As food festivals go, North Eats at the Hilton Cape Rey in Carlsbad has become a favorite over the past few years.
First off the location is spectacular.
The Cape Rey Hilton is located on Coast Highway right across from the campgrounds so ocean breezes prevail throughout the late afternoon and the sun sets into the Pacific.
Another fine attribute of North Eats is the indoor/outdoor setup of the event. Food and beverage stations are set up in both locations so there is plenty of shade and opportunity to enjoy the views.
And of course, event producer Nol Calabrese has more than 25 North County restaurants, breweries and wineries represented with a huge variety this year. And let’s not forget the entertainment with North County favorite the Barnwell Shift providing live music and the FM 94/9 morning show hosts Chris Cantore and Steve Woods participating in the always fun Cook or Kook competition. Baker & Olive owner and event producer Calabrese filled me in on some more of the event’s highlights recently.
Besides producing North Eats and owning Baker & Olive, what are some of the other interesting culinary related ventures you have going on?
We recently partnered with The Flavor Chef, which makes truly artisan, organic chicken and grass fed beef broths. Made locally, we simmer the bones for 18 to 24 hours in very small batches, which makes the process truly a labor of love.
North Eats celebrates the North County culinary scene in a beautiful location. What restaurants do you have participating this year?
We have 25 great restaurants this year. There will be repeat offenders such as the Wrench and the Rodent, Solterra, Privateer, and Local Tap House. Some of the new ones that we are excited to see are Prep Kitchen, Lighthouse Oyster Bar, and 608 Mission.
How about on the beverage side — breweries and wineries as well?
There will be plenty of beer and wine but no specific breweries participating. Living Tea Kombucha and Ironsmith Coffee will be participating.
One of my favorite parts of North Eats is the Cook or Kook competition and this year you have Cantore and Woods from FM 94/9. How does that competition work?
Cook or Kook is always a fan favorite at North Eats. It’s an action-packed live cooking competition. This year Cantore and Woods are partnering up with chefs from Rimel’s and Seaside Market for a kitchen ultimate showdown to see who can prepare the better dish. It should be great and very entertaining.
Music is a part of North Eats as well; who do you have on tap this year?
We’re excited to have North County locals Barnwell Shift playing this year. Their style of music is perfectly suited to a Sunday afternoon surrounded by amazing food, friends and the coastal location.
Speaking of the location, for those folks who have not been to the Cape Rey Hilton Resort, what can they expect at this amazing venue?
The venue is beautiful. It’s a great inside/outside space that sits oceanfront right on Ponto Road in Carlsbad, and is the perfect place to enjoy the best of the North County culinary scene. We should be able to catch the sunset as the event winds to a close.
You have been my guest on Lick the Plate on FM 94/9, KSON and Sunny 98.1 all week and shared some fun information including your dream concert lineup of three bands on one stage. Can you share that with readers again?
Well, I’d mix it up a bit as my tastes in music are all over the map. I’d start the show Ben Folds, then bring newcomer Alt J on, (and) then finish big with The Who.
What would your last supper be, your last meal on earth and you get a starter, main and dessert?
I’d start with Tuna Crudo (finished with baker & olive lemon olive oil ) then my main would be Chicken Tikka Masala and I’d finish with my wife’s Tiramisu (hopefully this will “encourage” her to make some).
North Eats is this Sunday, June 26. How can folks get tickets before then?
They can go to Baker & Olive’s website at bakerandolive.com or stop in our Encinitas store before the event.
David Boylan is the founder of Artichoke Creative an Encinitas based integrated marketing firm. He also hosts Lick the Plate Radio that airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. on FM94/9, Easy 98.1, and KSON. Reach him at [email protected] or (858) 395-6905.