Lick the Plate

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  • Chef/Owner Barbara McQuiston from The Curious Fork

    Barbara McQuiston

    Founder & Executive Chef | The Curious Fork

    McQuiston’s passionate dedication to food has led to a finely tuned philosophy: good food, fresh food, and healthy food must all be one and the same. From visits to markets throughout the world to exotic adventures on a smaller scale within her own home kitchen, culinary curiosity has always been the guide for McQuiston’s cooking endeavors. Barbara’s path to The Curious Fork was perhaps unorthodox—she began her professional career in the field of aerospace technology ending up as an Office Director at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The global influences she picked up through that first career, coupled with an ever-present personal passion for bringing loved ones around a table to enjoy the healthy, creative dishes she cooked, eventually led her to change her course. A graduate of San Diego Culinary Institute, McQuiston has since honed her craft through training in several area restaurants, catering and continuing to find inspiration through searching local San Diego Farmers Markets for surprise ingredients. McQuiston founded The Curious Fork in 2012 with the goal of creating a warm, welcoming environment for busy local residents to ignite and explore their own culinary curiosity in educational ways. McQuiston’s cuisine and programs cater to home cooks contending with dietary restrictions, allergies, aging relatives, and the constant search for healthy solutions, all while maintaining and emphasizing creativity and delicious taste. Barbara invites visitors to “share the curiosity, share the good times, and feed your passion. Follow the fork.”

  • James Haggard, chef/owner of Haggo’s Organic Taco in Leucadia

    James Haggard of Haggo's Organic Taco

    I can’t say I’ve ever had an experience quite like I had when I walked into the funky little patio dining area at Haggo’s in the heart of Leucadia. It felt like I was transferred into a Wes Anderson movie, more specifically, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Maybe it was the snorkeling mask hanging under the order window, or the framed picture of The Royal Tenenbaums, or the cool soundtrack and eclectic furnishings. Whatever it was, it’s a good thing and combined with the food, worth a visit.

    Haggo’s Organic Taco is one-of-a-kind and that’s what Leucadia is all about right? No chains, just very creative proprietors of unique shops and restaurants that should be a regular part of your shopping and dining experience.

    The proprietor, James Haggard is a 15 year food and beverage veteran with the majority of that time spent at Rancho Valencia. He has resided in Encinitas for the past 20 years and definitely has a pulse on the local vibe, while having created one he can call his own. Haggo’s itself is a mobile food facility entrenched at the end of a strip of eclectic businesses and right next door to local institution The Plant Lady. James wanted to make clear that this is not a mobile food truck though. They are staying put and that’s a good thing as they have created an environment that will become a destination.

  • Hanis Cavin, chef/owner of the Carnitas Snack Shack in North Park and opening soon in Del Mar Highlands


    LTP is so stoked to have Hanis back on the showŠ and sponsoring Lick the Plate this month! We recorded the show in the very cool backyard patio of their North Park location and discussed their expansion into North County at the Del Mar Highlands shopping center. It’s a great week of interviews with one of LTP’s favorite San Diego Culinary personalities.

  • Amy DiBiase, Executive Chef at Tidal at Paradise Point Resort & Spa


    Celebrated Chef Amy DiBiase is back at the helm of Paradise Point’s signature restaurant, working in an innovative new role as both Executive Chef and General Manager of Tidal. DiBiase was previously Chef de Cuisine at Tidal’s precursor, Baleen, from 2006 to 2008 and rejoined the Paradise Point team in 2013 to be the driving force behind the conceptualization and launch of the new San Diego beach restaurant.

    Almost a decade has passed since DiBiase arrived on the San Diego restaurant scene. After obtaining her Culinary Arts and Food Service Management degrees from Johnson & Wales University, she accepted a job at Laurel Restaurant and Bar in San Diego. Within her first five years, she worked her way up from Cook to Executive Chef. She was then hired as Chef de Cuisine at Baleen, where she stayed for 2 years. Her inventive food earned her and the hotel accolades, making her one of San Diego’s top chefs. DiBiase also assisted in the opening of fine dining restaurant Roseville in Point Loma, which established her credibility as a sought-after chef. She most recently served as Chef de Cuisine at The Shores Restaurant in La Jolla before returning to Paradise Point.

    In the kitchen, DiBiase is known for putting a California twist on Italian and French cuisine. As a member of San Diego’s Cooks Confab, she promotes responsible San Diego restaurant menus that incorporate fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients. This style complements Paradise Point’s mission to infuse regional flavors into their waterfront restaurants.

    DiBiase was raised in Hollis, Maine, where she grew up watching her parents operate a family restaurant. When she’s not cooking, DiBiase donates time to local events and charities, including the San Diego Center for Children, the Center for Community Solutions, Chef Celebration, and Olivewood Gardens.

  • Chef Michael Pinson from BLD’s at Valley View Casino & Hotel

    Join me to check out BLD’s at Valley View Casino & Hotel with Chef Michael Pinson.

    We talk about the casual atmosphere in BLD’s (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) and the delicious food… everything from skirt steak lettuce wraps to barbecue smoked salmon salad to lamb shank. Headed to Valley View Casino & Hotel this weekend? BLD’s is open late on Fridays & Saturdays, until 1am. Check out the tasty BLD’s fare…

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