Etched into Chef Steve Brown’s forearm are the words “The Best, Not the Rest.” The other tattoos that ordain his body have meaning but this artwork is perhaps most emblematic of Brown’s state-of-mind today. He is committed to excellence and, on the heels of his announcement that he is opening Cosecha, a high-end restaurant in Coronado, his excitement and energy were palpable when we spoke. And, while it is clear that Brown is a master in juggling dozens of tasks at once (the nature of being a chef), I realized during our discussion that my time was limited and that the best way for a majority of this story to be told was in Brown’s own words.
“There is nothing like Cosecha in San Diego, and Coronado deserves a high-end restaurant that caters specifically to its residents and those in the surrounding communities,” said Brown, who is from Imperial Beach. “Unlike many of the local restaurants in town, Cosecha will not be focused on tourism. Of course, we will welcome everyone, but the experience at Cosecha is going to more of a planned event that people look forward to. We have tried to create a supper club, a modern way of fine dining, with one goal being to provide real ‘foodies’ with an option ON the Island.”
Cosecha means “Harvest” in Spanish, which makes sense since the restaurant will be what Brown calls a “Farm-Driven Modern American” concept, drawing on “beyond” organic produce along with the best protein available. To that end, a unique attribute of Brown’s Cosecha concept is that he has partnered with – and will receive all his fresh produce from – Wild Willow Farm, a non-profit farm school and education center located in the Tijuana River Valley. The day we spoke, Brown was at the farm planting potatoes for the opening of Cosecha next year.
“We are excited that our produce is sourced 100% from Wild Willow Farm, a small yet efficient place with whom to partner,” said Brown, who will be foraging in the South Bay to supplement the farm’s offerings. “We started working together early last year and it has become a very special relationship that we have nurtured. I am so excited to have a local farm from which I can handpick every item on our menu and be confident that it is safe, organic and fresh.”