Our beloved Brendan sends word that Asia 101 at 903 Embarcadero Del Norte in Isla Vista has opened. Hours are 3-9 p.m. The address was the long time home of Pho Bistro which opened in May 2007 and closed this summer. Photo Bistro holds the Restaurant Guy record for “Longest Appearance of a Grand Opening Sign” which stayed in place for nearly 5 years. I doubt this record will ever be broken because restaurants usually don’t even last that long let alone party that long. Those were good times.
Photo by The Restaurant Guy
Reader Brendan let me know that Social Eats, which opened last month in the Kinkos birthplace building in Isla Vista, will be having a grand opening in mid-September.
Reader Brendan tells me that SB Sunshine Cafe at 3514 State Street will be opening a second location at 5711 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Chicken in a Barrel BBQ (2018-2020), Petrini’s (2011-2016), and Luigi’s Pizza & Pasta (?-2010). I don’t yet have an ETA.
Here is a message to you from Barbareño at 205 W Canon Perdido Street:
My name is Nathaniel Tyson, I’m the current Maître D’ at Barbareño . I’m writing to tell you about an event we’ll be doing on Saturday, September 23rd that I’m very excited about! In collaboration for the first time with Ojai Valley Brewery we’ll be doing a paired beer dinner.
As you are aware, we love to highlight what is fresh and local here to Santa Barbara on our menu, and the same goes for OVB. They use all botanicals and herbs that grow in Ojai to flavour their beers. When our paths crossed it seemed like we just had to create something together. So we have!
This will be a four course, family style dinner held on the Brewery’s patio in Ojai. Each course will be featuring an herb that is also featured in the beer, creating the perfect complementary pairing. In addition to the food, Lanny Kaufer, local herb expert and guide, will be speaking about the herbs featured in each course and their importance to the local environment.
The event itself will seat 50 people and begin at 6:30 PM. Additionally, there is an option to go on a nature walk with Lanny at Cluff Vista Park beforehand which will end at the brewery just in time for dinner to start. Below is an outline of the basic components and beer pairing for each course.
Course 1: Local halibut ceviche paired with East End Fruit Ale
Course 2: Acorn tamales paired with Chaparral Sage Amber Ale
Course 3: Oak smoked rabbit paired with Sugarbush Sumac Ojai Pale Ale
Course 4: Pinyon cake paired with White Gruit Hopless Beer
Here is a list of area eateries that have opened in the last 12 months:
- August 2023: Asia 101, 903 Embarcadero Del Norte, Isla Vista; The Eddy, 137 E. De la Guerra St.
- July 2023: Chick-fil-A (reopened), 3707 State St.; Maria’s Tacos, 6545 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista; Social Eats, 6521 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista; Terra, 5490 Hollister Ave., Goleta (inside The Steward hotel); The Kitchen (inside Calvary Chapel), 1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez, Ste. 21
- June 2023: KOZY Craft Coffee, 6560 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista
- May 2023: Goodland Waffles and Melts, 1131 State St.; I.V. Pizza and Pub, 6533 Trigo Road Ste. 108, Isla Vista; Kin Bakeshop, 199 S. Turnpike Rd. Ste. 103, Noleta; Los Altos, 5892 Hollister Ave., Goleta
- April 2023: Beast Taqueria, 634 State St. (inside M-Special); Draughtsmen Aleworks, 1631 Mission St., Solvang; Sweet Reef Boba, 620 State St.; Taqueria La Unica, 3771 State St.; Three Pickles Deli, 1436 Chapala St.
- March 2023: Rascal’s Vegan Food, 432 E. Haley St.; Three Monkeys, 38 W. Victoria St.;
- February 2023: Dawn Café, 524 State St.; Gala, 705 Anacapa St.; Kaz ToGo Japanese Food, 3613 State St.; Maiz Picante Taqueria, 2714 De la Vina St.
- January 2023: Brass Bear, 3302 McCaw Ave.; Dave’s Drip House, 193 S. Turnpike Rd.;
- December 2022: Black Sheep,18 E. Cota St.; Corazon Comedor, 29 E. Victoria St.; Elena’s Kitchen, 738 State St.; Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant (reopened), 254 Orange Ave., Goleta; Saint Remy (inside Marriott), 1601 State St.; We Want The Funk, 210 Gray Ave.
