Some serious culinary firepower was in the kitchen at Addison this past Saturday, when the Fairmont Grand Del Mar hosted the Robb Report’s annual, two-day Culinary Masters event. The luxury lifestyle publication raised $200,000 for its charity partner, the nonprofit ment’or BKB Foundation; founded by master chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jérôme Bocuse, it provides grants and internships to the culinary industry and funds Team USA’s participation in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition.
Keller has been a professional mentor to William Bradley, Addison’s director and executive chef, who along with chef de cuisine Stefani De Palma, sous chef Jonathan Brambila, and pastry chef Janina Garey, provided support to Keller, Bocuse, and the other world-famous chefs behind Saturday’s gala dinner. The star-studded list included Dominque Crenn (Atelier Crenn), winner of James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef West, Emmy Award-winning host of PBS’s Simply Ming, Ming Tsai (Blue Dragon), two-star Michelin chef Josiah Citrin of Charcoal Venice, James Beard Award-winner Paul Bartolotta, and former San Diegan Gavin Kaysen, winner of James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Midwest and owner of Bellecour and Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis.
Calling the experience of hosting such a impressive roster “humbling”, four-time James Beard nominee Bradley said he was excited to showcase San Diego’s incredible late summer produce to his chef peers. And Kaysen, who first made a name for himself at El Bizcocho in Rancho Bernardo and still feels a lot of love for San Diego, said it was gratifying to cook for diners that remember him from his days as a local chef.
Tickets to the gala reception and dinner rung in at a whopping $1,500 per person, but Eater San Diego photographer Haley Hohengarten of Heartwork Hill was backstage to capture the chefs in action for Eater readers.