Mama’s Day 2016

On the Friday evening before Mother’s Day, the Mama’s Day 2016 event kicked off its’ 26th year at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, the fundraising fete is the season’s must-attend culinary event of the year. The occasion featured over 55 chefs from some of San Diego’s most premium restaurants, hotels, and catering companies, those such as The Marine Room, Loews Coronado Bay Resort and Spa, Waypoint Public and more. 

Mama's Day 2016

The Mama’s Day event helps to raise funds for Mama’s Kitchen, a non-profit organization that prepares and delivers nutritious meals to San Diegans suffering with AIDS or cancer and who are too ill to shop and cook for themselves. Mama’s Kitchen is run by hundreds of volunteers, businesses, and community supporters, who strive to create food that is wholesome and healthy, and to help out families who are in need of this crucial assistance.

Mama's Day 2016

The event was hosted by local chef Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien, who brought his flare and love of food for the eighth consecutive year. Guests enjoyed food, tasty beverages, and music, which only added to the excitement of the night. Many of the dishes served were out of this world delightful, ranging the gambit from seared ahi tuna, ravioli’s filled with duck confit, pork belly dishes, quail eggs, uni risotto and the list goes on and on. There was a dish for every palette. On top of the savory samples were the decadent desserts, tiramisu, chocolate dipped strawberries, key lime pie and my personal favorite the honey cinnamon walnut gelato served appropriately on a cone.

Mama's Day 2016

Mama’s Day was presented by Nordstrom and hosted by Sycuan Casino. To know that the funds are going to an amazing charity and helping the lives of hundreds is extraordinary on every level. To donate and for more information on this and other events you can visit Their 21st Annual Wine Tasting event will take place on August 2! 

Photos by: Melissa Sanchez

Burnt – Film Review

4starsBurnt is much more than a cooking movie, it is about redemption and humility in the face of greatness. Directed by John Wells and written by Steven Knight, the two come together to create a story that is filled with drama and edginess at every corner.burnt3

Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) was once a top rated Michelin star chef cooking in Paris who had it all and threw it down the drain with drugs and alcohol. Now a reformed junkie, he looks to recreate the momentum he once had in the kitchen. When he walks into a restaurant, any room for that matter, his bravado and ego can be felt by all. He doesn’t play by the rules, it is what got him to achieve greatness, but he soon realizes that he has to pull back the reigns in order to succeed.

Now living in London, he finds his previous maitre’d Tony (Daniel Bruhl) and makes a deal with him to allow him to take over his restaurant and do things his way. He promises he can transform his eatery into a place that all the critics will be raving about, but in order to do so Tony must take a chance on him.

BurntHis reputation still follows him everywhere he goes. In order to keep his spot, he must meet with Tony’s fathers’ analyst Dr. Rosshilde (Emma Thompson) to get drug tested on a weekly basis. Although Adam is reluctant, he takes on the agreement and moves head first into the kitchen.

He hires a new staff and insists that up and coming Chef Helene (Sienna Miller) must work with him. The two have similar mentalities and he knows they can create beautiful food together. He also makes sure to inform the Chef friends he worked with in Paris under culinary mentor Jean Luc; that he is back and ready to take on the food world. Adam shakes up the culinary world and instills fear in his competitors, all who behave irrationally at the thought of being dethroned. One in particular Reece (Matthew Rhys), who has a molecular gastronomy restaurant, gets shaken up to the point of breaking tables and chairs at the news.Burnt

The movie moves with frenetic energy, there are many close-ups of the sumptuous creations and the audience feels like they are moving with the Chefs in the kitchen. We can see everything from the sweat beads off Adam’s face when he is in the midst of plating to the droplets of oil in the food. At points when he was walking through markets tasting samples, it almost felt like we could smell the intensity and the rich aromas of his surroundings. I loved that the film gave us those sentiments.

Cooper worked with notorious Chef Gordon Ramsey on perfecting his persona and it can be felt in many of the scenes. The way he yells at his sous chefs and the demands of the kitchen could be felt. Cooper did an excellent job and showed us once again that he knows how to dig deep and pull dramatic performances off without a hitch.Burnt7

Miller was equally fantastic, she was as gracious as she was meticulous with her food and the way her and Cooper played off each other seemed genuine.

I enjoyed this movie because it was not filled with clichés. There were no superfluous back stories going on, it was simply about the journey of one Chef and his ability to come back into his old skin without losing himself once again. If you like dramas mixed with comedies or you are a foodie who enjoys the beauty of a good meal, then this movie is right up your alley.

Burnt PosterStarring: Bradley Cooper (Adam Jones), Sienna Miller (Helene), Daniel Brühl (Tony)

Directed by: John Wells

Written by: Steven Knight (screenplay), Michael Kalesniko (story)

MPAA rating: R

Running time: 101 min

Rating: 4/5

Camarones Aguachile

Need an idea on what to cook for dinner tonight?


  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cubed
  • 1 pound fresh jumbo shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 limes, cut and squeeze for juice
  • 2 -3 (depends on your spice preference) fresh serrano chiles, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 finely chopped red onion
  • 2 medium avocados



1 pound fresh jumbo shrimp

1. Peel shrimp.


2. Devein, and butterfly the shrimp.


3. Blend lime juice, cilantro, and serrano chiles.




4. Pour blended marinade over raw shrimp, mix well, and leave in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.


5. Peel, and cut cucumber.


6. Chop a medium-sized red onion


7. Slice avocados.


8. Take out the bowl of shrimp from the refrigerator. Mix in chopped red onion, cucumber, and avocado. Enjoy with Saladitas or tostadas.


Mama’s Day 2015: An Extraordinary Culinary Evening

Touted as San Diego’s best culinary event, Mama’s Day, never ceases to amaze us with signature dishes from over 55 top local chefs, restaurants, and caterers. It’s one of the annual fundraising that we look forward to. Now in it’s 25th year, the event is held the Friday evening before Mother’s Day. The event was held at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine and is often sprawled out around the pool area. The Hyatt staff did a wonderful job accommodating everyone indoors this year due to a couple of showers that hit San Diego throughout the day.




























Mama’s Kitchen delivers three nutritional meals a day, seven days a week at no charge to men, women and children living with AIDS or cancer. Additionally, Mama’s Kitchen provides pantry services (Mama’s Pantry) and nutrition education to people affected by AIDS. Through these services, they are able to provide food, compassion and hope to over 1,400 people annually living throughout San Diego County.

Photos below by: Ana Pines

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015