San Diego

Eat Like a Chef With Cafe Chloe's Katie Grebow

Dec 9th 2010 3:00PM / by Nanette Wiser

Café Chloe owners Tami Ratliffe, John Clute and Alison McGrath wanted to infuse the East Village with a little French culture. Now Paris lives, thanks to Cordon Bleu graduate and chef Katie Grebow, a fine arts-passionate pixie who delights in "expressing herself creatively with regional ingredients and rustic style," she says. We chatted with her about her take on Euro cuisine and where to get some of San Diego's best cuisine.
What's new at Café Chloe?
We're doing an urban tea served daily from 3pm to 5pm (sandwiches, house-made cakes, cookies and sweets, tea or prosecco) for $29/person.
As a devoted foodie, where do you purvey?
My favorite farmers market is Sunday in Hillcrest and I enjoy going to Venissimo for cheese and Whole Foods, where you actually see local farms such as Sage Mountain and Be Wise represented. And I love [that] I just discovered Viva Pops for their wonderful organic fruit popsicles.
Where do you eat?
I like Rancho's for their vegetarian-inspired Mexican cuisine. I love Blind Lady, Starlite andTender Greens for their delicious food and for the ideals that they stand by as well as Searsucker, Banker's Hill, Craft & Commerce, The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Cucina Urbana and the beer selection at Toronado.
Gourmet teas and wine complement your menu. What are your favorites?
My favorite tea is, hands down, Mariage Freres from France, especially French Breakfast, which is leathery and tobacco-like, Marco Polo, Bourbon red tea, Provence green tea and so many others! I love crisp and floral white wines such as Torrontés from Argentina, Vermentino from Italy, Vinho Verde from Portugal, Vouvray and Viognier from France. I'm drinking New Age White from Argentina, served on the rocks with a slice of lime with a touch of effervescence.
Favorite meal to make for friends?
I like to make soup at home, because people are so used to the completely sub-standard flavor of canned soup. When they taste soup made with fresh vegetables, they are amazed at the flavor. I'm big on side dishes as well, especially stuff no one sees or would no what to do with at home, such as lamb's quarters, sunchokes or nettles.
Where do you get your culinary inspirations?
Cookbooks and traveling. Right now I am reading Primal Cuts and Paul Bertolli's Chez Panisse Cooking. Going to San Francisco to see what the latest trends in restaurant styles are -- returning to home-style cooking or doing in-house charcuterie -- it is very inspiring to eat your way through that city.
What edible trends do you see in San Diego?
Making things from scratch. The farm to table movement, both local produce and meats, are becoming more affordable as everyone gets on board with eating organically, hormone/antibiotic-free foods.
What do you do for fun?
I like walking, surfing, playing with my kitties, cooking at home, dining out with friends, reggae shows at the Belly Up. I love the Museum of Modern Art downtown.
Café Chloe, 721 9th Ave., #1; 619-232-3242
Quick Guide To Katie Grebow's Faves
Venissimo , 754 W Washington St, Mission Hills; 619-491-0708 (check website for other locations)
Viva Pops , 3330 Adams Ave., North Park; 619-795-1080
Blind Lady Alehouse , 3416 Adams Ave. North Park; 619-295-2491
Starlite , 3175 India St., Downtown; 619-358-9766
Tender Greens , 2400 Historic Decatur Road.; 619-226-6254
Searsucker , 611 5th Ave., Downtown; 619-233-7327
Banker's Hill Bar & Restaurant , 2202 4th Ave., Bankers Hill; 619-231-0222
Craft & Commerce , 675 W. Beech St., Little Italy; 619-269-2202
The Lodge at Torrey Pines , 11480 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla; 858-453-4420
Cucina Urbana , 505 Laurel St., Balboa Park/Hillcrest; 619-239-2222
Toronado , 4026 30th St., North Park; 619-282-0456

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