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St. Germain's Bistro to begin Lady Chef guest series

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Beginning Feb. 1, St. Germain's Bistro & Cafe in Encinitas is set to launch Lady Chef, a quarterly guest chef series featuring San Diego’s top female chefs. The series will debut with Isabel Cruz, executive chef and owner of San Diego’s Barrio Star, Coffee Cup and Isabel’s Cantina. The menu, featuring Latin flavors of Isabel’s cuisine, will be prepared in collaboration with St. Germain’s own lady chef, executive chef Kaitlin Ramos, and will be served throughout the month of February during dinner hours.

Other slated lady chefs include: Dawn Parks, owner and executive chef of The Wild Thyme Company -- Catering and Events, who will be featured in May; Kari Rich, owner and executive chef of Food Farm, who is headlining in August and in November; and Alvanette Kauwalu, a personal chef specializing in Hawaiian and Asian cuisine.

Dallmann Fine Chocolates in Del Mar is celebrating Mozart's birthday with a “Mozart & Mozartkugels Tasting” at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 at its boutique.

Dallmann Fine Chocolates will pair Austrian wines with artisan truffles -- including the famous Mozartkugel named after Mozart -- all while listening to music by the famous composer. Attendees will learn about the world-famous treat, how to identify the difference between a handmade versus mass-produced Mozartkugel, and the history of how Dallmann came from Austria to San Diego.

Cost to attend is $35 per person, and reservations are required. Visit dallmannconfections.com for more information.

L'Auberge Del Mar’s KITCHEN 1540 has a new executive chef starting Monday. L.A. native Scott Thomas Dolbee, who most recently came from the Four Seasons Resort Whistler, in Canada, will oversee all of the food and beverage operations at the 120-room hotel.

“I'm thrilled to return to Southern California, and especially to a property that has such great culinary momentum as L’Auberge,” Dolbee said. “I love utilizing all styles of cooking and draw inspiration from the freshest local ingredients and global culinary influences.”

Jeff Rossman, executive chef and owner of Terra American Bistro, Terra Catering and Shalom Kosher Catering, will be opening Bunz, a casual burger and breakfast spot in Mission Valley, around the first week of February.

Bunz will replace the Rossman family's 31-year-old Pam Pam Café & Grill, attached to Hotel Circle’s Days Hotel. Jeff Rossman, who was not involved with Pam Pam, had long waited to convert the spot to a casual eatery where he could serve the same high-quality ingredients guests receive at Terra, all for under $10.

“Terra American Bistro is the restaurant of my dreams, and Bunz is following suit,” Rossman said. “We're bringing the beautiful, locally grown produce from farms like Suzie’s Organic and humanely raised meats to communities where those ingredients are sparse or nonexistent. We’re making food we’re proud to serve to our own children.”

Bunz will also be the first restaurant in town to serve concretes -- dense frozen shakes -- according to a press release. In the '50s, concrete shakes were handed to customers upside down as a way to demonstrate their thickness.

Red Light District, the Gaslamp Quarter's newest restaurant and “social house,” is slated to open at 409 F Street later this month.

The menu, created by executive chef Jason Maitland, is inspired by European comfort food with Japanese influences.

“The menu is tailored to entice the tastes of both the casual diner and the discriminating palate of the well-traveled foodies,” said Maitland, who is formerly of Flavor Del Mar and Arterra Restaurant.

* Jada.thomas@sddt.com

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