Heaven Sent Desserts
3001 University Ave. at 30th St.
Lemon-Basil Summer Stone Fruit Salad
Executive chef Tina Luu and her crew of five often
use organic fruit in their dessert concoctions, and the
combination of her worldly culinary education and San
Diego’s late summer harvest bounty translates into an
original fruit salad that works as a side dish or a dessert. “It
would be great with a scoop of lemon or basil sorbet on
top, served in a glass dish to display all the colors,” says the
Vietnam native who grew up in North Park and graduated
from Patrick Henry High School. She took over the baking
and pastry chef duties at Heaven Sent Desserts in January,
while keeping her position as an instructor at the
International Culinary School of the California Art Institute
in Mission Valley. “I love the edginess of North Park,” says
the chef, whose culinary education took her through
Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Seattle,
San Francisco, and Sonoma. “It’s nice to be back home. I
never thought I’d say that.”
Serves six eight
2 ripe peaches, sliced
1 cup Bing cherries, seeded and halved
1 cup Ranier cherries, seeded and halved
2 ripe pluots (3/4 plum, ¼ apricot hybrid), sliced
1 cup fresh ripe blackberries, halved
1 cup fresh ripe raspberries
¼ cup fresh basil sliced fine (chiffonade)
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1. Wash all the fruit. Seed and slice into a large bowl.
2. Zest the lemon and squeeze two tablespoons of the
3. Using a wooden spoon (or two), gently toss the fruit with
the zest, lemon juice, sugar, and basil chiffonade.
4. Chill for 30 minutes to allow the fruit to macerate and
release their juices.#
Chef Axel Fine Catering
7097 University Ave.
La Mesa, CA 91940
German Potato Salad
Potato salad intro
Chef Axel Dirolf’s German potato salad couldn’t be
more authentic, seeing as how he learned it as a teenager
with a passion for cooking in his native Germany. Though
only 42, his career has been a global culinary adventure
with stints at major hotels and royal palaces in Germany,
Greece, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Fiji before landing
in San Diego thirteen years ago. He’s since run his own
restaurant, been the culinary quality chief for Lufthansa,
and cooked for the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista
and the U.S. Olympic Team at the Sydney Olympics. Now
he runs Chef Axel Fine Catering (www.chefaxel.com).
“For German potato salad, we’re looking at a mealy potato
because it’s usually served warm,” he explains. “And most
bacon is too high in salt and smoke; look for a European-
style bacon with more meat and not smoked.”
3 pounds potatoes, Idaho Baker
4 ounces low salt, low smoke(?) bacon, diced
4 ounces yellow onions, finely diced
4 tablespoons white vinegar
4 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil, not olive
½ cup curly parsley, finely chopped
1 pinch whole caraway seeds
salt, white pepper, fresh ground nutmeg to taste
1. Wash potatoes and in a large pot of salted water boil
them with the caraway seeds until fork tender. Peel and
slice while lukewarm.
2. Using a sauté pan, render diced bacon in the oil until
3. Add diced onion and sauté for a few moments.
4. In a large bowl, pour entire mixture over the sliced
5. Using a wooden spoon, fold in vinegar and parsley, salt,
white pepper, and nutmeg to taste.
6. Let salad marinate for one hour. If too dry add some
vinegar and oil. Eat at room temperature or reheat to serve
The Kebab Shop
630 9th Ave.
Algerian Eggplant Salad
Aaron Langolf is a twenty-nine-year-old IT guy who
chucked it all and returned to “my dream, my passion,”
cooking. Just over a year ago he and his wife, Sandra,
transformed a former hip-hop shop off Market St. in East
Village into a Southern California version of the ubiquitous
European kebab stands that provide fast food all over the
Continent. High-ceilinged and urban/cool/modernist, the
restaurant offers eight fresh salads as sides to rotate-
roasted lamb and chicken, and charbroiled shrimp, salmon,
beef, falafel and other Mediterranean-style delectables. The
eggplant salad “packs some heat” he warns, even if served
2 large eggplants
2 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 green bell peppers, halved and seeded
2 anaheim peppers, halved and seeded
2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
2 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
½ cup finely minced sweet yellow onion
½ cup minced parsley
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
For the marinade:
½ cup quality olive oil
½ cup lime juice
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ cup minced cilantro
1. Prepare gas grill or light charcoal.
2. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl.
3. Peel eggplant and cut into 1-inch-thick circles.
4. Gently toss eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, and
jalapenos in the marinade.
5. Grill all the vegetables on each side until cooked through
but not mushy (al dente). Allow vegetables to cool to room
6. Finely mince the grilled jalapenos.
7. Dice the vegetables into large chunks/squares.
8. Gently toss all the vegetables together with the
9. Finish with the salt, black pepper, onion, and fresh
parsley and toss gently. Serve alongside a dollop of thick
lebneh yogurt (kefir cheese), to cool the heat.-30-