Anthology Backstage

From Big Mountain to Teaching, Local Vocalist Prepares for 2013

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 13:17

An Interview with Joaquin “Quino” McWhinney of Big Mountain

By Casey Pukl

From the incredible success of reggae ensemble Big Mountain to soundtracking NASA space shuttle launches, San Diego favorite, Joaquin “Quino” McWhinney has certainly had an interesting career. In the early 90′s, Big Mountain dominated the airwaves with their rendition of Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way”. They released several singles after that before taking a break in 2003. From there, Quino embarked on a solo adventure that led him not only to teaching at Olympian High School, but also to working with some of San Diego’s greatest musicians.

These days, Quino keeping busy! Read on to find out what he’s been up to lately and what listeners can expect to hear at his Anthology show tomorrow night!

CP: What have you been up to in 2012?

JW: I’m just wrapping up a 7-year hiatus. I had a little baby girl about 5 years ago, and at that time, that was when Big Mountain was about to take a break. I took advantage of the moment to finish school and start a teaching career. I’d kind of been sidetracked by Big Mountain’s success and everything. I also spent a lot of time investigating and studying music that I have always loved and appreciated, but never really had the chance to dig into.

I started to make my rounds around some of the veteran musicians here in San Diego. One person I spent a lot of time working and studying with was Jose Molina Serrano. He comes from a Chicano rock tradition. He actually grew up next to Carlos Santana when they were young. They spent a lot of time together. They were part of that whole scene of amazing musicians that came out of that era when Tijuana rock really crystallized and formed. So I sang lead vocals for his band for several years and recorded an album. A couple of our songs ironically made it onto space shuttle missions! Read the rest of this entry »

Farm Fresh Pick of the Week: Onions

Friday, July 27, 2012 15:00

Beer Battered Onion Rings & a Beer Pairing

By Casey Pukl

Whether they make you cry or not, onions are one of the most versatile cooking ingredients in the world. Raw, cooked, caramelized, grilled, or fried, these white, yellow, and red rings can tie any dish together! This week, Kristen and Warren have the ultimate pairing of comfort food that’s sure to please!

Beer Battered Onion Rings
Roasted Garlic Aioli

Onion rings are a classic American favorite. Pair them with a beer and a ball game, and I’ll be set for hours. Pair them with a beer and some great music, and I’ll be even better.

For this week’s farm fresh pick, Executive Chef Kristen Burman, has put her spin in this classic. To start, cut the top off a garlic bulb, sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until you can squeeze the roasted garlic out easily. Set the garlic aside.

Season a cup or two of flour with salt, pepper and whatever other spices you like— garlic salt, cumin, red pepper, etc.  Next, whisk in light beer (be sure not to use a dark beer like porter or stout!) until the mixture resembles pancake batter.  Slice up your onions into thick rings, and dip the rings into the batter. Drop the rings into canola oil that has been heated to 350 degrees a few at a time until the rings are crispy and golden. Remove the rings from the fryer and let them drain onto a paper towel.

To make the aioli, take the roasted garlic and finely chop it up. Mix it with mayonaise, and serve with your onion rings!

Mission IPA
6.8% ABV, Hoppy, Spicy, Herbal

“The Mission IPA is a nice, smooth IPA— not your typical California hop-bomb. It’s perfect on a beautiful San Diego summer day,” says General Manager Warren Phelps.

With a creamy texture and a slight citrus flavor to it, this IPA has quickly become an Anthology favorite! It’s an IPA that’s easy to drink, and always pleases a thirsty crowd. Mission Brewery has long been a San Diego favorite, and their new IPA formulation is a shining example of why they’ll be around for a long time to come.

The pairing of this IPA and the onion rings is one that screams, “Comfort food!” There’s nothing better.

Be sure to come on down and get a little comfort this weekend! We’ve got Hot Tuna acoustic playing tonight at 7:30, Led Zepplin tribute band Led Zepplica at 9:30, Wild Child on Saturday, and classical pianist Alessio Averone on Sunday!

We hope to see you soon!


Bananas, Blueberries, and Toffee, Oh My!

Thursday, July 26, 2012 6:00

Sinful Additions to the Dessert Menu

By Casey Pukl

This summer, the Anthology kitchen staff has certainly  been turning up the temperature on our menu! Every week, new dishes are added that continue to outshine the ones that came before! It’s getting difficult for me to find adequate words to describe the amazing flavors I’ve been tasting lately. Pastry Chef Jamie Crone’s latest desserts are no exception. Read on to find out about the latest dishes!

