The SOMM Journal

August/September 2014

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Page 40 of 119

{ }  41 Located in the San Diego hills, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa has been a luxury getaway destination for over five decades. In 1965, the then 90-room property became the first U.S. resort to introduce a full-service spa. Today, it is a world-class, the 473-room luxury country club for guests and surrounding homeowners. Great cuisine attracts as much as golf, tennis and the spa. Executive Chef Marc Therrien's focus on California indigenous products as well as the herbs, flowers, honey and other products off the property, encourages fresh and current dishes for the two on-site restaurants, The Blue Fire Grill and Bistro 65. SIMPLE FOOD, GOOD TECHNIQUE, CLEAN FLAVORS Bison short ribs with potato galette accompa- nied by oyster mushrooms and cipollini onions. Pan-seared bass with Beluga lentils in a lemon beurre blanc. Honey is used to infuse drinks and cock- tails (the Honey Sting is a signature recipe), vinaigrettes and salads. Depak Chopra's Ayurvedic food program is a substantial part of the menu at La Costa and utilizes honey in many dishes. With a love for hot sauce, Therrien grows over 30 habanero chili plants, a three-month yearly harvesting program. For his popular whiskey barrel hot sauce, the kitchen makes a mash that sits for a month, and then pro - cesses the chili mash with liquid and ages it in whiskey barrels for two months. The result is a sweet, smoky, spiced, balanced and buttery bright housemade orange sauce that takes the place of Tabasco. "I am constantly pushing myself," he notes. "It's my responsibility not to be bored." "When I met him, he had just harvested honey from his three colonies."

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