yours being open for less than a year. Additionally, she was named a 2018 Eater Young Gun, and has won ‘Best Local Spirit’ by San Diego Magazine in 2017, 2018 and 2019. When not in the distillery, Laura can be found crushing the craft cocktail world on her blog, Distillerista, and contributing to Liquor.com. Johnson’s favorite cocktail is a modern take on the classic Gimlet – fresh lime juice, simple syrup and good gin.
Monica Maccioni is the gelato chef at Bobboi Natural Gelato, a California-inspired authentic gelato shop with three San Diego locations. Only a handful of years ago, she was still living on the Italian island of Sardinia, where she was born and raised, working as a lighting designer. On a whim, and in pursuit of a dream, she and her husband moved to La Jolla to open the first Bobboi location in 2014, changing her life completely. Before leaving home, she studied her new craft with some of the most experienced gelato makersin Italy. Her now signature flavors are all made from scratch with organic ingredients, and she regularly taps into both her creative and technical training when creating new variations. Monica is committed to sharing her passion for the Italian culinary staple in her new home, taking inspiration from California’s bounty of seasonal produce and ingredients, which she combines with classic Italian technique to create both sweet and savory, expected and unexpected flavors.