Banana Pudding Cake
Toffee Sauce, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

This cake is absolutely heavenly. Thick slices of ripe bananas are sandwiched between rich, dense layers of banana cake topped with ice cream and smothered in toffee sauce. Seriously, could it get any better? Oh wait, there’s a toffee cookie on top, so there’s that.

Pastry Chef Jamie Crone says, “The delicious flavors coming from ripened pureed bananas, brown sugar, dark rum, vanilla, and cinnamon in this dessert are irresistible,” and boy is she right! She also gave us a glimpse into the preparation of this dessert.

The toffee sauce is made by bringing heavy cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt to a boil. The heat is then lowered to allow the mixture to simmer to reduce and thicken. Then add a little extra heavy cream at the end to cool the sauce and bring it all together.

This stunning dessert is also served with a Hazelnut Florentine cookie. To make the cookie, Crone brings butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar to a boil.  She then adds a little heavy cream and all purpose flour. Heat the mixture to 225 degrees F. Remove from heat and add crushed hazelnuts and a pinch of salt, then allow to cool and thicken. Scoop with small ice cream scoop onto a parchment lined sheet tray with 2-3 inches between each scoop. The cookies will spread a lot when baked. Bake at 325 for about 10 minutes or until they contain a deep caramel color.

Stack up all of your incredible ingredients and serve this little plate of heaven warm.

Deconstructed Blueberry Cobbler
Vanilla Panna Cotta, Angel Food Croutons, Oatmeal Ice Cream Read the rest of this entry »

Classical Pianist Brings Romantic Program to Anthology

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 13:51

An Interview with Alessio Averone

By Casey Pukl

Classical pianist, Alessio Averone, may not be who you’d normally expect to see at Anthology on a Sunday night, but as a venue that respects and supports all forms of music, we all thought this would be a phenomenal place to showcase one of San Diego’s greatest pianists. I had the chance to catch up with Averone last week to get the scoop on his upcoming program at Anthology! Read on to find out what he’ll be playing as well as the background on some of the pieces!

CP: I would love to start with your background, for instance, how did you start playing piano?

AA: My family was always music lovers. They weren’t professional musicians, but my father played a little bit of violin and my mother played the piano. It was enough to start me on the keyboard and various instruments, and I chose the piano as my favorite instrument when I was 6 years old. I listened to mostly classical music, a little bit of jazz. It was my inclination to go completely with classical music than other genres. I’m always open to other kinds of music of course.  Therefore, when they asked me to play at Anthology, which I know is place that caters to jazz or more popular music, I said, “Well, we’ll see”, but I’m interested because all kinds of music are communicating something, so even a crowd that’s not used to hearing classical music can also appreciate it and be excited over classical music; call it classical music anyway. So I said to yes, to give it a try. Read the rest of this entry »

After a 5 Year Recording Hiatus, Gazarek Returns With a Winner

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 7:00

An Interview with Sara Gazarek

By Casey Pukl

Jazz vocalist, Sara Gazarek, is in a word, stunning. Her delivery is about as heartfelt as it can get, and her voice is that of a best friend who can sing her tail off. Every word she sings feels honest, and she instantly wraps you up in her journey.

As it turns out, this is exactly Gazarek’s goal. Her first two records proved that not only was she a gifted vocalist deeply steeped in the jazz tradition, but that she could keep it contemporary. Her latest record, Blossom & Bee, showcases what Gazarek has been up to since 2007. Read on to find out what inspired her latest record, what she loves most about lyric writing, and just what she’s most looking forward to about returning to Anthology!

CP: Tell me a little bit about your latest record, Blossom & Bee!

SG: Sure! My last record came out in 2007, which was a while ago. So, a number of people have asked why it’s been so long since they heard from me, and it was really important to me to not just run right back into the studio, but to take the time to cultivate the vision and confidence in the sound that we wanted to create with this record.

It was important to us to make a record that captured the joy and the humor and the excitement of our live performances, so that’s really the inspiration behind the album. We grabbed some of the tunes from our live set that we had been creating over the last five years that really moved our audiences. A lot of the arrangements have been created and cultivated over the years, and they’ve really grown into what you hear on the album. Read the rest of this entry »