Local chef Stephen Gage hits the road this week with Wölfegarten, a new food truck and catering outfit of his own creation that will serve German-American cuisine. A San Diego Culinary Institute alum, Gage has held several high-profile posts including chef de cuisine at La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel and executive chefs positions at Underbelly, Blind Lady Ale House, and most recently, Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen. He says Wölfegarten will reference the German-American food he experienced growing up in the Midwest, modernized by California ingredients and his culinary training. The menu, which will change seasonally, includes his take on sauerbraten featuring a marinated skirt steak with ginger scallion pesto, a pork schnitzel with mole verde pate, citrus cabbage, radish, and garlic cream cheese, and a twist on knodel, traditional boiled dumplings, made with sweet potato and served with a tomato ragu and farmer’s cheese.
Gage says his main focus will be on local breweries, with already-scheduled stops set for August 3 at Fall Brewing, August 8 at New English, and August 10 at Third Avenue Alehouse in Chula Vista; follow the truck on social media for the full itinerary. The chef plans to incorporate San Diego beer into his menu and partner with breweries on special events and pairing dinners.
Asked why he chose to leave the restaurant kitchen arena, Gage says, ”I stepped away from restaurants to focus on Wolfegarten, which is a passion project of mine. I saw a hole in the market for a cuisine that is near and dear to my heart and that I think can find a niche of its own here in San Diego.” He tells Eater that he hopes to use the truck as a stepping stone to eventually open a brick and mortar restaurant.