We get it. Festival food can be a guilty pleasure. Who hasn’t enjoyed a good funnel cake or the occasional corn dog every now and then? But maybe you’re looking for something more sophisticated at your next weekend outing. After all, you’re spending your precious time and money at an event. Why not have a full-featured experience that includes not only sights and sounds, but tastes as well?

That’s why we created Palate, an upscale eatery built right into KAABOO Del Mar, featuring world-renowned chefs and culinary delights from some of the nation’s top restaurants. Sure, you could have another slice of limp pizza that’s been sitting under a heat lamp for five hours, or you could devour some fresh ceviche with a side of local, organic vegetables, washed down with a hand-crafted cocktail mixed up with artisan tequila. The choice is up to you to build your perfect weekend based on your tastes, and that’s what KAABOO is all about.

Curious about who’s serving up this fine far at KAABOO? Here’s a quick rundown of who’s cooking at KAABOO:



  • Who he is:
  • Chef Malarkey has been honored with 75+ industry awards, authored a cookbook and is a TV personality. He appeared on Top Chef, Season 3, in Miami. He was also the winning judge/mentor on ABC’s The Taste, Season 1, and has guest starred on several Food Network shows. This past year, Malarkey was also invited to cook at the James Beard Award Dinner for the world’s most acclaimed chefs.
  • Why your taste buds should care:
  • Time magazine named Malarkey’s Searsucker the country’s “Number Two Hottest Restaurant.” Malarkey currently has two restaurants on Open Table’s list of the “Top 100 Hot Spots in America” and both will be serving up deliciousness at KAABOO: Searsucker San Diego and Herringbone La Jolla.


  • Who he is:
  • This San Diego native was named the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival 2014, “People’s Choice.” He studied classical French Cuisine at the California Culinary Academy and trained under renowned chef/restaurateurs George Morrone and Michael Mina.
  • Why your taste buds should care:
  • A seafood-driven menu featuring local produce, sustainable seafood and artisan products.


  • Who he is:
  • Tijuana-born Chef Plascencia has been invited to cook for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as Mexico’s Presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon Hinojosa. He received Best in Show 2011, LA Street Food Fest, and was named the Eater San Diego Chef of the Year in 2013.
  • Why your taste buds should care:
  • Chef Plascencia calls his cooking style Baja Mediterranean, combining Mexican and Italian styles with local Baja California ingredients. It’s the best of the old world and new mixed into one amazing cuisine.


  • Who he is:
  • Chef Magnanelli earned Chef of the Year distinction from the California Restaurant Association, and his CUCINA Urbana was named to the list of Hot New Restaurants by San Diego Magazine. Magnanelli’s cuisine also received the People’s Choice Award from the San Diego Union-Tribune.
  • Why your taste buds should care:
  • California-inspired Italian food on a simple, farm-fresh menu with first-class wine pairings.


  • Who he is:
  • Jeffrey Straus runs Pamplemousse Grill, the #1 Zagat-rated restaurant in San Diego for three consecutive years. Chef Strauss has prepared meals and banquets for dignitaries ranging form President George W. Bush to Prince Charles, and for events spanning the wedding of Caroline Kennedy to the 1984 inaugural luncheon for Ronald Reagan.
  • Why your taste buds should care:
  • Strauss is the reported inventor of a gourmet appetizer trend that’s all over the culinary world: French fries topped with truffle oil, Parmesan cheese and truffles. Get the original from the original!


  • Who he is:
  • This SoCal native developed an affinity for cooking at an early age. His first childhood memories took place in the kitchen where he helped his mother dabble in adventurous, out-of-the-box recipes. The former sous chef at Nancy Oakes’ Boulevard in San Francisco and chef de cuisine for Top Chef finalist Kevin Gillespie’s Woodfire Grill, Chef Davis is now the chef at Brian Malarkey’s Herringbone La Jolla.
  • Restaurants:
  • Herringbone
  • Why your taste buds should care:
  • Farm to sea specialties with a fun twist on classic concepts, from shrimp and grits to braised short rib.


  • Who she is:
  • Lisa Stalvey trained under Wolfgang Puck at Ma Maison and eventually became Puck’s head chef at Spago. Chef Stalvey later worked as the executive chef of the legendary Malibu restaurant, Bambu, where she was twice named among the “Top 100 Chef’s in America.” While at Bambu, Chef Stalvey developed products for Paul Newman’s Newman’s Own brand, and also wrote two cookbooks for Newman. The current owner and chef at The Malibu Chef, Chef Stalvey recently published a memoir called Food, Sex, Wine and Cigars.
  • Catering:
  • The Malibu Chef
  • Why your taste buds should care:
  • Chilean bass with spinach and cucumber salsa, hamach sashimi with yuzu green peppercorn sauce, roasted lobster tails with black truffle butter, rack of lamb with Parmesan zucchini, ahi tartar with avocado onion and shiracha mayo. Are you ravenously hungry yet?

Read more about about all these chefs, and the wonderful creations they’re bring to KAABOO at Palate.