Chef Jason Wetzel of Jolie’s in Coronado was named “Chef of the Festival” at the 2023 SDBWFF

Chef Jason Wetzel of Jolie’s in Coronado was named “Chef of the Festival” at the 2023 SDBWFF

2023 San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival announces Winners of
The annual grand tasting is the people’s choice
“Festival Chef”
and Grand Fiesta “Taco-Taco” contests.

Chef Jason Wetzel, of Jolie Coronado Restaurant, received top honors from the judges and attendees

Organizers of San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival We are pleased to announce the winners of their annual cooking competitions: Grand Tasting People’s Choice “Chef of the Fest” and Grand Fiesta “Taco TKO.” The annual competitions bring the top chefs of Southern California and Baja face-to-face in action-packed culinary showdowns judged by festival attendees and an esteemed panel of industry leaders.

Chef Jason Wetzel of Coronado Jolly

BMW’s Grand Taste on November 11th

People’s Choice for Chef at the Festival

Sixty-six chefs participated in the Grand Tasting of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival presented by BMW in the Chef of the Fest competition in hopes of taking home top culinary honors. Competitors were critiqued by Grand Tasting attendees who had the opportunity to vote on site for their favorite Chef of the Fest dish. The title of ‘Festival Chef’ of the year went to Chef/Owner Jason Wetzel of Jolie In Coronado For the Shrimp and Watermelon Salad (boiled shrimp, heirloom watermelon, serrano chiles, cucumber, fresh mint, fresh vinaigrette, crispy quinoa). Chef Wetzel was crowned the festival’s Official Chef of the Year for 2023, receiving top bragging rights and $5,000 in cash.

“I am extremely humbled to win Festival Chef of the Year at the prestigious San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival,” said Chef/Owner Jason Wetzel of Jolie. “It meant a lot to me that festival attendees voted for us, especially with the caliber of talented chefs also competing for the award. Hearing the positive feedback from the audience about the prawn and watermelon salad was incredible. The dish provides an array of texture, flavor and seasoning that has become a firm favorite.” Customers at Jolly Coronado Shrimp and watermelon combine beautifully with the crunch of crunchy quinoa, and the subtle warmth of Serrano chilies balanced with crème fraîche, bringing it all together for a refreshing bite.

Julie the chef/owner Jason Wetzel created this dish: Shrimp and Watermelon Salad (Boiled Shrimp, Heritage Watermelon, Serrano Chiles, Cucumber, Fresh Mint, Fresh Vinaigrette, Crispy Quinoa)
  • Second place honors went to another district in Coronado and a dual winner in both competitions, Chef Adrian Covarrubias of Loews Coronado Bay Resort FOr his signature dishes: Short Rib Arancini, Smoked Gouda, Truffle Aioli, Shaved Italian Truffle, Dungeness Crab, Maine Lobster, Sweet Shrimp, and Cognac Creme Dish.
  • Third place went to Chef Todd Nash of The Blind Burro for him Quesaberia Machete: birria, salsa verde, avocado, onion, cilantro, Oaxaca, manchego and birria consommé on the side. Chef Todd previously won second place in the 2019 Taco TKO Championship.

Chefs who placed first, second, and third in the Chef of the Fest competition received cash prizes: $5,000 for first place, $TBD for second place, and $TBD for third place.

Grand Fiesta, November 12

TACO TKO People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice Winners

Presented by the Consulate of Mexico and iHeart Media, this year’s Taco TKO Contest It was held on November 13 at the Grand Festival in Ingram Plaza in Liberty Station. the The beloved annual competition brings together the best taco makers in San Diego and Baja to compete Head to head for the title of most amazing taco however, bragging rights as one of Famous taco makers on both sides of the border.

More than 2,000 people attended this year’s Grand Fiesta where they were able to sample it more than once 30 different notable chefs in San Diego and Baja, plus a variety of unique beers and wines Tequila/mezcal stations while enjoying live music from Bulevar Descarga.

