Celebrated for its sunny days, good surf and laid-back living, San Diego was recently ranked as the ninth-happiest American city to work in (Forbes, 2011) and the fifth for having the happiest young professionals (Forbes, 2012). It was also recognized as the eighth-fittest city in the country (Men's Fitness, 2012). All this happy fitness makes people hungry for good food, and San Diego restaurants provide a lot of it. The California Restaurant Association's statistics reveal a sunny story for the graduate of cooking school in San Diego: The city's annual restaurant sales rose from $2.58 billion in 2009 to $2.98 billion in 2012 (California Restaurant Association, 2012), with projections for continued growth.
San Diego culinary scene
When asked what is San Diego's greatest contribution to American cuisine, many locals point to the fish taco, and particularly to Rubio's, who helped make the fish taco a San Diego staple. As food historian Matthew Rowley put it, "Like San Diego, the fish taco has it all: It's crispy and creamy; it's spicy and salty ... (It) makes your taste buds dance." Some point to the city's artisan breads, such as from Bread & Cie, while others proclaim that San Diego has created a Mexican-American flavor unique to itself. As described by food writer Susan Russo, San Diego has "taken the Mexican peasant influence and broadened its appeal."
In 2013, San Diego made the James Beard Award semifinals list twice: Carl Schroeder of Market Restaurant for Best Chef and the French restaurant Addison for Outstanding Wine Program. Dubbed the "Oscars of the food world," a James Beard nomination earns one bragging rights. With more than a dozen categories and dozens of semifinalist slots, opportunities are ripe for talented new San Diego chefs to make the list.
San Diego culinary schools
Attending cooking school in San Diego means being immersed in a rich Mexican-California heritage. But other food traditions thrive here, too. The San Diego Tourism Authority lists a delectable blend of food options in the city, including fresh seafood, five-star cuisine and comfort food. San Diego's celebrated Old Town boasts numerous Mexican establishments, as well as Asian, Italian, Thai and even a European bistro. In the Mission Valley, The Palette serves a rotating menu prepared entirely by students of culinary schools in San Diego. Adding to the fun food landscape, So Diego Tours organizes eclectic restaurant hops, transporting diners through the city's Gaslamp Quarter. Of course, restaurant hopping is more fun when the streets are safe and, if one is single, offers dating possibilities: San Diego was named the fourteenth-safest city and the twelfth-best city for singles (Forbes, 2012).
Students of culinary schools in San Diego are widely recognized for their cooking talent and creativity. In 2010, five San Diego culinary students were named American Culinary Federation (ACF) champions. In 2012, while some San Diego culinary students made news for their elaborate gingerbread houses, others were accepting Chaîne des Rôtisseurs hospitality awards.
San Diego offers budding restaurateurs an exceptional landscape in which to perfect their talents. Culinary students in San Diego enjoy amazing food, weather and surf in a city that smiles often .
California Restaurant Association, http://www.calrest.org/cra/assets/File/11051_OOC_NUSIPR_SD RestaurantReport_6.pdf
CBS8, Culinary students battle in gingerbread house competition Dec. 2012, http://www.cbs8.com/story/20321231/culinary-students-battle-in-gingerbread-house-competition
The Food Channel, ACF honors National Award Winners at Annual Convention Aug. 2012, http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/acf-honors-national-award-winners-at-annual-conve/
Forbes: profile of San Diego, http://www.forbes.com/places/ca/san-diego/
Men's Fitness, http://www.mensfitness.com/
Old Town San Diego Guide, http://www.oldtownsandiegoguide.com/restaurants.html
Rancho Santa Fe Review, San Diego Hospitality students awarded scholarships by Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, San Diego Chapter, http://www.ranchosantafereview.com/2012/12/19/san-diego-hospitality-students-awarded-scholarships-by-chaine-des-rotisseurs-san-diego-chapter/
San Diego Tourism Authority, What to do: Restaurants, http://www.sandiego.org/what-to-do/dining-nightlife/restaurants.aspx
U-T San Diego, http://www.utsandiego.com/
So Diego Tours, Food Tours,
For information on Culinary Schools in San Diego, please visit any school below and request more information.