- November 2022: Brass Bird Coffee, 4835 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria; Caya Restaurant, 5650 Calle Real, Goleta (inside Leta Hotel); IHOP, 7127 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Jersey Mike’s Subs, 199 S. Turnpike Rd., L’antica Pizzeria da Michele, 1032 State St.; Mattei’s Tavern, 2350 Railway Ave., Los Olivos; Oat Bakery, 231 S. Magnolia Ave., Goleta
- October 2022: Augie’s Tequila, 700 State St.; Fresco Café, 23 E. Canon Perdido St.; Kyle’s Taproom, 7000 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Thai Bistro, 3130 State St.
- September 2022: Campo del Sol, 1555 Mission Dr., Solvang; Checo’s, 6578 Trigo Rd., Isla Vista; Saigon, 721 Chapala St.
- August 2022: Mokutan, 716 State St.
A local memorial is being held for Santa Barbara’s legendary Chef Karim Chhibbane who passed away Christmas Eve last year from heart failure. He was 64. Karim was one of the nicest people I ever met. Karim opened Chef Karim’s Moroccan Restaurant in Victoria Court in 1996, enjoying nearly 15 years of success.
Upon retiring in 2010 he sent me a message to share with readers: “Thank you to all of Santa Barbara, to SIMA, to you John, also to people from other places that traveled and came here many many times,” said Chhibbane. “But especially those from Santa Barbara. It’s been a great experience to be with the people of Santa Barbara and feel that I’m home. I’ve never felt for one day that I’m not home.”
The memorial for Chef Karim will be held at 1221 Chapala Street, 5:30-7:30pm on Sunday, August 13, 2023. If there is anyone who would like to attend, they are welcome.
Read more about Chef Karim in the Full Belly Files at the Santa Barbara Independent
Credit: Matt Ryerson, Lincoln Star file photo
St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church’s annual Greek Grab-Go, that has replaced the Santa Barbara Greek Festival since Covid brought it to a halt, is in full swing. You can order up until August 12th, 11:59 p.m. and pick up your food August 26-27. Select your food items on their website and pick a 30-minute time slot that you would like to pick up your food at St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church, located less than 4 miles from La Cumbre Shopping Center.
Here is a press release from Cuyama Buckhorn, 4923 Primero Street, New Cuyama, CA. Cuyama Buckhorn is located 1 hour east of Santa Maria.
Capturing the long light of an August evening in the high desert, Birdie G’s Executive Chef Matthew Schaler will prepare dinner at Cuyama Buckhorn on Sunday, August 27.
Schaeler will plate some of his favorite summer dishes, featuring local and regional ingredients paired with wines from Camins 2 Dreams by Cuyama Buckhorn General Manager and Sommelier Scott Augat. Winemakers Mireia Taribó and Tara Gomez, of Camins 2 Dreams will be on hand to talk about the making of the wines as well.
Sunday, August 27th
$75 per person
$35 for wine pairings
Left to right: Birdie G’s Executive Chef Matthew Schaler, Long Table Dinner at Cuyama
Buckhorn, Camins 2 Dreams Winemakers Mireia Taribó and Tara Gomez
Since late July, The Restaurant Guy, Gal, and Kid have been exploring Alaska by way of boat, train, and hiking shoes. It’s our first time to visit the 49th state and our first time to come face to face with (and actually stand on) a glacier. As luck would have it, we had Santa Barbara weather most of the time and not a drop of rain. We are now on the second leg of our trip, exploring western Canada.
One of our favorite restaurants in Alaska was the Alaska King Crab Company in Ketchikan, a small fishing town overflowing with salmon and other sea creatures. The eatery’s seafood is all fresh and caught locally. If you order salmon for dinner at the AKCC, it was quite possibly swimming that morning. If you live in Ketchikan, salmon is essentially free. When you are feeling hungry for the popular fish you just need to grab your net, walk to the nearest stream, and load up.
