While most revel in Friday and Saturday evenings, industry workers may view the weekend the same way most feel on Sunday afternoon about Monday morning. This being the case, Mondays for chefs, bartenders, servers, etc. are the oft-designated weekly day of revelry.
It is in this spirit that The Grill at Torrey Pines is launching its new monthly dinner series, “Playing with Fire” on Monday, April 10. Executive chef Jeff Jackson is making his way out of the confines of his kitchen and inviting some of his chef buddies out for some outdoor cooking.
Jackson, a pioneer in farm-to-table cooking in Southern California (and the entire U.S.), will be utilizing the practices he has honed so well over the years.
Along with star local chefs Jason Knibb (Nine-Ten; April 10), Matt Gordon (Urban Solace, Solace and the Moonlight Lounge; May 8), and Trey Foshee (George’s, Galaxy Taco; June 12), they will be grilling up pristine proteins and vegetables utilizing Torrey Pines infamous chimney pit-cooker/spit-roaster/oven.
“Really, it’s just an excuse to have some of my chef friends in San Diego to come and grill out,” Jackson jokes. “We typically have Mondays off, so it is one of the only days we have to pursue other ventures. Fortunately, we have built a great culinary community in San Diego, and that’s why we ultimately wanted to celebrate it in this fashion. Our goal is to connect chefs, farmers, vineyards, and those who all make access to these wonderful ingredients available.”
Jackson has been at The Grill at Torrey Pines since they opened their doors 15 years ago. Playing with Fire will be hosted on The Grill’s patio overlooking the Torrey Pines Golf Course, providing a fantastic backdrop of the afternoon sky. On the predesignated Monday, chef Jackson will partner with one of the aforementioned chefs, allowing them to come up with a menu of their own. He takes a proverbial backseat from his typical duties, purchasing the necessary ingredients for the menu, but also acts as a de-facto sous chef for his visiting colleagues.
“This is a great reminder to all of us why we got into the business,” Jackson said. “To a chef, what is better than getting to play with fire? Luckily, I’ve been blessed to work at a location that I don’t see as working at a hotel... it feels like a big residence for me.”
Chef Jackson says that this outdoor event will be “very casual,” seating roughly 35 to 40 people. As aforementioned, the chefs will be utilizing the iconic pit-cooker/spit-roaster/oven customized chimney to cook all of the proteins and vegetables. The April 10 Playing with Fire event will set the tone for those to follow, beginning with a slow- roasted lamb and beer pairing.
While the community at large is invited to the event, it should be noted that space for these dinners is rather limited. Each dinner will entail a set cost of $40 per person, which will include one draught beer, as well as whatever these creative chefs pull out of their wheelhouse.
Where: The Grill at Torrey Pines; 11480 N. Torrey Pines Rd.
When: April 10, May 8, and June 12.