Spiked Watermelon Agua Fresca. Recipe and photo by Ryan Rizzuto.

Lately, sprawling green vines stretch out in every direction in my garden indicating that peak summer is upon us. This time last year, I experimented with saving seeds from a delicious farmers' market melon that had blown me away with its floral sweetness. I froze the seeds in a small container and on the first day of spring this year, I popped six seeds into my wine barrel planters. The soil was nourished from the abundance of rain and within a week all six seeds sprouted. From then on I've been a witness to the melons taking over the backyard. 

I hadn’t quite figured out what melons I had been growing until a few weeks ago when the first one ripened into a magnificent yellow fruit. I’ve harvested at least a dozen of what I discovered are canary melons, and there are plenty more ripening as I type. Needless to say, I’ve gotten creative with my uses of these melons, but my favorite recipe thus far has been my Spiked Melon Agua Fresca brightened with mint and a kick of tequila.

Tepary Beans with Pan-Fried Pacific Mackerel. Recipe by Juan González. Image by Lauren di Matteo for Edible San Diego.

While you sip on that and chew on this (Chef Juan González’s Tepary Beans with Pan-Fried Pacific Mackerel), consider exploring these events in San Diego happening over the next month to round off your fruitful summer.

What better way to kick off your Sunday than with a food festival? Pull up to Helia Brewing Co. in Vista this Sunday, August 27 for the Santosha Food Fest, an afternoon of live music, plant-based bites from local chefs, sustainable vendors and pints of craft beers to sip from. The event is hosted by Santosha Nutrition and proceeds support Sustainability is Sexy, a hip San Diego nonprofit that provides tangible education on and solutions to address the global climate crisis. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Image source: Sip & Script.

Flip the script over Labor Day weekend at Rancho Guejito Vineyard in Escondido. On Sunday, September 3, guests can practice modern calligraphy in between glasses of vino in a Sip & Script class. Have no fear, lefties will not be left out, as this class caters to the ambidextrous! Warning, though, you may need to raise your wine glass for a sip with your non-dominant hand. Continue the good vibes with a free live musical performance at the vineyard by uplifting acoustic duo, The Heart, from 2–5pm.

As Labor Day weekend closes, familiar routines set in like carting your kids to and from sports, catching the Sunday football game, and sipping on a seasonal coffee (no, you won’t catch me advocating for a pumpkin spice latte here). Stop by 7 Seas Roasting Co. in South Park for house-roasted coffees, often overlooked autumn-flavored lattes, and teas. Visit on Sundays for a rotating brunch pop-up by local chefs to pair with your morning pick-me-up.

Image source: 7 Seas Roasting Co.

Keep the groove going at the 41st Annual Adams Avenue Street Fair, Southern California’s largest free two-day festival on Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24. Dance your way down ten blocks of San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood that will feature local food vendors, seven stages of live music, 300 artisans booths, carnival rides, and beer gardens all along the way!


Get ready to round out that last weekend of September with us, Edible San Diego, as we celebrate local food writing and the launch of our fall issue at One Kitchen Collaborative (OKC) in Oceanside on Sunday, September 24. Enjoy brunch bites from the crew at OKC and learn about the inspiring story of how One Kitchen Collaborative came to be from the founders themselves. We look forward to sharing our fall stories in print and in person with you real soon. Be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter to get the early invite.

Until then, savor these fleeting moments of summer in San Diego. Run off on a weekday evening to catch the sunset over the Pacific. Flip the final pages of the novel you said you’d finish this summer among the winding pathways of Balboa Park. Escape the city lights for stargazing in the cool air of Mt. Laguna or Julian and don’t forget a slice of apple pie. It is apple season, after all.

Stay hungry, curious, and considerate,

Chef Ryan Rizzuto

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About the Contributor
Ryan Rizzuto
Ryan Rizzuto is a chef, entrepreneur, and event curator in San Diego. You can taste his work at his own soul food popup, Southside Biscuits. Chef Ryan was nationally-recognized as a 2020 Food Hero by Edible Communities and Niman Ranch for his Covid-19-related hunger relief operations at Kitchens for Good. Follow him on Instagram at @chefryanrizzuto and his soul food and public events at @southsidebiscuits.