“Top Chef All-Stars” winner Richard Blais, a San Diegan since he moved here to open Juniper & Ivy and launch the Crack Shack brand, is next putting his name on a project that will be part of the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa, which recently emerged from a $50+ million renovation. Blais is behind the Carlsbad property’s new signature restaurant; still unnamed, it’s scheduled to open by March 2021.
Blais, who is set to return to the “Top Chef” universe as part of a spinoff called “Top Chef Amateurs”, which will pit home cooks against a group of the culinary competition’s favorite alumni in iconic challenges from the show’s history, is building the menu on aged steaks and fresh seafood. The chef’s take on surf and turf will carry on his dedication to regional sourcing, epitomized by a central bar that will function as an interactive culinary station serving up samplers of Carlsbad oysters and other bites highlighting local fishermen, farmers, and foragers.
Saying he’s in the “pinch-me phase” about working with the resort and the hospitality brand, Blais says he feels honored to create a restaurants that “pays homage to the region and stands out in Southern California.”
The design of the space is described as “modern-day country club”, with native botanicals and live landscaping through the restaurant and plenty of outdoor seating with views of the Aviara Golf Club overlooking the Batiquitos Lagoon.
Blais’ restaurant will cap off a series of upgrades at Park Hyatt Aviara, which include refreshed guest rooms, two new pool experiences, and the deluxe Topgolf Swing Suite, which includes a lounge with food and drinks plus virtual games. Already opened is the Pacific Point lounge, which serves a Pacific Rim-inspired menu, and soon-to-open is Ponto Lago, an all-day restaurant with a Baja California menu and tequila bar.