I had plans to head to San Diego this June for my brother’s wedding rather than work. Either it was coincidence or I mentioned my plans online though, as I received an e-mail from Hotel Solamar and Jsix’s publicist inviting me to stay there and participate in Christian Graves’s “Chef’s Kitchen Experience.” (“Inviting me” is a euphemism for “it was free.”) When I mentioned I was traveling with my wife and 6-month-old daughter, thankfully the publicist didn’t wince; if she had I would’ve felt awful about having them sleep on a bench in Balboa Park while I enjoyed the restaurant and hotel.
I knew Christian was an excellent chef and that he and this trip to a local farm that supplies his kitchen would make worthy subjects for an article for BlackBook. And I realize I’m committing a journalism faux pas here, but I want to like the subjects of my articles (then again, I mostly cover travel, not terrorism). When possible I want to encourage readers to give their business to talented people who are nice. Hopefully Christian’s warm personality came through in my piece.
My favorite example didn’t make it into the final version though. When I asked him why he became a chef, he answered that he found something special about being able to cook for two people who were leaving their infant daughter behind for the first time and watching them enjoy themselves and stare into each other’s eyes.
You can watch Christian plot out our meal here: