January 18, 7:00 P.M.
Members $95, guests $120
When the tide is high in La Jolla, the Pacific surf dances on the
wall of windows at the romantic Marine Room,
a spectacle that has attracted diners for some 60 years. Twice,
stormy seas pounded the glass with such ferocity that they drenched
the interior! But the possibility of getting soaked hasnt
deterred diners, especially since Bernard Guillas
signed on as executive chef. Theyre eager to taste the cooking
of a man who, as Where/San Diego wrote, "turned an old
reliable into a bastion of global-fusion haute cuisine."
Guillas grew up near very different seas, in Brittany. He apprenticed
under Georges Paineau and spent some
six years honing his skills in France before he was bitten by the
travel bug. He moved to French Guyana, where he worked as chef de
cuisine at Le Dolmen; spent time in
the Amazonian jungle; then uprooted himself again and headed to
Washington, D.C. In the capital city, Guillas sat very close to
the seat of powercooking at Maison Blanche
under former White House chef Pierre Chambrin.
But in 1989, he went looking for some California sunshine. After
five years at the Grant Grill in San
Diego, Guillas signed on at the Marine Room in the
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.
Marine Room chef de cuisine and California native Ron
Oliver is something of an explorer himself. After graduating
from high school, Oliver traveled across America and Mexico, sampling
food all the way. Only then did he enroll in the cooking program
at Johnson & Wales. Once school was out, he headed to Orlando
for a sous-chef job at Mobil four-star Dux
in the Peabody Hotel. Oliver crisscrossed
the country again to work for Hawaiian fusion star Roy
Yamaguchi at the Monterey, California, branch of Roys,
then returned east to Dux as chef de cuisine. Ever since he made
a geographic left turn yet again to sign on with Guillas, San Diegan
foodies have been hoping hes there to stay.