No meal over 475 calories is the premise of local chef’s new UTC restaurant

By Claire Harlin

Local resident Steve De Barril, 27, just moved to town to bring the ever-expanding Seasons 52 concept to UTC. Known for its menu containing only dishes with 475 calories or less, the restaurant has been a hit in Orange County as well as on the East Coast, and Barril’s franchise — the first in San Diego — is set to open on Nov. 19 at 4505 La Jolla Village Drive.

The concept began with the vision of Clifford Pleau, who started Disney World’s California Grill in Orlando in the 1990s, so even though Seasons 52 also got its start in Orlando, it’s truly a “California-born concept,” De Barril said.

STEVE DE BARRIL

“It’s really in line with the West Coast values,” De Barril said. “It’s so produce and seafood driven.”

The San Diego opening is one of four Seasons 52 openings in California and about 10 nationwide. Simply put, the concept — fresh, healthy and upscale yet inexpensive — has taken off and this is a period of major growth for the restaurant chain.

“In all our cities, people have been amazed by what we do and the food and the value,” De Barril said. “It’s fast growing, but we’re not expanding too fast because we want to make sure we do each one right and are very thorough with each restaurant.”

Seasons 52 manages to keep all its menu items under 475 calories by using natural cooking techniques. De Barril has been training his UTC kitchen staff on the wood stove, and teaching how to cook with no butter, cream or deep fryers.

“It’s easy that way,” he said. “You just let the food and seasons speak for themselves.”

By seasons, De Barril is talking about the restaurant’s menu, which changes four times a year. In addition, a new mini-menu is put forth each week — hence the restaurant’s name — featuring brand new items like soups, flatbreads and fish dishes. Seasons 52 is also known for its signature “mini-indulgence desserts” that only cost a couple of dollars and are served in shot glasses. The restaurant features nine desserts at any given time, and the selection is brought to the table after dinner for guests to choose.

“Guests say it’s really the next level of a dining experience, while maintaining pocket books and still being figure conscious,” De Barril said.

De Barril has been on the opening management team of several Seasons 52 locations, including Illinois, Orange County and Phoenix, from where he recently relocated.

His passion for restaurant life began at age 15 when he started working as a dishwasher in a hotel restaurant. He quickly moved up the ladder to working as a cook, and he loved the fast-paced feel of the kitchen.

“I have this huge sense of accomplishment from working in the kitchen,” he said. “The same sort of feeling people get from racing cars or sky diving.”

De Barril said his favorite part of being a chef is the teamwork that ensues in the kitchen.

“People are having a fantastic experience in the dining room, but they have no idea what’s going on in the kitchen,” he said. “It’s a high intensity environment, and on top of that, you are working with so many individuals as a team and relying on one another to be successful.”

For more information, visit www.Seasons52.com.

Related posts:

  1. No meal over 475 calories is the premise of Carmel Valley chef’s new UTC restaurant
  2. Carmel Valley chef opens San Diego’s first pop-up restaurant
  3. Restaurant Week is on its way
  4. Woody’s Restaurant signs a lease at the Beachwalk in Solana Beach
  5. San Diego Restaurant Week celebrates fifth year

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=42208

Posted by Staff on Nov 8, 2012. Filed under Food, Restaurants & Bars. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Alumni and Advancement Center named for longtime supporters Larry and Cindy Bloch of Rancho Santa Fe
    The University of Rochester’s Alumni and Advancement Center in Rochester, N.Y. has been renamed the Larry and Cindy Bloch Alumni and Advancement Center in recognition of the couple’s support of the university and, in particular, its Advancement programs. In a ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 15, UR President Joel Seligman formally dedicated the center in honor of […]
  • RSF Association Board Biz: It’s fire season: Be prepared
    The Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District (RSFFPD) was officially formed in 1946, in the aftermath of a devastating fire that took place in 1943 and destroyed brush, farmland and homes from Rancho Bernardo through Rancho Santa Fe, all the way to Solana Beach and Del Mar. Today the Fire District spans 38 square miles and protects nearly 30,000 residents. W […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe couple lead way in helping those with thyroid disorders
    Few people may know that Graves’ disease is one of the most common autoimmune diseases afflicting Americans today. Fewer still may know that the only national non-profit dedicated to its patients is headquartered in Rancho Santa Fe. The Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation, co-chaired by Rancho Santa Fe residents Kathleen Bell Flynn and Steve Flynn, has be […]