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Robb Report’s Culinary Masters Returns With a Weekend of Dining Excellence

Some of the country's best chefs gathered to raise money for a good cause.

William Bradley’s kitchen has been buzzing again for the better part of this year. Inside Addison, he and his crew have been putting out tasting menus of the highest order after reemerging from a pandemic-hiatus—something that earned the team two Michelin stars just this week. Yet, when it came to Robb Report’s Culinary Masters, the space had remained silent since 2019. But this past Saturday, Robb Report and some of the country’s best chefs returned to San Diego for a luxe gala dinner that benefited Ment’or BKB.

Our signature food event of the year, Culinary Masters, was a virtual event in 2020. So diners and chefs alike delighted at being welcomed back to the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in 2021. There was golf, a cooking class, an al fresco dinner and the star of the show, Saturday night’s gala and auction.

This year Nancy Silverton, Paul Bartolotta, David Breeden, Daniel Boulud, Bradley, JJ Johnson, Gavin Kaysen and Alexandra Motz prepared the dinner on Saturday. They served up dishes like lamb chop scottadita; fried quail egg “mollet;” cauliflower panna cotta with caviar; sesame-crusted beets; caramelized cod with alliums; tomatoes and tomatillos; oxtail pepperpot with coconut rice grits and sea island pea salad; and caramelized white chocolate cremeux with grape sorbet, plums and Marcona almonds. Each course was accompanied by a wine from the Spire Collection.

culinary masters beet wine

Daniel Boulud’s beet course.  Photo: courtesy Stewart Cook

On Sunday night, after chefs returned from the links and JJ came back from his cooking class (where he showed how to make mango-glazed halibut with rice grits), the al fresco dinner commenced. Ming Tsai served a veggie bing and a Dungeness crab bing; Junior Borges made a tapioca and Brazilian cheese fritter with house Iberico capicola and smoked hot sauce and Bartolotta was back again, this time sautéing up pink shrimp scented with rosemary atop a chickpea puree.

Over the weekend, Robb Report raised $240,000 for Ment’or BKB, which was founded by Keller, Boulud and Jerome Bocuse. The trio started the foundation after Jerome’s famous father, Paul, encouraged them to field a winning American team for the Olympics of cooking, the Bocuse d’Or. Under their tutelage, the US took home its first-ever gold in 2017 in Lyon, but the mission of Ment’or has expanded to help young cooks progress in their career by offering mentorship and grants. So not only was there good food and good fun, it went to a good cause too.

If you missed out this past weekend, make sure to catch next year’s event as Culinary Masters heads south of the border to the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal. If you’re interested in joining us in Mexico in 2022, contact Caroline Barry for more information and visit RR1.com for details on all other Robb Report experiences.

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