Although Chef Dan Saito is quick to thank his mentor, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, his numerous achievements have ranked him as a top chef in his own right.
From heading the kitchen at Manele Bay Hotel and Resort in Hawaii, to developing signature dishes for billionaire Bill Gates’ wedding, the two-time James Beard Award nominee is well known for his cuisine. And now he’s in Del Mar.
Saito joined Hotel Indigo Del Mar as its new executive chef in June. Although his new menu doesn’t debut for a few more weeks, foodies can sample some on Sunday, Oct. 5, during the annual Del Mar Taste & Art Stroll in the village of Del Mar.
“The Del Mar Taste & Art Stroll will provide us the opportunity to showcase something different,” said Saito, who noted the new breakfast menu will feature banana cream pancakes, corned beef hash, chorizo with scrambled eggs, Portuguese sausage, and more.
“The food is going to be unique and different — that’s for sure.”
Although Del Mar is the smallest city in San Diego County, it offers cuisine from around the world. More than two dozen of the city’s restaurants will offer samples of their signature dishes during the event.
“The Taste & Art Stroll is a great thing for the community,” said Bratzo Basagoitia, who has owned and operated Cafe Secret with his wife, Daniella, since 2009. “It’s a good way to exposure yourself to new customers and give back to the community.”
Located at 140 Camino del Mar, Cafe Secret serves authentic Peruvian cuisine. Although Basagoitia is still planning his menu for the event, he said newcomers and returnees could expect traditional Peruvian tastes, such as seafood and vegetarian tapas.
“We always have a variety of things,” he said.
Presented by the Del Mar Village Association and the city of Del Mar, the Taste & Art Stroll features more than 25 Del Mar restaurants, dozens of local and regional juried artists, several music acts and kid-friendly activities.
First launched in 2007, this year the event has expanded by adding sip stops featuring wine and local craft beer.
The event will also feature live music along Camino del Mar at various venues, including the Del Mar Plaza and L’Auberge Amphitheater. Several of San Diego’s best artists and bands will take the stage, from Soul Seduction and Pretty Smooth at the plaza, to Gregory Michaels, Lester Abrams and Paulette McWilliams at L’Auberge.
The Taste & Art Stroll will also be a festival for dogs. Event-goers are invited to bring their four-legged friends to the K-9 corner, featuring dog treats, specialty pet products and services, and more.
“Del Mar is a beautiful community, with gorgeous ocean views down 15th Street, quaint shops, and fabulous restaurants and bars,” said resident Karen Powell. She’s a board member of the Del Mar Village Association, an organization of Del Mar residents, business owners and property owners dedicated to enhancing the vitality of the village while preserving the community’s history and character.
“The Taste & Art Stroll is a nice stroll through town. It’s just a great family event and a lot of fun.”
The free Art Stroll will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets to the Taste of Del Mar, which will be from noon to 3 p.m., cost $25 before the event and $30 on event day. Tickets for the sip stops are an additional $10.
Free public parking is available at the Del Mar Shores/Winston School, at 215 Ninth St. Valet parking with a drop-off location in village is available at 1335 Camino del Mar.
For information or to buy tickets, call 858-735-3650 or visit www.taste.delmarmainstreet.com.