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'Taste of Opera' expands menu of activities

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San Diego Opera recently announced the return of the fourth annual “Taste of Opera,” a series of events designed to offer an introduction to the 2012 season in informal and casual settings around creatively themed dinners and events.

Working off the successes of last year's events, this year’s expanded menu of activities includes the continuation of a themed series of cooking classes at Great News Discount Cookware and Cooking School, as well as casual dinners and conversations at various San Diego restaurants.

Chef Katherine Emmenegger from Great News has created four cooking class menus inspired by each of the operas of the San Diego 2012 season: "Salome," "Moby-Dick," "Don Pasquale" and "The Barber of Seville." Emmenegger and sous-chef Nicolas Reveles (who is also San Diego Opera Geisel Director of Education and Outreach) will entertain guests with facts and stories while meals are being created.

For more information, visit sdopera.com

The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina was recently awarded the 2011 Quality Assurance Award by MLT Vacations Inc., a provider of vacation packages in the United States.

The award recognizes a select group of hotels that achieves a 99 percent customer satisfaction score and a 99 percent delivery of product performance. Hyatt Regency Mission Bay received this honor for its “demonstration of superior operational consistency and exemplary quality standards.”

Bolillo Tortas is set to open in the Gaslamp Quarter on Oct. 17. The 2,100-square-foot fast-casual restaurant features 40 seats indoors, an open kitchen and bar seating, plus a 20-seat outdoor covered patio area. The venue is located at 417 Fourth Ave.

Bertrand at Mister A's has added a new mixologist and bar consultant, Shawn Barker. A native San Diegan, Barker has been in the food service industry for 13 years. He began his career with Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group at Chinois in Caesar’s Palace, where he started designing custom cocktails for the company. As a bar consultant, Barker has created bar menus for Spago, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill, WP24, CUT, and Chinois, as well as many other restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego.

While Westfield UTC is undergoing a big revitalization over the next 12 months, the shopping center had to temporarily close its food court. To accommodate shoppers, starting Monday, the mall is bringing in San Diego food trucks Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The food trucks will be located at The Circle near Sports Chalet.

This event is planned for several weeks, ending after Christmas, once the food court reopens.


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