In Canada our first stop is in Vancouver. We are staying in the downtown area next to the popular Gastown district. As luck would have it, we stumbled across an eatery that was unbelievably good. It’s in Gastown and called the Water Street Cafe, in business since 1988. Both the food and service were outstanding. One of our appetizers was shrimp cocktail and each shrimp was twice the size of any I have had at a restaurant before. My entree was steak and lobster which was done to perfection. The restaurant is right across the street from a famous local landmark called the Steam Clock. It’s powered entirely by steam and it plays Westminster Chimes every quarter hour via steam powered horns. Other discoveries include Moma sushi in Gastown (your classic hole-in-the-wall with amazing food) and the hugely popular Public Market on Granville Island.
Photos by The Restaurant Guy
Here is an inquiry from reader Pat G.:
What is happening at the former restaurant Beachside at Goleta Beach. We miss it very much. We were there for their last two nights. Heard it was going to become Sea Legs and then nothing more. Where is the manager: Simon?
I know the name was changed to The Ellwood but I haven’t stopped by since it was hammered by storms last winter. I’ll check it out.
People Magazine has a new story about Bettina in Montecito which apparently is a favorite pizza place for some well-known local residents. “On any given weeknight, a pizza takeout order from Bettina at the Montecito Country Mart in California could be for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who, like many of the area’s locals, are fans of the restaurant,” says People. “The hotspot, which is the brainchild of husband and wife team Brendan Smith and Rachel Greenspan, has become one of the most popular casual restaurants in town.”
More news from a valued reader:
“The Eddy is now open.
A corner store with a hip international foodie twist.
137 East De la Guerra Street (formerly the Bead Shop)
– Steve H. “
Photos by Steve H.
This just in from reader Steve H.:
A cookie shop is coming to 918 State Street, formerly The Good Cup.
The new eatery is called The Cookie Plug.
Photo by reader Steve H.
Reader Andre let me know that Mr B Restaurant & Café in La Cumbre Plaza, which started offering Jordanian cuisine in December 2021, has closed:
“Went by Mr Bs today and it was closed down permanently. Sign is down, windows are covered.”
Yelp confirms the news.
The annual Goleta Dam Dinner, established in 2012, is a free community event featuring live music that will be held this year on August 19, 4-7 p.m. at the Lake Los Carneros dam. Bring your own food and beverage or purchase at the event that includes AR Catering, Dave’s Drip House, Creekside Restaurant & Bar, face painting and Dam Dinner t-shirts. This popular event is organized by the City of Goleta and the Goleta Valley Historical Society.
Debra Eagle, general manager of Alma Rosa Winery, a leading Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producer from Santa Barbara County’s Sta. Rita Hills AVA, has announced that the winery’s fourth annual “Peace of Mind: 10,000 Steps in the Right Direction” fundraising walk raised $200,463, up more than 12% over last year’s event. Funds raised will be dispersed between the event’s two beneficiaries, One Mind and Santa Barbara’s Mental Wellness Center.
Alma Rosa’s Proprietors Bob and Barb Zorich, along with General Manager Debra Eagle launched the annual Peace of Mind fundraising walk in 2020 to support community services for mental health, as well as research on the causes, treatment and potential cures for anxiety and depression. On Saturday, July 22 more than 200 participants gathered at the base of Alma Rosa’s 628-acre estate to participate in this year’s 10,000 step, approximately 4.5-mile, walk across the hillside vineyards. Participants were greeted at registration with coffee and bagels from local Santa Ynez’ Pony Espresso and coffee and vegan monkey bars from Solvang’s Good Seed Coffee Boutique, two of Peace of Mind’s official event sponsors.
Little Dom’s Seafood, a locally sourced seafood destination in Carpinteria, will be offering an oyster-themed menu in honor of National Oyster Day on August 5th. The menu will be available next Saturday from 12pm to close and will include:
• Oysters on the 1/2 shell (M/P) – East Coast and West Coast Oysters with lemon, cocktail sauce & mignonette
• BBQ Oysters ($14) – Three Wood Grilled Oysters with a compound butter
• Fried Oysters ($14) – Hollandaise & spicy Andouille sausage
• Oyster Shooter ($12) – Lemon juice, infused herbs, tomato, Calabrese Chile & vodka
• Wild Boar Meatballs ($18) – Oyster dressing and Creole mustard
• Oyster Po Boy ($21) – Fried oysters, savoy cabbage, Beylik tomatoes, Calabrese aioli on French bread
In addition to the items above, pastry chef Ann Kirk has created a spin on the oyster theme by creating “Oyster” Madeleines, which are cream-filled madeleines, shaped like oysters and topped with a blackberry cream ($8).
