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Over the past several months, I have (along with just about every local food writer) been trying to keep up with all of the HR-related activity going on along the one block of expanse of Camino Del Mar from 15th Street to L’Auberge Del Mar. That stretch includes a number of restaurants, three of which—Flavor Del Mar, Pacifica Del Mar and L’Auberge Del Mar’s KITCHEN 1540—are all high profile. But that’s not all they have in common. They’ve also all experienced recent changes in kitchen leadership.

Jason Maitland, the chef who opened Flavor to much anticipation from local dining enthusiasts, parted ways with ownership, leaving the post open for new executive chef Brian Redzikowski to take the ball and run with it, which he has (more on that coming). Maitland is poised to resurface when his new eatery, Red Light District, debuts in downtown in the very near future.

Pacifica Del Mar lost its lead toque when Evan Cruz was lured across the street to KITCHEN 1540 by L’Auberge. He is now a sous chef there and Mark Bolton (read more about him and how he and his chef friends spend their off-time) has since taken over at PDM with solid results.

Despite all the aforementioned drama, KITCHEN 1540 had perhaps the most surprising act in this play when executive chef Paul McCabe bid L’Auberge farewell, picking up stakes to move to a restaurant where he could have control as well as a stake in the business as a partner. He’s now cooking up new food to go with a renovated dining room at Rancho Santa Fe’s Delicias.

Back at 1540, they just selected the chef who’ll take McCabe’s place. His name is Scott Thomas Dolbee and he comes to Del Mar from Canada. His last post was as executive chef at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler in British Columbia.

So, for now at least, it looks like everything’s sewn up and everybody’s happy on this luxurious block. Eh, the year’s still young.


The face of the new kid on the block in Del Mar, KITCHEN 1540's new executive chef Scott Thomas Dolbee.

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