La Jolla News Nuggets: Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room hosts culinary hall-of-fame induction; La Jolla Music Society’s new president/CEO resigns; UCSD launches medical imaging center


La Jolla to host culinary hall-of-fame induction

The first Disciples Escoffier International Induction and Celebration Dinner in Southern California will take place Oct. 8 at The Marine Room in La Jolla. The event is sold out.

The organization, an esteemed culinary hall of fame in France, will honor San Diego’s finest chefs and chef/owners including: Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room; Patrick Ponsaty of 1500 Ocean; Jeffrey Strauss of Pamplemousse Grille; Mark Kropczynski of the U.S. Grant Hotel; Javier Plascencia of Mision 19; Luis Gonzalez of the Puesto Restaurant Group; and Dame Flor Franco of Indulge.

“I am honored and humbled to be inducted into the Disciples Escoffier International,” said Guillas, who will do double duty during the ceremony as both inductee and chef. “It is a milestone in my career.”

Disciples Escoffier International — an invitation-only society of chefs, food and wine producers, sommeliers and other hospitality-industry professionals — was created in 1954 by chef Jean Ducroux to honor Auguste Escoffier, the pre-eminent French chef of the early 20th century.

This event was organized by Les Dames d’Escoffier San Diego and will feature Michel Escoffier, Auguste’s great-grandson.

Man shot by deputy outside Del Mar concert pleads not guilty

A man shot by a sheriff’s deputy, after allegedly pulling out a gun and firing several rounds into a crowded area when he couldn’t get a ticket to rapper Ice Cube’s concert at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Sept. 2, pleaded not guilty, Sept. 17, to felony charges.

Daniel Elizarraras, 22, was arraigned in his hospital room at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla on charges including assaulting a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm. Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon argued that the defendant was a danger to the public, and Judge Michael Groch increased Elizarraras’ bail from $100,000 to $300,000.

Witnesses said Elizarraras fired his weapon at the Stretch Run ticket window about 6:40 p.m. on Sept. 2.

Deputies responded to the scene and 11-year veteran Tyler Eikermann fired four rounds, striking Elizarraras with all four shots. No deputies or civilians were hurt.

Elizarraras faces up to 19 years in prison if convicted. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for next month. — City News Service

Tickets on sale for San Diego Police’s Gold Shield Gala

The San Diego Police Foundation holds its seventh annual Gold Shield Gala, 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 1 Park Blvd.

The fundraiser — which includes dinner, dancing and a talk from San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit — supports the K9 Crimefighter Campaign, which funds all new police dogs for America’s Finest K9 Unit as well as equipment and training.

Tickets are $300, tables $3,000. For information, call (619) 232-2130 or visit,

Music Society musical chairs

Susan Danis, scheduled to fill La Jolla Music Society’s (LJMS) highly visible president/CEO vacancy on Oct. 1, has backed out. Instead, she will remain as general director/CEO of the Florida Grand Opera (FGO).

According to a joint press statement released by LJMS and Danis, the mutual decision “was reached following the disclosure that a letter defaming (Danis) and FGO had been sent to LJMS board chair and members of the staff by a disgruntled ex-employee of FGO, Graham Fandrei.”

The statement explained that Fandrei has “since retracted the letter, acknowledged that it was based on false information, was sent with malicious intent, and has apologized to FGO, LJMS and Danis.”

It is unclear why a defamatory letter based on false information that has since been retracted would prompt Danis to stay put. But the statement furnished a quote from Danis stating: “I am appreciative of the support I received from FGO as I responded to, and discredited, the information contained in the Fandrei letter. This action by Mr. Fandrei has been deeply affecting me. Given the support I received during this time from FGO, I have withdrawn my application.”

The sudden reversal comes only seven months before the scheduled opening of the society’s new $78.5 million Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, which Danis was hired in large part to guide. LJMS’s last president, Kristin Lancino, also resigned unexpectedly, in January, barely two years after she came on board.

The statement said that the LJMS will resume its search for its next president and CEO as David Kitto continues to serve as the nonprofit’s interim president.

In the meantime, LJMS is about to open its 50th Anniversary season. For a schedule of concerts and performances, visit

UCSD launches medical imaging center

UC San Diego recently opened the Nikon Imaging Center, a collaborative microscopy center providing local researchers with access to the latest imaging technologies.

“In addition to offering standard imaging techniques, the center has two microscopes that can image with what is called ‘super-resolution,’ which allows us to resolve structures with two-to-10 times the precision that standard microscopes can achieve,” said Eric Griffis, the center’s director.

Situated inside the School of Medicine’s Leichtag Family Foundation Biomedical Research Building, the center is only the third in North America, following similar Nikon facilities at Harvard Medical School and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

— Compiled by Corey Levitan