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Don't know where to start your Cali-Baja experience? Let Trey Foshee, a world-renowned chef who lives and breathes Cali-Baja, be your guide.
The use of fresh flavors and local ingredients combined with authentic Mexican cooking styles is quickly becoming San Diego’s defining cuisine, and few chefs embody the Cali-Baja movement like Chef Trey Foshee. Here are five of Trey's favorite Cali-Baja creations to get you started.
Adobo marinade gives the snapper fish the tangy, spicy flavor Trey loves. It includes, among other things, chiles, garlic, spices, vinegar and oil. Then the marinade crusts on the fish as it grills over the open fire, giving it a nice crunch.
Sometimes the key isn't always something crazy or experimental. Sometimes the trick is right in front of you: fresh and local. Trey prefers the traditional accoutrements (lime, cabbage and salsa) with locally caught fish—something white and flakey, like seabass. Then, he puts all that in one of his Galaxy Taco tortillas—made from masa ground daily from heirloom Masienda corn.
Aguachile is a spicy and refreshing dish, similar to ceviche, that involves a puree of serrano chile, lime, cilantro and water with sliced onions, cucumbers and raw shrimp, scallops or fish. It's not cooked with heat, but the acidic marinade actually partially cooks the seafood. Pair Aguachile with a good San Diego craft beer while you decide what main dish to order.
Trey says that a touch of soy "adds complexity and depth of flavor without turning it into a fusion dish." An example would be a spicy and savory habañero soy dressing, which combines heat from peppers found in traditional Mexican dishes with a hint of Asian taste for an unexpected and full-flavored twist.
Trey Foshee loves the unexpected additions and combinations that make Cali-Baja stand out as such a daring cuisine. Specifically, he likes those spike-ball ocean creatures: sea urchins. Trey likes when uni, the meat from a sea urchin, is blended and added to the juice of any ceviche. While spiny and sharp on the outside, the inside of a sea urchin is a delicacy. "Uni adds a briny and buttery flavor to any ceviche," Trey says.
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