Chef Hanis Cavin featured in San Diego Home/Garden Magazine
October 27, 2012
Chef Hanis Cavin of Carnitas’ Snack Shack speaks with San Diego Home/Garden about his sustainable restaurant philosophy. Cavin was inducted into the Chefs Hall of Fame along with chefs Matt Gordon of Urban Solace and Paul McCabe of Delicias (and now, of La Valencia Hotel). Congratulations to Chef Hanis and friends!
Here is some of the article from the November 2012 issue of San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles.
San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles Chefs Hall of Fame
Fresh, Organic, Sustainable
This year’s three inductees help San Diego grow up.
By David Nelson. Photographs by Martin Mann.
Three honorable men delightedly agree that it’s quite the honor to be honored by their peers. This year, Hanis Cavin, Matt Gordon and Paul McCabe join San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles’ Chefs Hall of Fame at the invitation of this galaxy of culinary superstars. Together, the members have transformed the county from an easy-going place that tolerated canned guacamole to a discerning community that expects cuisine to be fresh, organic, sustainable — and memorably delicious. The new members contribute much more than hard work to bettering our restaurant profile, since each brings a governing philosophy to his cooking.
Carnitas’ Snack Shack
SOOOOEY! The inspiration to corner the market on porcine pleasures by creating a real hog heaven in the heart of greens-loving North Park struck Hanis Cavin and wife Sarah Stroud pretty much like a lightning bolt. Carnitas’ Snack Shack is named for the couple’s pet porker, [Carnitas Speck] a Juliana (aka miniature painted) whose sculptured likeness is piggybacked atop the roof.
“Carnitas is real high-maintenance these days,” says Cavin. “He’s gotten bigger and knocks things down.” Even so, the pig runs little danger of being transformed into his namesake dish (Cavin cooks an exceptionally savory carnitas); since the chef slowly simmers “the best pork that can be bought.”
“People like the quality and flavor of the product we put out,” adds Cavin. “I start with premium food, and the produce is as much farmers’ market as I can get. I love cooking, and seeing happy faces on my guests makes it all that much better.”
Six days weekly, the San Diego native rolls in at 8 a.m., hoping to leave soon after midnight. His blissful clientele does dine high on the hog. Demonstrating a devilish talent for outrageous overkill, Cavin spirals them into gastronomic delirium with the “Triple Threat,” a highrise sandwich of pulled roasted pork, breaded pork tenderloin, applewood-smoked bacon and pepperoncini slathered with pickle relish and Carnitas’ own ‘Shack aioli.’
“We bring out restaurant-quality food but you can come here without shoes and it doesn’t matter,” says Cavin. “The whole experience is great.”