Food Adventure Collage.

carnitas snack shack. c-level. world famous. woodstocks. terra american bistro. buddies. corbins. casey's cupcakes. mandarin beijing. nazca grill. eiffel tower restaurant. gordan ramsay burgr. in-n-out. bankers hill bar and grill. los primos. bistro sixty. ruth's chris.


... to a place I like to call my very own. *waving hello*

I invite you to enjoy reading about the food adventures that I have with friends, family, and colleagues.

I adore food and I cannot just choose one particular food that is my fave.

Food is really is my favorite. Enjoy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

[Guest Post] Mia Francesca: "Cook Like an Italian" with Chef de Cuisine - Del Mar

From the desk of Crystal K....

Hope you all have been well and enjoying the last bit of summer. I am especially excited to share this post with you because……because it involves COOKING! I was extended an invitation by Janice to attend a cooking class hosted by Mia Francesca in Del Mar (a huge thank you to Chemistry PR for the media invitation). The class was led by Chef de Cuisine Woody Benitez, who welcomed us all to the world of Italian cuisine. 

Mia Francesca offers famous rustic, Italian cuisine, created by acclaimed restaurateur Scott Harris, friendly service and fair prices. The restaurant features a large open patio, indoor trattoria style dining and a 50 person private dining room. Chef Woody Benitez leads the kitchen, providing Francesca’s classic fare of zesty, earthy cuisine of Rome and the surrounding areas of Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio.

As you can see, Mia Francesca’s is the perfect restaurant for date night. The ambiance, the food, how can one go wrong?

I walked into the private dining room where the cooking demonstration took place. There was a station set up as shown below, and all the cooking was taken place right then and there. It got pretty smoky in the room on a few occasions without those industrial kitchen vents, though. No biggie though -- on to cooking!

Each of us was given a folder that contained the recipes and instructions for the five-course meal that left us all immobile by the end of the night. By immobile I mean the combination of delicious food followed by an overwhelmingly comforting sense of food coma….

The very first course was the Risotto Funghi. Chef Woody shared some tips and tricks to cooking the perfect risotto. I do not know what it is about risotto with mushrooms, but this dish was just out of this world flavorful. 

Here, Chef Woody is walking around the room with the pan of risotto to show us the consistency and color we want to achieve.  As we all know, risotto is a pretty tough technique to achieve, even for professional chefs.  Chef Woody accomplished this with ease.

The risotto was creamy, fragrant (from the mushrooms), and the perfect consistency. It spread on the bowl perfectly.  It really melted in my mouth.

The second course was the String Bean Salad. It was the perfect summer salad. Delicious, refreshing, and ridiculously easy to make. It was a tangy and crisp salad which balanced the creamy, savory risotto served before this.

The technique shown here is called “shocking”, which means after Chef cooked the green beans in boiling hot water, he immediately transferred them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process and preserve the crunch as well as the crisp green color of the beans.  The green bean salad was topped off with pickled red onions and chopped tomatoes.

The third course was Pasta Melanzane ("eggplant" in Italian).  Below, Chef Woody has sliced the eggplant into one-inch disc circles and seasoned them with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. The sauce for the dish was Mia Francesca’s signature homemade marinara sauce, which is used as a base for many of their pasta dishes.

Divine.  Perfectly cooked pasta, eggplant, basil and ricotta cheese.  

The fourth course was my personal favorite, as well as one of their most famous dishes on the menu, Salmon Fresca

The side accompanying the grilled salmon and grilled asparagus is a simple salad made of tomatoes, avocados, and red onions dressed in balsamic vinaigrette. 

The final course, the dessert, was Mascarpone with Caramel

Above, Chef Woody whipped up the mascarpone cheese with sugar.

He mixed in crumbled oreos and homemade caramel sauce and we had an ooey, gooey, chocolatey and cheesy mixture of heaven. So easy to make. SO. GOOD. 

The entire cooking demonstration lasted three hours, and by the end of it, all of us were extremely satisfied and well fed. Happy campers, we were. 

Chef Woody made the experience enjoyable and memorable, and I want to thank him, Mia Francesca’s management team, and Chemistry PR for hosting this wonderful event. If you would like specific ingredients and detailed recipes, please feel free to e-mail me at crystal [dot] k [at] foodismyfavorite [dot] com and I would be more than happy to pass them along to you!

12955 El Camino Road
San Diego, CA 92130 
(858) 519-5055

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nice place and very inviting menu. Hope to visit there too. When you to our area here in Orlando, don't forget t try our pizza specials at Torino's Pizza Oviedo, we'd like to hear from you. Anyways, I love the crumbled oreos, how do you call that again? Thanks a lot for this great page. Congratulations and Have a great day!

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