Welcome to Tides & Tacos, a project sharing diverse stories of San Diego’s food scene

How years of working for restaurants and newsrooms amid an ever-shrinking media market led me to creating my own space for culinary journalism

There’s something wrong with food writing in San Diego. 

Ever since I moved to this beautiful region nearly two decades ago, I’ve been working toward becoming a food writer. I worked in the culinary industry as a server, craft cocktail bartender and line cook while putting myself through college to earn degrees in culinary arts, journalism and political science. 

My college years were spent writing restaurant reviews for my two campus newspapers — The Mesa Press at San Diego Mesa College and The Daily Aztec at San Diego State University. I covered food-related stories as a freelancer at North Coast Current and Times of San Diego, and since 2008, I have self-published content on my food and travel blog, Off the Mapp.

During my four years at The San Diego Union-Tribune, I wrote food-related stories whenever I could squeeze them in between my multiple full-time beats and took a workshop on food writing from Write Like a Honey Badger. One of my fondest accomplishments while on staff at the Union-Tribune was that my story searching for the best California burrito in San Diego garnered the greatest number of conversions to subscribers and eighth greatest readership during the nearly five years I was on staff there.

But instead of getting closer to my goal, I have watched as fewer journalists are tasked with covering one of my favorite topics to read and write about, both locally and across the country.

This is an excerpt from my newest food writing project, San Diego Tides & Tacos. Visit this article on Substack to read more of my thoughts on the state of culinary journalism in San Diego, and to subscribe to the newsletter.


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