A changing of the culinary guard is taking place at Addison, the only three-starred Michelin restaurant in San Diego.
Stefani De Palma has stepped down from her role of chef de cuisine after assuming that position in 2016. She helped shepherd the restaurant to its three-star Michelin status, working alongside its executive chef William Bradley. Since joining Addison in 2008, De Palma has also been its pastry chef, chef de partie, chef tournant, pastry sous chef, and sous chef. Previously, she studied at Le Cordon Bleu, externed in Italy, and was voted a Eater Young Guns semi-finalist in 2017.
“After nearly 15 years, an immense amount of growth and opportunities, I could not be more proud of what we built at Addison. At the end of 2021, I gave chef [Bradley] a year’s notice of my departure and it was very important to me to leave how I started, 100% committed. I wanted to accomplish two things in 2022 before leaving: strengthen the team and get three Michelin stars. I can look back on the last year and feel extremely proud that both of those goals were achieved,” De Palma told Eater.
De Palma said she’s taking a well-deserved break. She joined Addison after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu. “While it may seem odd to hear this, I don’t have anything immediately lined up, but as I near my mid-30s, I felt it was time for a new chapter of my life. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be putting the wheels in motion for some potential projects, but for now, I’ll be filling my days with family, friends, and lots of long walks with my dog, Ruby,” said De Palma.
Executive chef William Bradley said in an Instagram post to De Palma, “It has been a joy to watch Stefani shine over these 15 years, her contributions have been immeasurable. It is impossible to list all the things I am thankful for. I look forward to championing her next chapter as you have championed this restaurant with a loyalty and excellence that will forever be your legacy.”
The newly-appointed chef de cuisine is Jonathan Brambila, who’s been promoted from sous chef at Addison. Brambila has been working with chef Bradley since 2011, a dream he had since completing his culinary training at the Art Institute of California-San Diego where an instructor told him Addison would “change the restaurant scene in San Diego.”
Born in Los Angeles, Brambila grew up between San Diego and Tijuana where his parents ran a taqueria specializing in barbacoa near his middle school.
“Starting this year as the chef de cuisine at Addison has been incredible, and I’m excited to continue learning from Chef Bradley while mentoring and encouraging our team. I enjoy teaching our cooks how to be successful, guiding them in all areas of the kitchen, so they can grow in their careers as well. It’s been inspiring to be a part of the Addison family for the past 11 years, seeing how Chef Bradley has led the restaurant to where it is today. He is the heart and soul of the restaurant, and I look forward to working closely with him over this coming year,” said Brambila.
Chef Bradley added, “Chef Brambila has been an indispensable part of our team, supporting Addison’s evolution over the years with his dedication and sheer love for what we do. His creativity and generosity in the kitchen are rare, and we look forward to seeing how he continues to grow with us as our new chef de cuisine.”
The new sous chef will be Miguel Baez, who’s been promoted from chef de partie, a position he’s held since March 2021. Baez has also worked in kitchens at Born & Raised in San Diego, Mugaritz in Spain, and Per Se in New York.