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Port’s Green Business Network Names Top Green Chef

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IMG 0036There's a newly crowned Top Green Chef on San Diego's Big Bay, as part of the Port of San Diego's efforts to support environmental sustainability.

With an appetizer of a chicken soft taco and a rock cod pasta and cheese entrée, Executive Chef Steve Black of the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina earned the inaugural title as the Port of San Diego's Top Green Chef in a competition this week.

The Port's Green Business Network invited chefs from hotels on Port lands to demonstrate their skills in the competition which used energy-efficient cooking equipment and locally grown, sustainable ingredients.

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Those participating were:

  • Executive Chef Aron Schwartz, Marina Kitchen at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina: Winner of Best Appetizer
  • Executive Chef Deborah Scott, C-Level/Island Prime: Winner of Best Entrée
  • Executive Chef Steve Black, Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina: Top Green Chef

The cookoff took place Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 at San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E's) Energy Innovation Center, 4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego. The facility features more than 40 pieces of energy efficient natural gas and electric equipment from a variety of manufacturers.

IMG 0071Each chef was given 20 minutes to prepare an appetizer and 30 minutes for an entrée, using ingredients revealed moments before they headed into the kitchen to cook.

For appetizers, the chefs were required to use a basket of ingredients containing organic chicken, tortillas from Barrio Logan, and fennel and honeydew melons from Suzie's Farm in Imperial Beach.

The entrée basket contained line-caught rock cod from Point Loma Seafoods, tomato jalapeno fettuccini from Assenti's in Little Italy, kale from Suzie's Farm, and a chef's choice ingredient from the audience's catering table.

Each dish was judged on taste, presentation and creativity by the panel of judges:

  • Chef Bernard Guillas, Executive Chef, The Marine Room
  • Craig Anderson, Director of Environmental & Government Affairs, Solar Turbines
  • Lee Burdick, Port of San Diego Commissioner
  • Sharon Cloward, Port Tenants Association President

The final entrees included:

  • Scott's blackened cod with parmesan cream sauce with mustard and kale.
  • Black's baked cod "mac and cheese" with Kraft American slices, and jalapeno jack cheese.
  • Schwartz's cracker-crusted cod with kale and pasta in a Stone Beer IPA, butter and lemon juice sauce.


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The Port's Green Business Network is an integrated energy efficiency and sustainability effort spearheaded by the Port of San Diego and SDG&E. The Network began as the Green Business Challenge in 2011. Businesses who participated earned more than $134,000 in SDG&E rebates and incentives and saved an estimated $156,000 on their utility bills that year. Their actions saved enough energy to power 70 homes for a year.

Participating Port tenants receive free technical assistance, attend monthly training on green business tactics, and share best-practices with fellow businesses.

About the Port:

The Port of San Diego is the fourth largest of the 11 ports in California. It was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested millions of dollars in public improvements in its five member cities – Chula Vista, CoronadoImperial BeachNational City, and San Diego.

The port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 18 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of hundreds of tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.

The Port of San Diego is an economic engine, an environmental steward of San Diego Bay and the surrounding tidelands, and a provider of community services and public safety.

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