Several readers have let me know that the Jewish eatery Wexler’s Deli is coming to the downtown area. I have also heard but not confirmed that the location will be inside the Santa Barbara Public Market.
“Wexler’s Deli stands for three things: tradition, craftsmanship, and quality,” says their website wexlersdeli.com. “Born of a desire to serve classic Jewish deli food made by people who care, Wexler’s uses old-school methods to handcraft our pastrami and smoked salmon. After curing in a special blend of salt and spices, our meats and fish are slowly smoked in house over apple wood and sliced by hand in front of your eyes.”
Wexler’s Deli has 2 locations, both in in Southern California; Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
Rusty’s Pizza will be introducing some brand-new flavors on Wednesday, August 2nd. In a previous post I wrote that the new offerings, which include the Chicken ‘N Ranch Pizza and Mango Habanero Sauce for Rusty’s Hot Wings, were already available which was incorrect.
On Aug. 2, 2023 Rusty’s Pizza will introduce some brand-new flavors for Fiesta’s 99th year celebration. The new offerings include the Chicken ‘N Ranch Pizza and Mango Habanero Sauce for Rusty’s Hot Wings. The Chicken ‘N Ranch Pizza features hand-made crust with their signature Rusty’s Ranch sauce and includes white meat chicken, fresh red onion, mushroom, and red bell pepper. Canadian Style Bacon and freshly chopped cilantro can be added for an extra boost of flavor. Rusty’s Hot Wings now come with a choice of Mango Habanero Sauce, offering a fruity twist with a spicy kick.
Owner Tyler Duncan expressed excitement about the launch, coinciding with Fiesta’s 99th year. “We are thrilled to be part of the festivities and celebrations in Santa Barbara and invite everyone to experience these new flavors at any of our Rusty’s Pizza locations.” The Chicken ‘N Ranch Pizza and Rusty’s Hot Wings with Mango Habanero Sauce are available on Aug. 2, 2023 at Rusty’s Pizza’s for Dine-In, Pick-Up, or Delivery. Order online at rustyspizza.com or by calling 805-564-1111.
Reader Brendan has been on an Isla Vista roll. Here is his latest:
Another IV item: it looks like Social Eats has opened in the former South Coast Deli/Espresso Roma/etc. location. The doors were open and they had menus outside but there seemed to be minimal staff and I didn’t see any actual diners so not sure if they’re fully open or what. It seems to have three separate menus for three separate places, as I think you noted on the blog before.
In August 2021 I reported that Vons market in Montecito was scheduled to be rebranded as Pavilions. Reader Eric says that process has finally begun:
“The Pavilions renovation has officially started now, they’ve actually already finished the bakery and checkout lanes. The receipts and registers are already rebranded as well.”
Pavilions is a grocery store banner used by Vons, a supermarket division of Albertsons. Although similar to Vons stores, Pavilions markets are more upscale and feature a larger selection of organic food, wine, and other specialty foods. Vons shares the popular Signature brand with Pavilions.
Checo’s Mexican restaurant which opened in September 2022 at 6578 Trigo Road in Isla Vista, in the former home Mojo (which moved to 6530 Seville Road), 805 Kabob, Lovin Oven Mediterranean Bakery & Cafe, Cafe Int’L, and dozens of other establishments since USCB opened its current campus in 1949, has closed.
Photos by The Restaurant Guy
Reader Annie tells me that The Courthouse Tavern at 129 East Anapamu Street (formerly The Little Door, Piano Riviera Lounge, The French Table, and Elements Restaurant & Bar) has closed. The eatery opened in June 2021.
Reader Brendan sent me and update about 903 Embarcadero Del Norte in Isla Vista:
“Pho Bistro appears to have closed, and a sign says that a new restaurant called ‘Asia 101’ is ‘coming soon summer 2023’. The sign says ‘Asian fusion | Noodle bar | Fried tapas’ and also lists other foods with question marks (‘Pho?’, ‘Bulgogi?’, etc.), not sure what that means.”
Pho Bistro opened in May, 2007.
