The San Diego Symphony Partners With Renowned Chef Richard Blais For An Elevated Culinary Experience At Bayside Summer Nights

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The popular outdoor concert series will now offer three-course meals and picnic box selections curated by chef and TV personality Richard Blais, plus new food and beverage offerings from a variety of San Diego chefs and restaurateurs

Chef Richard Blais

“With the help of Chef Blais, we are thrilled to offer concertgoers a one-of-a-kind experience combining first-class dining options with premier musical programming enjoyed along the scenic bay,” said San Diego Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer.

Bayside Summer Nights, the San Diego Symphony’s long-running and incredibly successful concert series, propels its culinary offerings with a new partnership with famed chef Richard Blais that includes curated three-course menus, known as Blais by the Bay, or picnic meals, known as Blais Boxes. The offerings—hand-created by Blais—boast a Southern California take on classic bistro and brasserie fare. Additionally, the Symphony is collaborating with San Diego’s top beloved local purveyors for its new dining section, Finest City Eats. This season, concertgoers will be able to enjoy some of the best tastes the city has to offer, while taking in the sights and sounds of summer in one of the most beautiful settings in America.

Best known as the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars, Blais is a James Beard Award-nominated chef, author, restauranteur and owner of Trail Blais—a forward-thinking culinary company that has consulted on, designed and operated popular eateries including San Diego favorites The Crack Shack and Juniper & Ivy.

“With the help of Chef Blais, we are thrilled to offer concertgoers a one-of-a-kind experience combining first-class dining options with premier musical programming enjoyed along the scenic bay,” said San Diego Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer. “By taking a local approach to dining, we are able to showcase an array of San Diego’s most delectable food and beverages options. We have listened to our audience and heard the desire to combine an elevated dining experience with our dynamic programming. We believe every concert experience should be accompanied by a diverse—and delicious—menu, and we are excited to offer these new, heightened options to our guests.”

Concertgoers seated in the Champagne Section will have the option to enjoy a three-course, served dinner or à la carte options featuring some of Chef Blais’ favorite eats including flat iron steak with Baja barbeque sauce, tomato and watermelon gazpacho, churros with molten chocolate and more. The Blais Box, which comes in three offerings and is available to all concertgoers, includes curated meals ranging from grilled salmon with corn bread jalapeño chamomile butter, to coconut cake with fresh berries. The boxes are available for table delivery to Champagne Section ticketholders, and for pick-up at the Finest City Eats food section for all ticketholders. Both the Champagne Section table dinners and the picnic boxes must be pre-ordered online by 4 p.m. the day before the concert.

“I’m incredibly honored to be a part of the San Diego Symphony’s summer concert experience,” said Blais. “San Diego has been so supportive of my restaurants Juniper and Ivy and Crack Shack—and my family is a huge fan of the arts—so getting a chance to be a part of this new Symphony chapter is truly special.”

Made up of a collection of popular local eateries, the new Finest City Eats culinary section—located behind the grandstand—will include offerings from the following San Diego-based purveyors:

  • BIGA Restaurant, a unique celebration of handcrafted Italian cuisine including wood fired pizza
  • Lola 55, a progressive Mexican taqueria that was recently added to Michelin Guide’s “Bib Gourmand” list
  • Cravory, a craft cookie company boasting an abundance of unique flavors
  • Bread and Cie, a fresh artisan bread and pastry bakery
  • Achilles Coffee Roasters, a small batch craft roastery

The Finest City Eats section will also feature a craft beer bar, offering cold beverages from top San Diego breweries including Stone Brewing, Saint Archer, Ballast Point, Pizza Port, Coronado Brewing Company, Karl Strauss, Modern Times, Mikkeller, Alpine Beer Company and Boochcraft (hard kombucha).

Located on the Embarcadero Marina Park South, this season’s Bayside Summer Nights series offers more feature films than ever before and a variety of special concerts throughout its 10-week season. From hip-hop star Common and the Queen of Funk Chaka Khan (with special guest Macy Gray), to rock band Blues Traveler and music’s beloved The B-52s, Bayside Summer Nights offers top talent across a variety of genres in a stunning location that is unique to San Diego.

If world-class music, fireworks and elevated food offerings is not enough, the Symphony’s summer concert series has another exciting transition in the works. Plans are currently in place for the spectacular new Bayside Performance Park—a permanent concert venue on the Embarcadero featuring a dramatic and iconic stage, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and high def LED screens. Once complete, Bayside Performance Park will instantly become one of California’s most popular places to experience every kind of music.

Bayside Summer Nights tickets and subscriptions are on sale now. To purchase, visit or call the ticket office at 619.235.0804. Guests may also visit the San Diego Symphony Jacobs Music Center Copley Symphony Hall Ticket Office in person at 750 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101. An Embarcadero box office will be open beginning at noon of every concert day June 28 – September 1.

About the San Diego Symphony
Founded in 1910, the San Diego Symphony is the oldest orchestra in California and one of the largest and most significant cultural organizations in San Diego. The Orchestra performs for over 250,000 people each season, offering a wide variety of programming at its two much loved venues, Copley Symphony Hall in downtown San Diego and the Embarcadero Marina Park South on San Diego Bay. In early 2018, the San Diego Symphony announced the appointment of Rafael Payare as music director. Payare will lead the orchestra’s 82 full-time musicians, graduates of the finest and most celebrated music schools in the United States and abroad. The SDSO also serves as the orchestra for the San Diego Opera each season, as well as performing at several regional performing arts centers. For over 30 years, the San Diego Symphony has provided comprehensive music education and community engagement programs reaching more than 65,000 students annually and bringing innovative programming to San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods and schools. For more information, visit

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Carrie Jones
San Diego Symphony
(619) 347-2040
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