Hey there, it's Industry Dish, a bi-weekly feature on Eater San Diego. In this space, our town's restaurant and bar pros weigh in on their favorite eats and drinks, give their thoughts on local food trends and talk about what it's like to work in the San Diego community. Know an industry pro who wants to do some sharing? Let us know.
[Starlite's Kathleen Wise, courtesy photo]
Kathleen Wise trained at Hillcrest's farm-to-table Region and started as Starlite's sous chef when the restaurant first opened. She moved into the executive chef position in 2011 and also makes sausages and charcuterie for the kitchen. Wise is an avid gardener who raises chickens and rabbits in the backyard of her San Diego home.
What's your favorite thing on your menu right now?
Probably the new vegetarian entree. It's a broccoli pot pie with a beer cheese sauce and it comes with a beet and walnut salad. It smells really good, every time I pull it out of the oven my mouth starts to water! I really like the winter quinoa salad too. It's arugula, herbed quinoa, crispy chickpeas and fried cauliflower with a curry vinaigrette. I also get really excited about our weekend specials, which start on Thursdays. We've done red wine braised beef and spicy short ribs with kimchee and broccoli.
Where do you like to eat when you're not working?
I love Okan on Convoy. Everything is delicious there. I usually start with a few of their salads off the bar, then do the gobo root salad. Then I get about a million other things, finishing with a rice dish in a stone bowl and then get the black honey pudding for dessert. If I'm not going for such a big dinner, I'll go to Tiger!Tiger!. Oysters, vegetables out of the wood fired oven and house made sausages. Yum yum yum.
Anything that you're "over", in terms of played-out restaurant and food trends or ingredients?
I know that sounds really silly, but the one restaurant fad I'm a little sick of is garlic fries. The garlic is always raw and soooooooo strong; that's just me though.
Do you have a request for San Diego diners?
I'm sort of over diners that have really extreme dietary restrictions but don't even really know what they are. I don't mind adjusting any dish, but if it's that serious and I go to all of the trouble to accommodate you with your entree, don't "cheat" with dessert!
How is San Diego unique as far as the restaurant/chef community?
I feel like San Diego chefs aren't afraid of camaraderie. I really don't feel any intense competition between us, although I was pretty cut throat at the chili cook off , we are all still friends at the end of the day. I haven't worked in other cities, so I don't know if this is exclusive to us, but I'm glad it exists. We all obviously have the same passion, we might as well be friends.
— Starlite [Official Site]
— All Industry Dish on Eater San Diego [~ESD~]