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Chef Patrick Ponsaty, chef de cuisine at the Loew's Coronado Bay restaurant Mistral, has been awarded the title of Maître Cuisinier de France. The prestigious organization has only 200 or so members, including Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, Michel Richard of Citronelle and San Diego's own Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room.

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Chef Patrick Ponsaty

Chef Ponsaty, who has been awarded an impressive 13 Michelin stars, has also been recognized as Best Hotel Chef by the James Beard Association.

San Diego's third French Master Chef, Marc Ehrler, left Loews Coronado Bay Resort in 2009 to do culinary development for National Dairy Brands in Houston.

The organization’s motto is “to preserve and spread the French culinary arts, encourage training in cuisine, and assist professional development.” Members serve on juries for official competitions: Meilleur Ouvrier de France, International Pierre Taittinger Prize, Prosper Montagné Culinary Prize, Curnonsky Prize, Bocuse d’Or, National Trophy for Cuisine and Pastry-making, and others.

Ponsaty will travel to France in March to accept his appointment.

Chef's image source: Loew's Coronado Bay website

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