Carlsbad: The Centre of Home Cooking and Farm-Fresh Meals
It’s no secret that southern California generates fresh produce all year round. If you know where to shop, it’s a cinch to bring those healthy fruits and vegetables to your table. The concierge at the Four Seasons offers a number of shopping tips to family chefs – and also points out that he’s ready to put together a customized foodie scavenger hunt for guests at Aviara.
One of the concierge’s favourite stops is Chino Farms, a world-famous resource in culinary circles. Located in Rancho, Santa Fe, it draws chefs from San Diego, Los Angeles, even San Francisco. The stand sells heirloom tomatoes, squash, beans, melons, cucumbers, greens, carrots, radishes, herbs, fruits, and more. Amazingly, all of their produce is handpicked the same day it’s sold. The farm has been in the Chino family since 1952, but didn’t become famous until the late 1970s when chef and restaurateur Alice Waters happened to receive a box of freshly picked string beans. Recalling that first batch of Chino beans, Waters says, “They were straight little haricots verts. Just like the ones I had eaten in France. It was love at first sight.”
Our concierge also recommends a stop at Pelly's Fish Market in North County. An old-fashioned seafood market with a down-home feel, Pelly’s offers fresh-off-the-boat catch. Here, home chefs can find the freshest local tuna, Dungeness crabs, swordfish, salmon, squid, and more. Bring them back to your villa and cook up a fresh, healthy, low-fat meal for the family.
Another concierge recommendation is the strawberry fields of Carlsbad. Famous around San Diego, these acres of fields produce some of the juiciest, sweetest, richest fruits in the region. California produces 83% of the country's strawberries, and the combination of Carlsbad's warm sunny days and cool foggy nights makes it the ideal place for growing strawberries. During picking season, which is generally from late April to June or July, strawberry kiosks are set up all over the area. Those who prefer to do the picking themselves can visit area farms and load up buckets to their heart's delight.
So, if you find yourself in southern California looking for farm-fresh food that you can bring to your family’s table, trust the Four Seasons concierge – and look no further than beautiful and plentiful Carlsbad.