San Diego's Iron Chef: Gavin Kaysen from El Bizcocho

For those who watch the Food Network's top reality show, Iron Chef, the driving incentive behind reservations at El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, is the chance to get a taste of Gavin Kaysen's famed culinary art.

The Chef de Cuisine at El Bizcocho is featured on this season's Iron Chef, making him the second San Diego chef to be featured on a national cooking show, following Top Chef's Brian Malarkey. He also recently represented the United States at the world finals of the Bocuse d'Or in Lyon, France earlier this year, and was named one of Food & Wine's Ten Best Chefs.

Despite the heady mixture of unabated praise and publicity Kaysen has enjoyed this year, the rising chef is far from complacent. Since asking for his first Easy Bake oven at the age of six, Kaysen has constantly been on the lookout for that innovative twist to give traditional dishes an unconventional edge.

In 2002, Kaysen began working at El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn as a line chef. Two years later, he was named Chef de Cuisine, and revamped the menu in pursuit of a more fresh and contemporary style. The special eight to ten course chef collection at El Bizcocho took a turn from meat and potato-based to a sampler course including playful delicacies such as the PB&J, which contrary to its mundane namesake is actually a concoction of foie gras on toasted bread with hibiscus flower jelly and crushed peanuts.

Always ready with a surprise, Kaysen seems to be endowed with the instinct to excite even San Diego's blasé legions of culinary connoisseurs time and again. Make sure to watch this season's Iron Chef to cheer on San Diego's latest top chef, Gavin Kaysen.



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