Ironside's Jason McLeod reels in notable guest chefs for seafood series

Most San Diegans take their out-of-town guests to Balboa Park or the beach.

Ironside Fish & Oyster’s Jason McLeod brings them to Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.

As part of his 2019 Chef’s Catch Dinner Series, McLeod is hosting an impressive lineup of visiting chefs for two nights each month, shopping with them for local seafood at Tuna Harbor and then cooking alongside them at Little Italy’s popular Ironside.

An à la carte menu with five to six items will be offered, in addition to Ironside’s regular dinner menu — which already highlights the local catches from Tuna Harbor — and nightly specials.

In previous years, the Chef’s Catch series was a more exclusive, ticketed event.

“I wanted the entire restaurant to experience these special dinners and not just a limited seating so we created this new concept and the chefs joining us for two nights loved the idea as well,” McLeod said.

McLeod, managing partner and culinary director for CH Projects (Ironside, Born & Raised, Craft & Commerce, etc.), is going back to his Chicago roots with three of his upcoming guests.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Giuseppe Tentori, the award-winning chef and owner of GT Fish & Oyster, GT Prime and Boka Catering Group, will be in town.

Tentori spent nine years working with Chicago legend Charlie Trotter and earned a Michelin star four years running while executive chef at Boka restaurant. He was Food & Wine’s 2008 Best New Chef and has been nominated three times for a James Beard award.

Chef’s Catch series guests will have an opportunity to meet the visiting chefs, some of whom will have book signings.

The series continues through June. The upcoming schedule:

March 26 and 27 — Travis Swikard, the San Diego native — back in town after 10 years in New York working at the side of French superchef Daniel Boulud; Swikard is preparing to open his first restaurant here.

April 9 and 10 — Lee Wolen, chef/partner at Boka and Somerset, Chicago; Chicago Tribune 2014 Chef of the Year; two-time James Beard award nominee.

May 7 and 8 — Danny Grant, chef/partner at Maple & Ash, Chicago; 2012 Food & Wine Best New Chef; earned — along with McLeod — two Michelin stars at Ria.

June 4 and 5 — Lee Cooper, chef/owner, L’Abattoir and Coquille Fine Seafood, Vancouver, B.C.; among Top 10 Up-and-Coming Chefs (Vancouver Sun); Best New Restaurant (Westender); No. 3 (enRoute/Air Canada) Canada’s Best New Restaurants.

michele.parente@sduniontribune.com

Twitter: @sdeditgirl

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