Anthology Welcomes Kitchen Superstar Todd Allison as Executive Chef

Thursday, August 19, 2010 15:20

by Ryan Eisenacher |

San Diego foodies, drum roll please…..

Little Italy’s revered restaurant and music venue Anthology has added another kitchen superstar to their already stellar lineup. Award-winning Chef Todd Allison has joined the San Diego supper club to bring savory and innovative dishes to the San Diego scene. 

But you’d be equally surprised to find out that this all-star didn’t start out his career wanting to be a chef. 

“It was set in stone that I was going to go to a racing school,” Todd said. “That’s where my passions were, but a certain series of events landed me back in San Diego and, to earn money, I went back to what I was comfortable in and that was back in the kitchen.”

A native of Coronado, Allison began his culinary career working as a dish washer before moving his way up the ranks to be sous chef. Still, Allison never thought about cooking as a career until a good friend named Ken Irvine suggested he go to culinary school. Irvine introduced Allison to James Boyce, a top chef at Mary Elaine’s at the Phoenician Resort & Spa in Arizona, who became like a second father and the rest is chopping block history. 

Over the years, Allison has acquired accolades including the Mobile 5-Star, Triple A 5-Diamond and the Grand Wine Spectator awards, as well as notable positions as Sous Chef at Aqua at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point and Chef de Cuisine at Bollinger’s in Laguna Beach. 

Now back in action in his hometown of San Diego, Allison’s deep rooted culinary passion has made him overwhelmingly excited about making the Anthology menu as noteworthy as its musical lineup. Music fans can expect nightly specials to offer tastes compatible with the musical guests. 

“Music has a huge impact on food,” says Allison. “If you’re listening to some conga drums, you’re not going to want Mediterranean Sea Bass; you’re going to be thinking about drinking a pina colada and having some plantains. Music and food both have the ability to take you to an area, even if you’ve never been there.” 

With plans to freshen and shake things up in the kitchen, Chef Allison will definitely wow diner with his signature Cranberry-Pistachio Pesto and unusual Harissa spice, a chili paste made from the North African Piri Piri pepper that delivers a pleasant heat on the end of dishes. He also plans to incorporate his favorite fish, Loup de Mer, which he says translates to ‘Wolf of the Sea.’

Make Chef Allison’s Fav Dish

Harissa Marinated Calendonia Skewers

What you’ll need: 5 smoked Roma tomatoes, 5 roughly chopped Roma tomatoes, 5 cloves of garlic chopped, 1 chopped Spanish onion, 2 ribs celery chopped, 1 fennel bulb chopped, 2 stalks leeks chopped, 2 cups white wine, 1 quart chicken stock, 1 sprig fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves, 1 handful fresh basil

Make it: In large sauce pot, sauté garlic, onion, celery, fennel and leeks for roughly five minutes, deglaze with wine and add saffron. Add tomatoes and chicken stock, bring to a simmer, add fresh herbs and cook for 40 minutes. Puree and strain through a fine sieve.
Combine 1 cup of olive oil and half-cup of harissa paste mix well. Next, marinate 4 to 5 prawns in the harissa marinade for 30 minutes then place them on a skewer with assorted vegetables (cipiollini onions, bell peppers, fennel). Preheat your grill and once it’s hot, cook skewers on both sides for 4 to 5 minutes. 

Serve: Place your skewers in a large bowl or deep plate and pour the tomato broth over and enjoy!

Eat Up! Head into Anthology this summer to discover how Chef Todd Allison has “relit the kitchen fire” with his creative menu full of marvelous flavor. We guarantee your taste buds will be hooked.