San Diego-Raised Superstar Chef Brings New Meaning To Home Cooking
San Diego, CA - You've heard that you can't go home again? Watch elite chef Todd Allison prove the fallacy of that saying. Allison, whose kitchen artistry has inspired hosannas like "Marvelous flavor!" "What a creative menu" and "He relit the kitchen fire!" is coming home to San Diego. AND he's taking center stage as Anthology's new executive chef starting July 19.
This culinary veteran already has some major plans for the fine dining restaurant known as one of the top music clubs in America and as a restaurant where the music is a finely tuned as the music. He's up for the challenge. "I am about to test San Diego's palate," Chef Allison said. "I want to change the whole menu. I'm starting to plan and I'll see what I can get away with."
Mystery doesn't surround everything on the future menu though. Chef Allison will definitely wow Anthology diners with his signature Cranberry-Pistachio Pesto and his unusual use of Harissa spice, a chili paste made from the North African Piri Piri pepper. Foodies know this piquant pepper delivers a pleasant heat on the end of dishes.
Allison also plans to incorporate his favorite fish, Loup de Mer, which translates to "Wolf of the Sea," a perfect description for a dish that will have everyone howling in delight. But don't expect Allison to be a one-note chef. Like many of the musicians who grace the Anthology stage nightly, he plans to improvise freely. "I don't like getting stuck with a signature dish," Chef Allison said. "I want to have multi-use spices and pastes that you can use on a wide range of things. I've used harissa on chicken sandwiches and cheese plates and fish dishes. It goes with everything."
But Chef Allison isn't just shaking up things in the kitchen, he has a reputation for innovative cocktails as well. At his former restaurant, Checkers Hilton, Chef Allison experimented with truffle-infused rum and simple syrups mixed with peppers. Consequently, Chef Allison is bringing that same enthusiasm to Anthology's drink menu so diners are sure to sing his praises for his drinks as well as his dinners.
Some things are staying the same. Chef Allison will continue the cuisine standards of Anthology, especially in regards to the restaurant's sustainable, market-driven food focus and campaign to support local farmers and fishermen.
Anthology fits in with Chef Allison in more ways than one. When he's not composing culinary masterpieces, this lifelong music fan loves playing the piano, drums and guitar. Even more important: This award-winning California chef is like his menu, locally raised. He spent his childhood on the beaches and back roads of Coronado. When he grew older, he moved to Scottsdale to pursue his education at that city's branch of the Culinary Le Cordon Bleu. While attending school, he worked as Tournant Chef at Mary Elaine's at The Phonecian Resort and Spa where he won multiple honors including, the Mobile 5-Star, Triple A 5-Diamond and the Grand Wine Spectator awards. After that, Chef Allison took his position of leadership as Sous Chef at Aqua at St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point. Two years later, he moved to Laguna Beach to work as Chef de Cuisine at Bollinger's before his latest gig as Executive Chef at Checkers.