Date Night | Collaboration Kitchen with Chef Julie Frans and more…

Jun 09, 11 Date Night | Collaboration Kitchen with Chef Julie Frans and more…

Daddy and I had so much fun at Collaboration Kitchen I do not even know where to begin! If you have never heard of Collaboration Kitchen then keep reading…I guarantee that after reading this post you’ll want to find out where to sign up. Caution: Food Porn may cause heavy drooling!


Thanks to Chef Julie Frans of Dining Details, Daddy and I were able to experience a delicious and interactive date night out. Julie is a mom, wife, organic chef and teacher. She is well traveled, very personable and extremely passionate about food.

Julie invited me and my husband to Collaboration Kitchen last Sunday. Collaboration Kitchen offers monthly cooking demos and is the brainchild of Catalina Offshore Products and Specialty Produce. The monthly demos feature chefs from around San Diego and guess who was the chef being featured last Sunday? Yes, Julie herself! In fact, she was THE FIRST chef to demonstrate her culinary expertise for Collaboration Kitchen.

I was so excited for this event, especially after reading the description, which promised an evening filled with cooking, eating, socializing, and education. Catalina Offshore Products and Specialty Produce went above and beyond that promise! How could they forgot to mention that I’d be highly entertained! The chemistry between Dining Details, the Catalina Offshore Crew and the Specialty Produce Crew was just amazing. They played off each other, you could tell they were friends, not just colleagues! I loved it.

Chef Julie Frans being a generous host

So, before I go any further, let me talk to you about the scrumptious Latin inspired menu. Really there isn’t much to say, all you have to do is take one look at the photos and you start to feel a rumble in your tummy. Everything tasted so good. I love that Julie had a copy of the recipe and ingredients for everyone to take home. Before each dish was brought out, Julie demonstrated how to prep for that dish. I appreciated that she also provided a few tips on cutting vegetables, searing, setting the right temperature, and so on. She not only offered her recipes, but also her tricks of the trade. Without further adieu, the menu in full color photos…

First, Daddy’s personal Favorite!


Sea Bass Ceviche with mango, red pepper, jalapeno

Hawaiian Style Crab Cakes with Chipotle Corn and Caramelized Onion Puree

Latin Mojo Spiced Salmon with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

My personal favorite…

Chipotle Peach Marinated Grilled Prawns with Cilantro Oil

If this wasn’t enough, Tommy Gomes of Catalina Offshore Products who was recently named, San Diego 2011 Top 50 People to Watch by Biotech Beach, shared a few deliciously surprising treats: raw scallops and frozen sushi! I wasn’t too crazy about the frozen sushi, which by the way was defrosted, however, I absolutely loved the raw scallops drenched in Japanese Dressing. I didn’t even know you could eat scallops raw.

This was an evening that did not disappoint. It was a fun experience to share with Daddy. I cannot stress enough that the food was scrumptious and delightful. Julie used FRESH produce and fish from Specialty Produce and Catalina Offshore Products. I strongly believe that the ingredients make a huge difference in the dishes she presented.Julie stressed on several occasions that she wanted her sauces and seasoning compliment the natural flavors of the fish and the produce. Her food combination were extraordinary, every bite was fresh and tasteful.

Julie was such a great teacher, engaging and communicating with the audience while demonstrating her dishes. She answered questions, chimed in when Tommy, Dan (Catalina Offshore) and Kelly (Specialty Produce) asked for her expert opinion on farmed fish, produce and more.  Julie Frans is truly a bowl full of talent! Daddy and I really felt like we learned something new and that we could go home and make these dishes in our own home. We would definitely recommend this as a fund date night! I’m a little bummed Daddy and I didn’t get a picture, but nonetheless, there was not a dull moment, especially since we got our knives sharpened by True Point Sharpening, for FREE!

TPS sharpening our knives

Mommy & Chef Julie

Socializing with Joann from Sign4Baby

Here are a few tips for attending a Collaboration Kitchen

  • Dress warm the demos are held in the Catalina Offshore warehouse where they house fresh fish
  • Come hungry, the photos again pretty much explain this
  • Wear closed toe shoes, for safety regulations
  • BYOB, bring your own beer (water, soda, etc.), they have a bottle opener, but it will be faster to bring your own. They provide plastic cups, but feel free to bring your own glass if you like. You can opt to share your beverage or keep it to yourself.
  • Bring some cash, or a credit card, in case you want to purchase any of the products used in the demo

Cools things we learned

  • Catalina Offshore Products is open for the public for tours and purchasing their quality products. Click here for more details.
  • Specialty Produce sells Farmers Market Bags for only $20 with the freshest fruits and veggies in season. Click here for their latest bag.
  • Finally, you can hire Julie Frans as your personal chef or to cater your next special event. Visit Dining Details for more information.
  • Julie Frans also owns ChickPeas a food program dedicated to helping children eat well. Click here for more information.
  • 100% of the Collaboration Kitchen proceeds went to charities through Fruit of the Soul
  • Collaboration Kitchen Demos are held once a month at Catalina Offshore Products. Click here for more upcoming events, ticket pricing and additional information.

Daddy and I give Collaboration Kitchen Two Pinky’s Up for this awesome date night! Thank you for a wonderful evening!

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  1. avatar

    We should make this a regular event on our calendar! Wouldn’t it be fun for a MNO too?

  2. avatar

    Definitely! We should schedule a tour with Tommy at Catalina Offshore too with the Mamas! MNO here would be amazing…with a few bottles of wine, lol!

  3. avatar
    Amber /

    Oh my the food looks very delicious, that salmon looks grand!!! I need to learn how to cook.

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