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Manchester Grand steps up to plate with Padres offer

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The Manchester Grand Hyatt is offering hefty discounts for Padres game attendees. Any Padres home game with a walkoff homer or a grand slam means everyone in the park's ticket becomes good for 50 percent off purchases up to $10,000 for rooms, restaurants, bars, the spa and more -- as long as they are redeemed anytime from the day after the game through Dec. 30.

Also, at any game the Padres win, all ticket holders get 30 percent off at the Grand Hyatt.

Last week, the San Diego County chapter of the California Restaurant Association hosted its 26th annual Gold Medallion Awards banquet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, where restaurateurs are acknowledged for business practices, concepts and achievements in more than 40 categories.

The most distinguished awards went to Mike Rossman, owner of Terra Restaurant and Catering, for Restaurateur of the Year and Jim Phillips, executive chef at Barona Resort and Casino, for Chef of the Year. Also honored were the San Diego Convention Center as the Large Service Provider of the Year and Specialty Produce as the Small Service Provider of the Year.

Nearly 1,100 people attended the event, raising more than $50,000 in community funds, which the CRA San Diego chapter will donate for foodservice equipment and supplies to the culinary arts program at Morse, San Diego, Mira Mesa and Garfield high schools; donations to SDSU's Hospitality and Tourism Management Program; educational seminars and classes to the local industry; advocacy to protect and promote the restaurant industry through local legislation and cooperation with other local organizations.

For a complete list of winners, visit the San Diego County Chapter of the California Restaurant Association's website.

San Diego's Stingaree, a 22,000-square-foot nightlife, restaurant and event venue, recently welcomed Shannon Silva as its director of event sales.

Having previously worked at House of Blues San Diego, The Wavehouse at Belmont Park, The Meeting Manager and Pacific Events Productions, Silva will be working on events, product launches, receptions, company parties and private dinners.

In San Diego's East Village, once a month, beginning June 9, TOAST Enoteca & Cucina offer Behind the Label, a wine class and tasting series with five winery owners/makers directly from Italy.

The wine class and series will feature Italian cuisine that complements a selection of more than 400 wines -- served by the glass, bottle or from wine dispensing machines.

The cost is $30 per person. Call 619-269-4207 for details.

La Jolla's Roppongi Restaurant & Sushi Bar recently welcomed Warren Almeda as the new executive sushi chef.

Almeda recently departed from Roy's Restaurant where he was executive chef for two years.

Little Italy's Evolve Salon in the Porto Vista Hotel is doing their part to help contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As part of a nationwide effort and in partnership with Pureology Serious Colour Care, Evolve is donating hair clippings swept off its floors to Matter of Trust, an organization that uses the donated hair to clean polluted waters.

As hair is a natural absorber of oil, the collected hair is placed into recycled stockings to create a boom that will eventually skim the contaminated waters and help return the ocean to its original state.

"Just one pound of hair can absorb up to a quart of oil in a minute and can be wrung out and reused multiple times," said Chrissy Sheely, manager of Evolve Salon.

The salon has made an effort to collect and store clean hair trimmings of all lengths and types, and plans to donate over 15 boxes of hair.

For the first time in Balboa Park's Starlight Theatre's 64-year history, camera crews will be projecting live Starlight performances onto two large screens during each performance of the 2010 season. The screens will be located on either side of the proscenium stage, thereby making it easier to see the theatrical action no matter where you're sitting in the 4,200 seat outdoor amphitheater.

Every Wednesday in June, Point Loma's The Pearl Hotel, hosts a "Dive in Theater" where attendees can sit poolside and watch movies under the stars with the hotel's giant outdoor projector. The pool is heated, showtime is at 8 p.m. and admission is free.

Visit thepearlsd.com for more information.

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