Representing the vibrant essence of the SoCal cuisine scene are three elements that embody the California culinary landscape. Each exemplifies a fresh new outlook, vibe, and the innovative spirit that manifests into the truly unique.
Co-Chef Shane McIntyre
Herb & Wood
(Eater winner 2016)
San Diego, CA
Chef Shane McIntyre has become “a chef to watch,” in his stomping grounds of San Diego for his unique skill of pairing seasonal ingredients, (including many rarely heard of delicacies) with local and globally sourced herbs, fruit, vegetables, antique grains and exotic spices.
Being that SoCal cuisine is earning a reputation for being an amalgamation of the best the world has to offer, with a splash of Cali flare and ‘lightness of being,’ Chef McIntyre is a perfect candidate to represent as a local treasure.
San Diego Culinary Boom
“I’ve been in San Diego for the past 14 years and I’ve seen tremendous growth over that time. Great food is such a part of everyone’s life now. You see it everywhere: social media, television, the bounty of farmers’ markets cropping up; everyone wants what’s new, what’s fresh and what’s local.”
Herb & Wood Cuisine Defined
Herb & Wood = Well thought out. No fuss.
“We are treading our own path at this juncture. We’re not trying to recreate the wheel. But we’re not the kind of people to copy others either. We get whatever amazing ingredients that are happening at the farmers’ market and we say, ‘What could be cool with this?’ Then we let them shine. We’re not limiting ourselves to any one thing. It’s just simplicity. That’s the way we cook. It’s something we hold near and dear to our hearts.”
“Like Southern California, Herb & Wood’s design is light, bright and airy. This comes across on our menu as well because we use a lot of acids, things that aren’t so heavy. Even in our Oxtail Gnocchi, a traditionally heavier dish, we braise for five hours but still hit it with Sherry Vinegar. Because of this you still get acid out of something that should be really heavy.”
“When I was a kid, my parents didn’t do much cooking but my Grandfather always grew strawberries and vegetables in his backyard. That was my first introduction to what is fresh and seasonal. I remember this made a big impression on me, that distinction of something being grown by hand at the perfect time of year. My first job, I was a dishwasher at 15, and ended up cooking brunch about 6 months after that and I never looked back.”
The Malarky McIntyre Connection
“I was the Corporate Chef at Searsucker and have known Chef Brian Malarky (‘Top Chef’ Finalist and ABC’s, ‘The Taste’, for ‘Winning Mentor’), for a little over six years now. It’s been a great journey, and I’ve had a lot of cool experiences. I just got back from cooking (Korean Fried Chicken) at the ‘2018 Players Tail Gate Party’, at The Super Bowl. That’s something a lot of people can’t say they get to do.”
“My attitude. I’ve worked in a lot of places that had the ‘tyrant chef’ type and it was something I always told myself I never wanted to be. We’re not here to keep line cooks, line cooks. We’re here to make line cooks sous chefs and chefs. If we can make people better than we are ourselves that’s where we can see the future of food. Success comes down to all hands on deck. If you’re going to put something new on the menu you have to get everyone involved. If you get everyone involved, they’re going to stand behind it. ‘You can taste the heart of the food.’”
Favorite Aspect Of Being A Chef
Least Favorite Aspect Of Being A Chef
The Chefs’ Warehouse Relationship
“Love it. My favorite thing about CW is my Sales Rep., Justin Lawson. He is phenomenal. You can ask him to find you any ingredient and he will bend over backward to make it happen. There’s a wheatgrass on our menu. They’re called Job’s Tears. He spent days trying to find them for us. This is the kind of commitment that is a core value of CW Sales Reps. It’s what makes them a better company.”
The Restaurant Group:
Santa Barbara, CA
“Acme Hospitality put the ‘Funk Zone’ on the map.”
Acme Hospitality, “An innovative collection of boutique food and beverage concepts,” invigorated the heart and soul of incredibly cool, “The Funk Zone,” in Santa Barbara, CA.
Echoing the food/bar fueled transformations of North London’s former “dodgy”, Shoreditch area, now a hipster’s heaven, and NYC’s once old and “manky”, Meat Packing District, now one of the most hip and fashionable 44 acres on the planet, Santa Barbara has revolutionized its own former industrial area with The Funk Zone.
The Funk Zone benefits bountifully by the plethora of gastronomic pleasures and sun-kissed picturesque gardens offered by Acme Hospitality. The first pleasure offered is The Lark, a classic SoCal rustic, old-school diner offering exceptionally fresh and vibrant share plates of California cuisine six days a week. The Lucky Penny, adorned with a famous penny-laden exterior, the popular and cozy, order at the counter 300 sq ft “joint”, offers authentically delicious pizzas, sandwiches, and salads in its lovely garden. Le Marchands, created in part by the guys from the hit wine film, is a killer wine store that includes its own finessed kitchen, offering artisan charcuterie, cheese, and wine bar-type menu selections. Helena Bakery is where expert bakers create divine baked masterpieces behind an all-glass partition, so guests can watch and have dough-infused daydreams (Helena Bakery also offers wholesale bread and delivery). Finally, Acme Hospitality’s new concept, Loquita, offers authentic Spanish Tapas and complementing vibe, including festive patio dining, craft cocktails, and share plates.
The long and short of it is, you can obtain just about any gastronomic pleasure under the Santa Barbara sun in The Funk Zone. As is the trend for the hottest restaurant groups such as Acme Hospitality, The Funk Zone and its treasure chest of exciting venues, embody SoCal food experiences moving in a very hip and delicious direction.
Health- Ade Kombucha
Similar to the explosion of amazing new restaurants blossoming in SoCal, Los Angeles based Health-Ade Kombucha is the exciting fresh and healthy ingredient of choice getting a lot of deserved attention, particularly on the West Coast.
The company was created by Daina Trout, her husband Justin, and best friend Vanessa Dew, (with a limited credit card and a dream) and has quadrupled in size each year since its inception. It’s thrilling to be one of the fastest growing and top performing national brands in the marketplace. No matter how much Health-Ade expands, they will never compromise on quality and will remain true to their original mission: to inspire others to do what they have successfully learned to do in business—”follow your gut!”
Fermented 100% in glass, to prevent plastic and metal leaching, and produced in super-small 2.5-gallon batches for premium quality, the flavor of Health-Ade Kombucha is created with only the highest quality ingredients possible, like raw cold-pressed juice from organic produce. Los Angeles based Health-Ade is proud to be certified organic, non-GMO, kosher, vegan, raw, and gluten-free, and currently has 13 delicious flavors.
Besides being a tasty and extremely healthy alternative to regular decaffeinated beverages, Health-Ade Kombucha is being creatively utilized in a bevy of exciting cocktails and is the signature Kombucha of choice. It’s soon to be available on tap by the keg at Disneyland, in Anaheim, CA.