Community Commentary Lick the Plate

Foodies rejoice — The Encinitas Foodie Fest is here!

This was bound to happen, there are just too many of us not to celebrate this wonderful culinary movement happening right here in North County. Encinitas seems to be the epicenter of it all and that is where local entrepreneur and foodie extraordinaire Jolie Pink has organized the first Encinitas Foodie Fest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 23.

Jolie runs the stylish Wabisabi Green that provides eco-friendly tabletop accessories for modern coastal living and is very immersed in the local dining scene. Her connections with the area’s top culinary talent and vendors made this all possible.

I recently had a short conversation with Jolie about her inspiration for the Foodie Fest.

The inaugural Encinitas Foodie Fest takes place June 23 at Pacific Station in Encinitas. Courtesy photo

Lick the Plate: So how did the idea for an Encinitas Foodie Fest come about?

JP: Being a foodie and an artist myself, I wanted to put together an event emphasizing local gourmet cuisine, goods and the arts while benefiting a great cause, The Coastal Community Foundation’s Healthy Day Fund.

LTP: Based on the lineup you have secured for a first-time event, it seems to have gone over well with the culinary community. Who are some of the area chefs you have on board?

JP: World-renown Chef Bernard Guillas of the Marine Room is a local Encinitas resident famous for his French fusion cuisine. Chef Jason Gethin oversees the super popular Union Kitchen & Tap on 101. Newcomer Chef Kaitlin Ramos has overhauled the menu at the Encinitas institution St. Germain’s Bistro & Café by adding a French exotic twist. Whole Foods veteran Chef Dennis Horton excels at Mediterranean cuisine and is in charge of the Encinitas store, Orange County and Hawaii! And local fireman turned pizza guru Chef John Gonzales recently launched Bottaro Wood Fired Pizza.

LTP: There are also some really fun vendors. I see you have Susan Sbicca there with her new Vegan Gelato, which is amazing. Who are some of the other vendors participating?

JP: There will be an extensive range of gourmet food products to sample and taste such as baked goods from Sadie Rose Baking Company or Bread & Butter Baking Company, enticing sweets from Sea Salt Candy Company or Praline’s Patisserie, savory cheese from Fiscalini Farms, and tantalizing spreads from Majestic Garlic or Pacific Beach Peanut Butter. In addition, gourmet food-related products include Wabisabi Green’s ecofriendly table linens made in San Diego; Bottlehood’s recycled glassware and The bUZZ Ladies social networking group centered around restaurant reviews.

LTP: The location is very cool, right in the heart of Encinitas in a great courtyard setting. It looks like you have dancers and bands involved also. Who can we expect to see?

JP: Keeping with the sustainability aspect of the event, sponsor Stellar Solar is powering the Viking/Pacific Sales Chef Demo Stage with their impressive Mobile Solar Power Station. There will be a variety of live musical performances spanning soulful pop to folk to modern country by Karen Real & Doug Danker, Duchess, Jimmy Patton & Enrique Platas, Johs Petroni, Ricky the IV and Trouble in the Wind. And instructors from Frog’s Fitness Center and Total Woman Gym & Day Spa will provide lively Zumba performances throughout the day.

LTP: Tell me about the event benefactor, The Coastal Community Foundation Healthy Day Fund.

JP: Local moms Mim Micheleve and Camille Sowinski are passionate about the environment and children’s nutrition. They launched Healthy Day to provide healthy snacks to under privileged school children in Encinitas, support area school gardens and wellness education.

LTP: Any other event details you would like to share??

JP: Sponsor Whole Foods Encinitas will be offering a fantastic barbeque featuring sliders made from local, sustainable, grass-fed beef from Homegrown Meats during the festival and donating proceeds to Healthy Day. As part of an Art to Table charity auction, a crazy assortment of living succulent centerpieces were created by local artists including Danny Salzhandler and Laird Plumleigh and can be seen on display now at restaurants such as Vigilucci’s.

The Encinitas Foodie Fest Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pacific Station in downtown Encinitas. There is no charge to attend this family friendly event.

Full details including participating chefs and vendors can be found at

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David Boylan is founder of Artichoke Creative and Artichoke Apparel, an Encinitas based marketing firm and clothing line. Reach him at or (858) 395-6905.