San Diego, CA, October 5, 2010 — Drama, exotic spices and the tension of competition will electrify the air above the Saffron restaurants on India Street from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, October 18, when two of San Diego’s hottest chefs square off against Thai cuisine expert Su-Mei Yu in a sizzling culinary Throwdown to create the most sensational Pad Thai noodles in San Diego. The event inaugurates five days and nights of celebrations of the beloved restaurants’ 25th Anniversary. Proceeds from the $3 per person ticket sales as well as 10% of Saffron’s proceeds that evening will support this year’s Fruit of the Soul beneficiaries The Monarch School, SEZIO, Olivewood Gardens and A Reason To Survive.
The media is invited to participate in the piquant playoff when chef, restaurateur and internationally recognized cookbook author Su-Mei Yu pits her noodle knowledge against the creative talents of Chef Ricardo Heredia of the ever-innovative Alchemy in South Park, and Chef Craig Jimenez of the new, much talked-about Craft & Commerce in Little Italy. Heredia began cooking at the age of 9, and by 23 was honing his skills in noted restaurants in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio. He has worked with an international roster of chefs from countries as far-flung as Italy, France and significantly – Thailand. Jimenez, a graduate of San Diego’s Art Institute culinary programs, prides himself on serving inventive dishes he calls “straightforward, hand-crafted American food.” Between them, the two chefs sound capable of putting spins on Pad Thai powerful enough make the Celebrity Judges’ heads spin. The panel will include Ruben Galvan of San Diego 6 The CW, Keli Dailey of The San Diego Union-Tribune and Caron Golden of San Diego Magazine. As Su-Mei Yu, Heredia and Jimenez acknowledge, creating a memorably one-of-a-kind Pad Thai will take talent and dedication.
Specialty Produce will underwrite the Pad Thai Throwdown by providing all ingredients. To add to the fun, each contestant will use one secret ingredient. A large audience of Saffron regulars is expected to assemble at 6 p.m. to witness, sample and vote for the potentially revolutionary Pad Thai dishes. At 7, the judges will evaluate each dish, and at 7:30, the winners will be announced in three categories: Judges’ Favorite, Audience Favorite and All-Around Winner. A photo finish is possible!
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Owner Su-Mei Yu opened one of San Diego’s first authentic Thai restaurants, Saffron Thai Grilled Chicken, on India Street in Mission Hills 25 years ago. Su-Mei Yu later expanded the Saffron brand with Saffron Noodles & Sate, a comfortable eatery with indoor and outdoor seating. Located next to each other, both restaurants have become San Diego favorites featuring traditional Thai dishes made from recipes Su-Mei learned as a child in Thailand. Saffron’s menus offer guests delicious and affordable fare prepared with Su-Mei Yu’s philosophy of “food for the mind, body and soul”. Su-Mei Yu is an accomplished chef and cooking instructor both locally and nationally and has authored several Thai cookbooks, including Asian Grilling, Cracking the Coconut and the recently-released The Elements of Life: A Contemporary Guide to Thai Recipes and Traditions for Healthier Living. She has been featured on numerous television programs including Martha Stewart, Good Morning America and The Today Show as well as in notable publications such as Food & Wine Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. More information about Saffron and Su-Mei Yu can be found at the Saffron website.
Saffron Noodles & Sate
3737 India Street
San Diego, CA 92103
Saffron Thai Grilled Chicken
3731 India Street,
San Diego, CA 92103
Trust us… we eat lunch at Saffron daily, and have seen all three chefs in action so it’ll be interesting!!!
Are you ready for a Pad Thai Throwdown?!
One of San Diego’s most notable and lovable chefs and restaurateurs, Su-Mei Yu of the famous Saffron restaurants in Mission Hills, is challenging her fellow chefs to a Pad Thai Throwdown on October 18th.
In honor of the 25 year anniversary of Saffron, Su-Mei will challenge two other chefs to a fun and friendly cook-off and celebration at Saffron. Specialty Produce will provide the contestant with their Pad Thai ingredients and each chef will be allowed to bring one secret weapon ingredient to add to include in their unique recipes. The competition will be judged by local foodies as well as the audience.
UPDATE: They’ll be donating proceeds to this year’s Fruit of the Soul beneficiaries! Caron Golden with San Diego Magazine, Ruben Galvan with San Diego 6 and Keli Dailey with the Union-Tribune will be judging the fun and festive event and that Ricardo from Alchemy is down for the Throwdown!
Are you a chef who’s up for the challenge? If so, contact Kelly Orange at kelly[at]specialtyproduce.com or call 619-564-7847.