Local chefs team up to host summer feast on Del Mar Plaza Deck


By Kristina Houck

Del Mar may be where the turf meets the surf, but it’s also a place where chefs can collaborate.

Pacifica Del Mar’s Chris Idso and Prepkitchen Del Mar’s Ryan Johnston are teaming up to host the “Final Days of Summer Feast” Aug. 29 at the Del Mar Plaza.

“With everything that’s been happening at the Highlands Town Center and Flower Hill, we were thinking of ideas that could generate some excitement in the Village of Del Mar,” said Idso, who has been a chef at Pacifica Del Mar for 13 years. “We wanted to get something unique going for the Del Mar Village, so we got our people together and we’re making it happen.”

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception with tray-passed canapés, followed by a seated, six-course dinner and dessert. This is the first time the two chefs are collaborating.

“We’re splitting everything,” Idso said. “We’re going to share the menu and kitchen space, and we’re going to cook and plate everything out there on the deck.”

Launched in 1989 at 1555 Camino Del Mar, Pacifica Del Mar features fresh seafood. Prepkitchen Del Mar, which opened a few years ago at 1201 Camino Del Mar, specializes in farm-to-table cuisine.

“I think this is a neat neighborhood thing to do,” Idso said. “It shows that there’s an old restaurateur and a new, up-and-coming hot restaurant concept group invested in the Village of Del Mar. It’s a good thing to welcome the neighborhood and show we can all work together.”

Both chefs are creating cocktails, appetizers and desserts, in addition to three main dishes. Idso’s dishes include an arugula salad, shrimp and grits, and New York strip steak with Maine lobster-creamed corn and chanterelle mushrooms. Johnston’s dishes include an heirloom tomato panzanella salad, grilled squid and tuna, and roasted duck with peaches, roasted onion and pistachio.

“We’re just trying to get the best ingredients on the plate and let them speak for themselves,” Johnston said.

The Final Days of Summer Feast begins at 6 p.m. Aug. 29 on the Del Mar Plaza Ocean View Deck, 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar. Tickets are $85 per person and include tax, gratuity and parking.

“I think it’s going to be a great time with a beautiful view and delicious food,” Johnston said. “It’s everything that I love about cooking and dining coming together.”

“It’s a great chance for the locals to have great food, great company and have fun,” Idso said. “We’re bringing together the neighborhood.”

To purchase tickets, visit delmarfeast.eventbrite.com.