Food may not be more important than tunes at a music festival, but let’s just say that top-notch cocktails and something a bit more elevated than frozen pizza go a long way toward upping our festival enjoyment.
It’s no surprise then that Del Mar’s resort-like KAABOO has tapped top culinary talent from Southern California and beyond for the three-day music and comedy festival.
KAABOO’s Palate program takes the increasingly common curated food lineup and ups the ante with a bona fide tasting event and cooking demonstrations. Angelenos will find a few familiar faces among this year’s participating chefs, including Michael Mina (Cal Mare), Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec) and Aaron Caddel and Rene Montelongo (Mr. Holmes Bakehouse). They’ll join Marc Forgione (Chopped), Michelle Bernstein (MBC Michelle Bernstein Catering Company), Richard Blais (Top Chef, Juniper & Ivy), Brian Malarkey (Searsucker), Daniela Soto-Innes (Cosme), Evan Estrada (MasterChef Junior) and Troy Johnson (San Diego Magazine food critic).
Consider all of the a tasty backdrop for Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry and Robert Plant, who headline the three-day fest September 14 through 16.
In addition to Palate, Mina will judge the 4th Annual Rock’n Chef Competition, a regional, head-to-head cook-off on Saturday of the fest that includes competitors Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins (El Jardín), Tu David Phu (Hawker Centre), Dakota Weiss (Sweetfin) and Joe Sasto III (Cal Mare).
KAABOO takes place September 14–16 at the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds. Tickets start at $249 for general admission and include access to Palate (food and drink are extra).