Photo by The Restaurant Guy
Reader Brendan tells me that a taqueria called Maria’s Tacos has opened in the former home of Kaptain’s Firehouse BBQ and Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop at 6545 Pardall Road in Isla Vista, next to the now-defunct Study Hall. Call (805) 869-6377
Photo by The Restaurant Guy
The signature restaurant at the newly opened The Inn at Mattie’s Tavern, Auberge Resorts Collection, The Tavern, has officially been added to the Michelin Guide. “The Tavern features seasonal dishes that involve sophisticated ingredients with an approachable and satisfying menu,” says Executive Chef Rhoda Magbitang.
The Michelin Guide highlights menu items such as the braised abalone finished with abalone liver mousse over mushroom confit in white miso butter, as well as the wood fired sides and the dark chocolate souffle for dessert. In addition to The Tavern, the hotel recently opened another eatery for guests and locals, Gin’s Tap Bar, a small tap bar and smokehouse that pays homage to Gin, the longtime chef of the original Mattei’s.
Patxi’s Pizza on State Street has a sign on the window that says they are temporarily closed for repairs. I’m not sure how long the sign has been there. With luck they have reopened by the time you read this.
Photos by The Restaurant Guy
Reader Phil told me that Chick-fil-A on upper State Street reopened yesterday so I drove by and indeed customers were giving orders in the drive-thru while others were dining on the patio. The hugely popular restaurant closed in May to renovate their drive-thru system. Some construction work is still ongoing near the driveway entrance.
Photo by The Restaurant Guy
In April 2022 I broke the news that Shalhoob’s had signed a lease to take over 5112 Hollister Avenue in Noleta, the former home of Woody’s BBQ. I have posted a few updates since then and here is the latest from reader Whirl:
I was parked outside today and noticed that the exterior walls have tracks and roll up like a garage door so it can be very open or closed with a lot of windows. I didn’t get any opening information, but this was something I have never seen before and a very good idea.
Reader Mo let me know that travel editor Freda Moon recently posted an article at NYTimes.com about spending 36 hours in Santa Barbara. Local food and drink destinations visited include LOKUM, La Paloma Cafe, Tondi Gelato, Lovejoy’s Pickle Room, Alessia Patisserie and Cafe, Corazón Comedor, Cajé Coffee Roasters, Jeannine’s Bakery, The Valley Project wine-tasting room, and The Good Lion bar. If you haven’t exceeded your free limit (or have a subscription) at the New York Times you can read the article at tinyurl.com/sb-nyt
The Good Lion photo courtesy NYTimes.com
Celebrate the spirit of Old Spanish Days Fiesta at DIGS at the Santa Barbara Zoo, on Thursday, August 3. DIGS is Fiesta’s annual party, featuring food from local restaurants, margaritas, live music, and dancing on the Zoo’s hilltop.
You are asked to wear your finest Fiesta attire and enjoy a summer evening at the Zoo with a view of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. General admission tickets are $150 through August 2, and $175 day of. Admission includes unlimited food tastings and margaritas, live music, dancing, and exclusive access to Zoo grounds after hours. DIGS is a joint fundraiser for the Santa Barbara Zoo and Old Spanish Days. For ages 21+ only.
For more information about DIGS visit sbzoo.org/digs or call (805) 962-5339.
Photo by The Restaurant Guy
Caya restaurant at The Leta Hotel, 5650 Calle Rea in Goleta, in launching a new brunch on August 3rd. The price of the brunch, including choice of cocktail below, is $25 and it will be available Saturday and Sundays from 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.. It includes:
• Chicken Fried Steak Benedict, a tender chicken fried steak, poached eggs, smothered hash browns, drenched in savory sausage gravy and the Butter Griddled Biscuit, a twist on a classic biscuit
• Choice of Bloody Mary, Irish Coffee or CAYA’s signature Hangover Hot Chocolate (Kahlua, Baileys, topped with whipped cream).
Photo by Kristina Garcia
Here is a message for you from Foxtail Kitchen at 14 East Cota Street:
We decided that September 4th will be our last day for our concept Foxtail Kitchen after 6 and a half years. Thanks for everybody’s support for us. Our new concept is similar to what we did 8 years ago at 805 Deli. We are going back to openings starting at 6 am till 9 pm with a hookah lounge on the back patio and new waterfalls after we lost the parklet. We will have a Jordanian / Lebanese market as well. We are not going to have full liquor available anymore. Wadi Rum Kitchen will be our new concept name.
