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Artelexia and Kettner Exchange Dinner

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Artelexia and Kettner Exchange Dinner

I am a foodie: I'm unapologetically particular and opinionated about my food, and I say that with a smile on my face! With a few years of San Diego residency under my belt, Little Italy has easily become my go-to neighborhood for the food and dining I love: top notch chefs, a variety of amazing atmospheres, and mouth watering food across the board.

Enter Kettner Exchange: I can come here for a girls night out, date night, or with a group of friends, and I am never disappointed! 

When Elexia of Artelexia told me she would be joining forces with Kettner Exchange to host ArteKEXia. I was ESTATIC: an intimate 5 course meal paired with seasonal cocktails (hello pomegranate palomoas!) and Mexican wine on a rooftop?! Hello and yes! Elexia once again envisioned and created a gorgeous Mexico themed dining space with her fabulous decor: Talavera dinner plates combined with her amazing collection of antique tins from Mexico.

Combine Elexia’s great taste and eye for design, Kettner Exchange’s divine menu*, and a group of strangers brought together by their love for quality and elevated flavors and spirits, and a night to remember was created! Can’t wait for the next dinner Kettner and Elexia! - Your foodie and photographer friend, Evelyn

*The menu was everything. From 'Vuelve la Vida' (a ceviche-type dish made with oysters, chocolate clams, lobster, and octopus) to 'Caldito de Setas' (the bone marrow!), the main course spread covered every inch of the table. Highlights: the huitlaoche (corn mushroom, or 'Mexican truffle') and the juiciest, most flavorful lechon (pork). 

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Four Seasons Aviara Rombauer Wine Dinner

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Four Seasons Aviara Rombauer Wine Dinner

Hands down, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is one of my absolute favorite luxury brands: the service and experiences they provide across their portfolio are top notch. Four Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad, San Diego falls right in line in providing guests exposure to food and wine experts via the hosting of multi-course dinners complete with beverage pairings. To kick off the fall and in partnership with Rombauer Vineyards, Four Seasons Aviara's latest dinner was a-ma-zing!

With the perfect fall tablescape to set the atmosphere, the four course dinner kicked off and lucky me, I got to hang in the kitchen and see every dish constructed. To see Eat Seasons' Chef De Cuisine James Waters and his team hustle behind the scenes to make these magical dishes come to life was impressive. To taste each plate was an honor!

See, I consider myself a foodie yet do not eat olives or foie gras, but let me tell you: I CLAPPED in place when I tried the 36 Hour Duck - duck confit with fois gras mousse - and said out loud, "I WILL talk about this duck tomorrow. High chances of me still talking about it next week" because it was that good. The mousse was airy and fluffy, throwing my reservations around the consistency of foie gras, out the window. The other courses, including a lobster salad and handmade pumpkin agnolotti - were divine!

The Four Seasons Aviara designers behind the event, the entire Eat Seasons staff, and the experts from Rombauer Vineyards executed a flawless event. Bravo, team, and I cannot wait to see what your future dinners look like and showcase! - Evelyn

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Artelexia Frida Khalo Dinner

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Artelexia Frida Khalo Dinner

Feliz cumpleanos, Frida! This week marks Frida Khalo's 111th birthday and what better way to celebrate her than with a Frida Khalo themed, private dinner party hosted by Elexia and her team from San Diego based Artelexia! Combining vibrant, bold colors, textures, and patterns and hosted at a secret location in San Diego, Elexia paid great attention to every table scape detail, including vintage dish ware and tins, hand selected florals and candles galore to set the tone of the intimate event with Frida touches everywhere.

Give me a gorgeous tablescape with well thought out details, and I'm happy. Give me said table combined with amazing food, drink, and people coming together for an evening of celebrations, and you make my heart flutter! Serve Oaxacan queso, tamales, chocolate, and paletas - because I love Oaxacan everything - and I'm in heaven! This event was an absolute dream to photograph and be a part of! Thank you Elexia and team for being phenomenal hosts! - Un abrazo, Evelyn

Look at 'Baby Frida' below! The cutest portrait I've ever seen :)

Queso fresco, queso ramonetti, FRESH tortilla chips, three kinds of salsas, guacamole, and Oaxacan chocolate. I mean, include emoji-heart-eyes! I could have simply eaten this as a meal! 

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Moody Table Top published on The Venue Report

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Moody Table Top published on The Venue Report

A candlelit holiday party with a gypsy jungle disco theme? 'Tell me more about that' I said with awe and intrigue as I learned more about the epic holiday party the wonderful team at The Venue Report would be putting on in conjunction with an amazing team of Southern California vendors.

The moody light, rich, jewel toned florals, and endless tabletop details had me completely over the moon, and what resulted was a wonderful celebration envisioned and styled by this team, for this team, and I am thrilled to have captured it. See the complete story at The Venue Report and my favorite photos and holiday party inspiration below. Happy holidays! -Evelyn

Photography: Evelyn Molina Photography | Styling & Direction: The Venue Report | Florals & Greenery: Eucca | Decor: Pow Wow Design Studio | Food: A MIHO Experience | Cocktails: Barcon | Tableware: Hostess Haven

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San Diego Sriracha Festival

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San Diego Sriracha Festival

Having launched the first annual Sriracha Festival in Los Angeles in 2013, The Sriracha Cookbook and FOOD GPS brought the Sriracha love to San Diego, and lucky me, I was brought in to photograph the variety of Sriracha themed dishes and drinks with Liberty Station as my backdrop! A sampling of the photos I took are below.

[Above] The Bellows' team preparing their Sriracha-cured grilled cobia with sambal-spice couscous, labne cream, and herbs, and [below] the final product.

See those burgers being cooked below? Those are Slater 50/50's signature 50% ground bacon, 50% ground beef patties! For the festival, the created the Sriracha Burger: Sriracha spiced patty topped with pepper jack cheese, chargrilled yellow onion, Sriracha sauteed Mushrooms, Sriracha glazed bacon, Sriracha garlic cole slaw, Sriracha mayo and (more!) Sriracha on Brioche Bun.

[Below] The Tractor Room showcased braised wild boar sliders with goat cheese sour cream, caramelized onions and Sriracha BBQ Sauce.

[Below] WOW WOW Waffle wowed us (no pun intended!) with liège waffle bites topped with avocado, roasted chicken and Sriracha.

Because you can never have too much Sriracha sauce on your waffle!

[Above] Because you can never have too much Sriracha on your waffle!

[Below] Burbank's own Quenelle served Kecap Manis ice cream bar with slack sesame streusel, brown butter emulsion and Sriracha gastrique.

[Below] The Patio's powdered Sriracha-crusted seared ono with sea bean slaw and plum chutney.

[Below] The gentleman behind Los Angeles Ale Works serving craft soda, including a sparkling Thai iced tea [bottom right].

[Below] Portola Coffee Lab served up some of their traditional iced coffees and lattes, a great way to quench my thirst after tons of Sriracha! 

[Below] Thank you Brothers Provisions for combing three amazing items - Sriracha, beer, and cheese - into one, and then making a slider with it!

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[Below] SuperNatural Sandwiches was frying shrimp behind their tent to ensure their crispy Sriracha shrimp sliders with Sriracha chive aioli, with house made green Sriracha and Sriracha salt were super fresh!

[Below] Bartender Jason Bran was on site mixing 'Some Like it Hot' a combination  of Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila, pineapple, mango, lime, and Sriracha.

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[Below] Churros el Tigre fried their delicious churros on location and accompanied them with chocolate sauce and dulce de leche with a hint of Sriracha.

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