Buzz hears that San Diego Magazine’s contributing writer David Nelson (and restaurant writer) will be doing a piece about Gavin Kaysen who left El Bizcocho in October to take the prestigious job of executive chef at Café Boulud in Manhattan. Isn’t it a bit late for the magazine to finally write about Kaysen who last year represented the US at the world chef competition called Bocuse d’Or (in Lyon, France) and earned national attention as one of Food & Wine magazine’s Ten Best New Chefs for 2007? Too bad the cover of San Diego Magazine’s August 2007 restaurant issue didn’t include Kaysen next to Oceanaire’s executive chef Brian Malarkey–two of this city’s star chefs–while Kaysen was still in San Diego. Nowhere did the issue mention El Bizcocho or Kaysen. Unfortunately it points up the provincial and political good-ol’ boy thinking that keeps San Diego’s restaurant scene static rather than cutting edge, and why chefs like Kaysen move on to grander cities with more appreciative diners and reviewers.
A few weeks ago, executive chef Justin Hoehn took his toque from Del Mar’s Paradise Grille to Epazote. The Grille plans to take its menu in a more casual direction, and Epazote offers Hoehn a broader arena for his creative cuisine. Hoehn trained at the California Culinary Academy and has put his talents to work locally at Winesellar & Brasserie and La Valencia and Hayes Street Grill in San Francisco.
The Hyatt Regency on Mission Bay opened Red Marlin with chef de cuisine Danny Bannister at the helm. Barrister formally trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. In San Diego, his resume includes stints at Laurel, Pamplemousse Grille, and The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers bay-side views and a chef’s table near the wine wall of the restaurant. It’s on Buzz’s list of places to visit.