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2015: An Artist @ the Table with Aaron Chang

1An Artist @ the Table is an intimate dinner series designed to introduce the public to San Diego’s creative community. 9 strangers are invited to share in a delicious 3-course fine dining experience with a notable person from the local arts & culture community.

21+ only / $125.00 – SOLD OUT!

Wine and food pairings prepared by Chef Edgar Macias.

Chang

Images from the event:

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A Conversation with
Chef Edgar Macias

How long have you been cooking professionally?
I have been cooking professionally for the past nine years but I have been working in restaurants all of my adult life. I have loved the kitchen environment ever since I was four and I played with the pots and pans in my parents ¨Birrieria.¨

What are your favorite styles of cuisine and why?
If I had to choose I would say mediterranean, modernist and Japanese cuisine. I like Meditarranean as an everyday cuisine; It´s clean, fresh and healthy. I love that it It´s honest, in the sense that a tomato is still a tomato and a piece of cod taste like a piece of cod after a cooking method has been applied to it. I like to celebrate ingredients for what they are and let them speak for themselves. On the other hand, modernist cuisine can transform an ingredient to the point that it can play mind games on you. As a chef, I like to incorporate that wow factor in small quantities without letting it take over a dish. So, in essence I like mediterranean cuisine as a base for my dishes with added modernist and molecular elements. I also like Japanese cuisine for its simple elegance. A piece of sashimi grade ahi tuna over rice can appear simple, but in the hands of a master can be one of life’s greatest pleasures. It is a difficult cuisine that may take years to master but also one of the most beautiful there is.

What excites/ inspires you about cooking?
As long as I´m in the kitchen it is never hard to find inspiration. The ingredients themselves give so much. All of the senses are provoked. The sounds, aromas, textures and flavors all come to play and it´s pure joy.

The season plays a big part in the process as well. I like to visit local farmers markets and see what they offer and then plan menus around that. My first stop when I arrived in LA was the central market because as long as I knew where to find fresh produce, spices and dry chiles I knew I would be OK. I welcome with anticipation what each season brings. For example the first peaches of the summer will never get old for me as I always have new recipes and techniques to try.

I also like to collaborate with fellow Chefs and see where our ideas take us. I´m fortunate to always have someone opening their kitchen to me with an invitation to be creative. I´m also very close with the art community. Everywhere I go I like to make connections with artists as seeing other people’s passion for their work keeps me inspired about my own work. That´s why right after I located the central market I went straight to the arts district and then spent the rest of the afternoon at LACMA.

What is your culinary work history (places you have worked)?

Approximately 30% of the time I´m a personal Chef in Coronado, La Jolla and now Beverly Hills. The other 70% I spend in restaurants and hotels. Just last year I worked in four different kitchens. That was four menus, four culinary philosophies, kitchen teams and executive Chefs I had to adapt to. I was riding a creative wave and somehow ended up working in four different places! It was incredible but a bit exhausting. In 2015 I would like to slow down and stay in one place. For the most part I have worked in corporate fine dining restaurants for hotels and resorts like Marriot, Hyatt and Loews. Most recently I explored modern American cuisine at Sally´s in Seaport Village and prior to that I had the privilege to be part of the team at 1500 Ocean at the iconic Hotel Del Coronado.

Where are you cooking now?

Im back to basics, classic french cuisine. It was the main pillar of my formal culinary training and a cuisine dear and near to my heart. I´m currently part of the culinary team for a french bistro in Beverly Hills and doing a bit of personal chefing on the side. It was very important for me to revisit the classic French technique. I´m incredibly fortunate and humbled to collaborate and learn from chefs I have admired for a long time.

Vanguard Culture

Vanguard Culture is an online media entity designed for culturally savvy, socially conscious individuals. We provide original interviews and reviews of the people, places, and events that make up San Diego’s thriving arts and culture community, as well as curated snapshots of the week’s best, most inspiring and unique cultural and culinary events. We believe in making a difference in the world, supporting San Diego’s vibrant visual and performing arts community and bringing awareness to important social and community causes.

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