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Your Stomach Deserves Nothing but the Best and These Chefs Know That

Written By: Justine McGrath Best Hotel Chefs in San Diego

When you plan a hotel getaway, there are a lot of factors to consider before booking your trip. You confirm that your room will have all the amenities you crave, check that your hotel is near some local landmarks and make sure the property’s pool fits your standards so you can enjoy ample outdoor lounging. But there’s one element of staying at a hotel that can make or break your overnight experience – the quality of the hotel restaurant. Best Hotel Chefs in San Diego

Luckily, you don’t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy the many incredible hotel restaurants in San Diego. Some of the best chefs in the country have congregated in America’s Finest City to wow us with their culinary creations at these accommodating properties. You voted and selected your top five favorite San Diego hotel chefs. We caught up with the winners to discuss the San Diego food scene, their love for seasonal ingredients and how they feel about being named a local favorite.

Best Hotel Chefs in San Diego

Andrew Reyes of Tidal at Paradise Point Resort and Spa

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Q:  How would you describe your culinary style?

Andrew Reyes: My style is seasonally treated with a modern Pacific Island approach.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the food scene in San Diego?

AR: An abundance of, and accessibility to, seasonal produce. Also, the strong sense of culinary community in San Diego.

Q: How does it feel to be voted as one of the top hotel chefs in San Diego?

AR: It’s truly an honor. I could have never imagined in my entire career that I would receive such an accolade.  

Q: You’re from Guam and currently live in San Diego. How did coastal living influence Tidal’s menu?

AR: It wasn’t difficult for me to come up with Tidal’s menu given that we are nestled on the shores of Mission Bay and surrounded by tropical landscaping – the inspiration is endless. While people consider my menu to be exotic, the island flavors are second-nature to me and reflect my Guamanian heritage. My style is Pacific Island cuisine, and I strive to promote food that reflects who I am, what I am, what I’ve seen and what I’ve tasted throughout my life. With Tidal’s menu, I tell my story, one of introducing people to the flavors of my homeland through a combination of tropical island ingredients and unique cooking techniques.

Tidal at Paradise Point Resort and Spa
1404 Vacation Rd
San Diego, CA 92109
858.490.6363

Best Hotel Chefs in San Diego

Amanda Colello of Fiore at Harrah’s Resort Southern California

Q:  How would you describe your culinary style?

Amanda Colello: I would describe my culinary style as classic but whimsical. I know that can be interpreted as an oxymoron, but I really like to pair classic flavor profiles with fun and unexpected techniques or ingredients.  I think that while it’s important to always execute in a consistent way, it’s also important to give guests something unexpected, playful and creative. This keeps them on their toes and adds to their overall dining experience. I also like to highlight the ingredients on the plate, never muddying up the flavors, to celebrate the ingredients themselves.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the food scene in San Diego?

AC: My favorite thing about the food scene in San Diego is the celebration of food and excellence. A lot of the chefs in the city are taking advantage of their location and really celebrating the ingredients that are available.  

Q: How does it feel to be voted as one of the top hotel chefs in San Diego?

AC: I’m very proud and honored to be recognized as one of San Diego’s Top Hotel Chefs. There are a number of “food scenes” here, and to be recognized as a favorite lets me know that my team and I are doing it right! We try to showcase and celebrate ingredients while also using superior quality products. My team really cares about what they’re doing; it’s the passion of my team that drives me every day.

Q: You’ve won numerous awards and have worked at some of the best restaurants in the country. What inspires you to come up with new dishes, or serve classics in an innovative way?

AC: I stand on the shoulders of giants! What inspires me to come up with new dishes or serve classics in an innovative way has a lot to do with the influence from the people I’ve learned from. I have developed a passion for excellence and for presenting things to people in new and innovative ways. I try to focus on the possibility that an ingredient has to offer, versus just going straight for what’s always been done with it. It’s fun and challenging to approach cooking food in this way, and keeps me pushing for the next great dish.

Fiore at Harrah’s Resort Southern California
777 Harrah’s Rincon Way
Funner, CA 92082
760.751.3100

Best Hotel Chefs in San Diego

Chris Aguirre of Crown Landing at Loews Coronado

Q: How would you describe your culinary style?

Chris Aguirre: My culinary style is very of the moment; I like to cook with what’s in season and at its peak.  My food is simple and straightforward but technically driven with a modern style of cooking.

Q:  What’s your favorite thing about the food scene in San Diego?

CA: Its diversity.

Q:  How does it feel to be voted as one of the top hotel chefs in San Diego?

CA: It’s an honor, the team here at Loews Coronado Bay Resort has worked very hard to create a unique culinary destination in San Diego.

Q: Why is it essential that Crown Landing uses locally sourced, seasonal ingredients?

CA: It’s the right thing to do, why go elsewhere when the best seafood, produce and artisanal products are right here in our city.  We want to support our local community as much as possible. Loews Hotels is one of the first hotel brands to embrace local partnerships on a national scale. Flavor by Loews Hotels captures the essence of the city as well as the heart behind local food and beverage producers.

Crown Landing at Loews Coronado
4000 Coronado Bay Rd
Coronado, CA 92118
619.424.4000

Julian Quinones of TWENTY/20 at Sheraton Carlsbad

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Q: How would you describe your culinary style?

Julian Quinones: My culinary style is definitely minimalist. I like to highlight the natural taste and flavor of things, especially when using seasonal and local ingredients. The Farmers Market truck from Specialty Produce is the thing I look most forward to each week. A recent favorite from the Farmers Market truck was some incredible tastings of Gaviota strawberries from Tamai Family Farms and the first harvest of cherries from Murray Family Farms.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the food scene in San Diego?

JQ: All the options in San Diego County make me feel so spoiled. The most exciting part is the younger generation is experiencing a variety of new styles and concepts which is going to give the San Diego food scene a creative burst into the future.

Q: How does it feel to be voted as one of the top hotel chefs in San Diego?

JQ: When I see polls of this kind, I am reminded of the teamwork and talent all of us chefs are fortunate enough to have surrounding us. I am thrilled to be a part of the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, and with the addition of the all-new Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa on our property, I am looking forward to some wonderful happenings in the near future. Our now dual resort complex is growing rapidly, and it’s an exciting time to be a part of the North County culinary scene.

Q: You’re a born and raised San Diegan. You’ve watched the culinary scene evolve since you were a kid and are now helping to shape it – what do you think is the future of food in San Diego?

JQ: I think the success of our industry will continue to drive innovation. I think we will see a good amount of new neighborhood spots pop up, which will challenge the established dining venues to continue to push the envelope in order to stay ahead of the trends. This would be an incredibly exciting future for our alluring county and all the food lovers who live and visit here!

TWENTY/20 at Sheraton Carlsbad
5480 Grand Pacific Dr
Carlsbad, CA 92008
760.827.2500

Best Hotel Chefs in San Diego

Antonio Votta of Locale at Viejas Casino and Resort

Locale at Viejas Casino and Resort
5000 Willows Rd
Alpine, CA 91901
619.445.5400 Best Hotel Chefs in San Diego

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