Matthew Lickona 8:30 a.m., Oct. 20
A return to Paradise for DiBiase
The Shores chef sets sail for familiar digs at Paradise Point
She’s been out of the spotlight since her 2011 move to The Shores Restaurant at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, yet she remains, in my humble opinion, one of the best chefs in San Diego. Her name is Amy DiBiase and, before a string of unsuccessful gigs derailed her progress, she was one of the most talked about chefs in the county, having made a big name for herself via cuisine produced at Laurel, Baleen, and Roseville.
That last one closed years ago. Shortly before that happened, DiBiase accepted a job offer at Porto Vista Hotel rooftop restaurant, The Glass Door. Before having to wash her TGD chef’s whites, she made a move to The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town, a move that at face value seemed a bit baffling. The oddness of that ship-jumping appeared even more prominent when, just a few months in, she departed The Cosmo, citing irreconcilable differences with ownership.
After all of that went down, DiBiase took some time off, laying low before accepting the chef de cuisine position at The Shores. The sister living in the shadow cast by the LJBTC’s fine dining veteran, The Marine Room, it was far from a dream job, but a soft place to land and a place fans of DiBiase could flock to for much-missed tastes of her classic, Mediterranean-driven cuisine. In a way, it was good that she was out of the spotlight for a while, but that may change with the announcement that she’s returning to work at one of her previous employers, rejoining the culinary team at Paradise Point Resort & Spa.
DiBiase worked at Paradise Point’s Baleen from 2006 to 2008, where she was chef de cuisine. In her new role, she will help launch a new dining concept at the Mission Bay hotel that’s scheduled to open later this year. It seems the perfect opportunity for her to work her way back to the top of the heap. Given the fact she not only made great food, but served as a great role model for aspiring female culinary professionals, that would be good for our palates and our dining scene as a whole.