This just in from Crushcakes at 5392 Hollister Avenue in Goleta:
Hi Restaurant Guy,
We have some news here at Crushcakes we would love to share! We are now serving Beer and Wine at Crushcakes in Goleta! We have a super cute patio in the back that is open all day, come enjoy bubbly mimosas, local beers, hard seltzers, kombuchas and more with our delicious breakfast and lunches!
So what about our Santa Barbara location? There is a story there…. Since 2008, we have attempted three times to get our beer and wine license. So far with no success. Reason being, there are some people in Santa Barbara who seem to have made it their life mission to ensure that no more restaurants get alcohol permits in Santa Barbara. They fought us the first two times and are fighting us again now, all for beer and wine no less. For a restaurant that is only open for breakfast and lunch. According to our lawyer these people are very difficult to reason with, but he is trying and this time we are not going to back down or be intimidated. I want my Mimosas darn it!! So, we persist, hopefully our downtown store will have it soon. Keep a look out! 😊
Reader Cobalt let me know that the prestigious Michelin guide (via bonappetit.com) has announced their 2023 list of California restaurants that have gained, retained, or lost stars in the last year. Michelin stars, which range from one to three, are the most coveted recognition in the culinary world. Even one star is a huge honor.
The Santa Barbara County restaurants mentioned in the list as having retained their stars include Caruso’s in Montecito which first earned their one-star rating in 2022, and Bell’s in Los Alamos which first earned their one-star rating in 2021. Sushi by Scratch Restaurants in Montecito is on the list of restaurants that lost their one-star rating in 2023, first earned in 2021. No area restaurants gained a star this year.
Angel Oak, at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, is now offering Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., with complimentary valet for anyone driving in to experience brunch at Angel Oak on Sundays and the 10% off for locals applies as well.
“Chef Josh Kellim’s extensive brunch menu includes decadent offerings and unique delights ranging from a Half Dozen Oysters and Ritz Carlton Caviar to the savory Duck and Vegetables Hash,” says the restaurant. “Enjoy the Sunrise Spritz or the festive ‘Build your own Bloody’ option while enjoying the spectacular ocean view.”
Brunching options include Eggs Benedict, Avocado Toast, and Blueberry Banana Pancakes, the signature Goleta Lemon Tart and much more.
In January 2022 I announced that a full service restaurant is coming to 1 North Calle Cesar Chavez Ste. 21, the home of Calvary Chapel. Reader HB tells me that the eatery, named The Kitchen, has opened. “The Kitchen enables outreach by invitation and connection with our neighbors and the surrounding community, says their website calvarysb.com/the-kitchen. “The Kitchen enables inreach by fostering continued fellowship with our church family beyond our worship service times. The Kitchen enables discipleship by raising up workers and leaders within our community.” The menu includes burgers, sandwiches, salads, sides, and a variety of beverages. Prices range from $5-$8. Hours are Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesdays 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Fridays 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
View the menu
View a video about The Kitchen
Ty Warner has announced a new partnership with Chef Thomas Keller, whose eateries have accumulated seven Michelin stars, to oversee all food and beverage operations at the Coral Casino in Montecito. Best known for his flagship Yountville, California restaurant The French Laundry, New York City’s Per Se, and The Surf Club Restaurant in Surfside, Florida, Chef Keller says he is excited to create this new chapter in the Coral Casino’s history.
“I’m excited to be part of the Coral Casino story,” Chef Keller says. “It’s an honor to be invited to join this legendary California destination with its rich history. We look forward to introducing our cuisine to the community and make great memories for them.”
As reported earlier this year, Tydes will open to the public so that everyone may enjoy Chef Keller’s Continental Cuisine menu. He is the first and only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings for The French Laundry and Per Se from the Michelin Guide. With an additional star for The Surf Club Restaurant, he is Michelin’s most honored American chef. Chef Keller is also the first male American chef to be designated a Chevalier of The French Legion of Honor. In 2017, he led a team from the US to win its first-ever gold medal in the Bocuse d’Or, a biannual competition that is regarded as the Olympics of the culinary world.