Maybe it’s the midday temperatures kissing the 70s, the aroma of the Carlsbad flower fields in bloom, or the crack of the bat returning to Petco Park but it’s beginning to feel a lot like Spring in San Diego. Sip on this inventive beet and gin cocktail while you consider which events will take you out of the house and into the sun this season.

Beets Me Savory Beet & Gin Cocktail recipe courtesy of Frankie Thaheld of Snake Oil Cocktail Company. Image by Chris Rov Costa for Edible San Diego.

Mr. Wink’s Pizza Pop-ups in Tijuana

Saturday, April 6 at Moxxo (Av. Sta. maria 2767, Calete, 22044 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico)

Sunday April 14 at St. Bordello (De las Ferias 35B, Herradura, 22470 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico)

Mr. Wink’s Pepperoni & Pickle Pizza. Image courtesy of Gaylord Hanson.

Chef Gaylord Hanson is a veteran chef of the San Diego food scene (formerly Lola 55 and Tribute Pizza). Now flipping pies under the moniker, Mr. Wink, Hanson takes his pizza expertise south of the border with neo-neopolitan pizza pop-ups at various bars and restaurants in Tijuana. He can regularly be found at Aruba Day Drink Bar in Zona Este but two new pop-up locations are set to debut in April at a smokehouse called Moxxo and a recently-opened Italian trattoria, St. Bordello. You’ll be glad you walked across the border when you take your first bite of his legendary pepperoni and pickle pie. Follow Mr. Wink to his next pop-up…¡Buen Provecho!

South Bay Earth Day

Saturday, April 13, 11am–4pm

Chula Vista Bayfront Park

Show Mother Nature love this Earth Month at Chula Vista’s Bayfront Park. Hosted by the City of Chula Vista, find inspiration to lead an environmentally-friendly lifestyle with exhibits that range from green energy conservation to how-tos about composting food waste. Bring broken household items that need fixing to the event’s Fix-it-Clinic where an expert will help diagnose and repair them. Over 40 green vendors with food and live entertainment will make this Earth Day celebration one-of-a-kind. 

21st Annual Celebrate the Craft Food Festival

Sunday, April 14, 11:30am–3pm

The Lodge at Torrey Pines

For more than two decades, The Lodge at Torrey Pines has hosted one of SoCal’s premier food festivals. Purchase a ticket to taste regionally grown ingredients, shop from food artisans, and try local wines and craft beers. California farmers, ranchers, winemakers, and folks from San Diego’s dining scene will showcase the best of their talents at the annual event that supports The Ecology Center

Celebrate the Craft Food Festival. Image courtesy of The Lodge at Torrey Pines.

Exclusive Dinner Benefitting Chef Aarti Sanghavi

Tuesday, April 16, seatings available from 4–8:30pm

Matsu in Oceanside

The French brigade system often used in back-of-house fine dining kitchens lends to the idea that every cook has a role and each one supports the other. Without this camaraderie, the system fails to succeed. When chefs Keith Lord, Davin Waite, and William Eick learned that fellow San Diego chef and friend, Aarti Sanghavi was diagnosed with breast cancer, they banded together to show their support extends beyond the kitchen. Together these three highly acclaimed chefs are hosting a six-course Baja-Indian benefit dinner at Oceanside’s Matsu to uplift Sanghavi through her treatment. Tickets can be purchased here and all proceeds will go directly to chef Aarti. 

Chef Aarti Sanghavi. Image source @cucinarestaurants.

53rd Annual Chicano Park Day Celebration

Saturday, April 20th from 9am to 4pm

Chicano Park, Barrio Logan

One of many murals in Chicano Park. Image courtesy of Stacey Freeman.

Chicano Park was founded on April 22, 1970, by hundreds of Chicanos who stood up against the state of California and the city of San Diego in protest of the division of their community by the construction of the I-5 freeway and the Coronado Bridge. The community demanded a park be built on what was intended to be a highway patrol parking lot. After a neighbor-led twelve-day takeover of the area under the bridge, the residents won and created Chicano Park. To fight the park's growing commercialization and celebrate its 54th year in existence, the Chicano Park Steering Committee has themed this year’s Chicano Park Day as “Bringing Back the True Spirit of the Chicano Park Takeover 54 Years Ago”. This year’s event will not feature food vendors but will return its focus to the beauty and vibrancy of Chicano culture with traditional music, performance, and San Diego Car Clubs. The event is free and open to the public. 

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.