Checking In With Chef Gregory James Macri
The San Diego chef created a cuisine that’s gaining popularity all over the country
What do you love most about your job, and working where you do?
The people. I love the people that work here. There’s something about this island that brings out an aura from people that spreads like wildfire. Our jobs can get stressful from time to time, but we have great people that we work with, and we can always rely on our co-workers for support. I’m nothing without my team.
Can you describe your cooking philosophy to us?
Keep it simple and keep it fresh. We have great vendors with phenomenal products. I like to let our products shine. We have amazingly fresh seafood and produce. We do not need to “doctor up” too many of our products, because they are delicious the way they are.
What are some of the menu items you’re most proud of, and why?
I am most proud of our Poke Nachos because we invented them here at Barefoot, and now I see them in many other San Diego fine dining restaurants. I feel proud that I made my mark on the industry.
What are your favorite things to cook with?
Garlic, wine, and butter.
What culinary trends do you see, based on what your customers are ordering and requesting?
In Southern California, I see healthy options with flavor. For example: quinoa dressed in a light jalapeno oil with fresh herbs. Plain quinoa is healthy for you, but doesn’t carry a lot of flavor. Infuse some oil with jalapenos to lightly dress the quinoa, throw in some fresh herbs, and maybe a veggie or two, and you have a really tasty quinoa salad. Keep it simple, and keep it fresh.
San Diego’s a fun town. How do you like spend your downtime?
I don’t want to give away too many hidden gems; however, OB Farmer’s Market and jogging on the beach are two of my favorite pastimes in San Diego.