It took top honors in the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice categories chef Marcus Tuiljar from Palmy Pacific Beach. Chef Marcus received high marks from the judges and Fiesta attendees for braised ancho beef tacos with pickled tomatoes, avocado, and crunch Sunchoke and coriander.

The judging panel for this year’s competition included industry leaders from both sides of the border. Twenty-two dishes were carefully selected by the chefs as first, second and third place winners Using a graded point system, participants were classified based on their cumulative scores, taking into account… The way the dish is presented, its flavour, its innovation, the quality of the product, and the way it is prepared in the place designated for it time. Judges included:

  • Claudia Sandoval: Master Chef USA, Claudia’s Kitchen
  • Chef Gavin Mills: Not a taco
  • Chef Flor Franco: Casa de Flor
  • Chef Suzette Gresham: Executive Chef, Acquirello, 2 Michelin Stars, San Francisco Chef Antonio De Levier: Animo, Mexico City, “The Taco Way”
  • Scott Koenig: Founder of
  • Fernando Gaxiola: Founder of Baja Wine + Food
  • Raúl Mora: Alfaro Seafood

The 2023 Taco TKO Contest results are as follows:

  • First place People’s Choice Grand Prize Winner

Chef Marcos Tuiljar – Palmes Pacific Beach

Slow-cooked ancho beef taco with pickled tomatoes, avocado, crunchy sunchoke and cilantro.

  • Second place winner by people’s choice

Chef Adrian Covarrubias – Loews Coronado Bay Resort

Short rib taco, demi tequila, green black garlic sauce, pickled red onion, chicharron, Creamy avocado, hand pressed tortilla

  • Third place winner from the people’s choice

Chef Juan Saad – Paracruda

“Mole Montado Taco” – Charred Black Mole, Pickled Onions, Avocado Salsa, Habanero Ash cream, cotija cheese, topped with chicharrón and baby vegetables

  • Grand Prize winner chosen by the judges in first place

Chef Marcos Tuiljar – Palmes Pacific Beach

Slow-cooked ancho beef taco with pickled tomatoes, avocado, crunchy sunchoke and cilantro.

  • The judges choose the second place winner

Chef Oliver Siki – Siki Restaurants (Baja)

Octopus Seki Taco – Blue Corn Tortilla, Grilled Marinated Octopus with Chimichurri Demi Iced with shiitake mushrooms and oxtail

  • The judges choose the third place winner

Chef Rael Coronado – Savage, Tijuana

Crispy potato tacos/shrimp pate/blackened aguachile/spanish octopus/hummus com. chicharron

“We had a blast cooking at Grand Fiesta. “I’ve been involved in this competition over the years and wanted to bring something special to represent Palmy,” said Chef Markus Tueljar of Palmys. “This year, our tacos were inspired by the fall season. We added pomegranate macha sauce, pickled tomatoes, and crunchy sunchokes, which complemented Brandt’s braised lamb beautifully. Then we put all that goodness on top of hand-pressed tortillas. Being from San Diego, it is an honor to represent our city by taking first place in the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice competitions. We’re keeping the good energy flowing and will be running tacos as a special at Palmy’s through the end of the fall season.

Taco TKO People’s Choice Award winners were awarded cash: $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, $1,000 for third place and top Judges’ Choice honors received $1,000.

About the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival®

Fly to San Diego and arrive at Awesome®. 19th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Show The Festival® is an international showcase for the world’s leading wine and spirits producers and chefs and culinary and gourmet food personalities. Held from November 6 to 12, 2023, award-winning The festival raises money for scholarships and scholarships in culinary, oenology and hospitality More than $600,000 has been awarded to individuals and nonprofit organizations through past events. For more Information, please visit This festival is produced by World of Wine events and Fast-forward events.

the San Diego bay vintage & food festival He is Funded in part with city to San Diego tourism marketing Distract appreciation funds.

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