Oh, what a weekend! That was all that could be said after the 2018 San Diego Culinary Bowl on Saturday, October 27 in Mission Valley. Hordes of onlookers watched from sunup until sunset as nearly three dozen professional chefs and student culinarians competed for medals, trophies and national recognition in multiple culinary categories.

The Culinary Bowl was sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACC) and hosted by the Chefs de Cuisine Association of San Diego, which is an ACF certified chapter. The Art Institute of California-San Diego sponsored the Culinary Bowl and partnered with Chefs de Cuisine in what is already being called a local culinary classic.

If you missed it, you missed one of the truly remarkable culinary experiences ever held in San Diego. Participants from Tijuana to Hollywood performed their kitchen magic and were judged by ACF certified chefs from across the United States.

We want to thank everyone who attended and to congratulate the winners and all the participants who put their skills to the ultimate test.

In conjunction with the competition, a premier, onsite culinary trade show was in full swing with Coy Produce, San Diego Gas & Electric, Feast on This Catering and Main Squeeze Juices. Thanks to those exhibitors and other Bowl sponsors: Tuo Cutlery, Specialty Produce, Sevilla Latin Cuisine, the Hilton Hotel and California’s Best Catering.

Throughout this exciting day, top local chefs put on jaw-dropping demonstrations

  • Chef Antoinette Davis of Heavenly Desserts revealed the magic of cake pops
  • Chef Todd Bull sculpted an amazing sea horse from a 300-pound ice block
  • Master Sushi Chef Jeff Roberto fileted an entire 50-pound tuna for the crowd
  • Chef Leerosendo West created a stunning paella as the pièce de résistance.

The action was nonstop inside and outside of the modernistic Art Institute building. Two of San Diego’s finest gourmet food trucks — The GoGo Truck and Eat Your Heart Out San Diego – provided outstanding food items and “Mark the Knife” from The Knife Sharpening Service made sure that no one had to leave with a dull blade.

But the reason people spent an entire day going from viewing window to viewing window was to see skilled culinarians practice their craft under the watchful eyes of Certified Master Chefs Ferdinand Metz, Walter Leible, Daryl Shular, Dieter Doppefield and Certified Executive Chefs Lawrence Matson and Brandon Parry. Certified Culinary Educator Carlton Brooks, vice president, western region represented the ACF board.

Heading things up on the local end was Chef Mark Blaauboer, Art Institute culinary director, Chef Ricardo Santana, president of the Chefs de Cuisine Association and Chef Don Williamson, president of the Chefs de Cuisine Education Foundation.

Thank you and congratulations to everyone who watched, participated and helped to make culinary history right here in America’s Finest City.