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We Start 2021 with Michelin-Starred Chef William Bradley of Addison

Tune in to Episode 210 of the Happy Half Hour podcast

Happy New Year! We took a break from taping during the holidays, and now we’re back and looking forward to 2021. We kicked off our first episode of the year with chef William Bradley of Addison, San Diego’s first restaurant to receive a Michelin star, which it was awarded in 2019. William is a San Diego native, and he’s been leading the kitchen at Addison since 2006. He’s been nominated four times for a James Beard Award, won Robb Report’s Culinary Masters, and has served on the council for Bocuse d’Or USA since 2013. Addison is also just one of 87 restaurants in the world to have the Relais & Châteaux designation. To adapt to the current stay-home order, Addison is now offering a takeout program so you can enjoy their fine dining at home.

In this episode, we learned that William is from Chula Vista, and that he was a competitive soccer player—as a teen, he even played on a men’s league in Tijuana. He says a lot of people don’t know that before he pursued a career in the culinary arts, his first love was soccer (and he is still an avid fan of the sport). Growing up in Chula Vista, his palate was heavily influenced by the cooking of his Latinx friends and neighbors. When he moved to New York, he didn’t think he would come back to San Diego, but he eventually did to lead the kitchen at Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

William spoke about “The French Brigade” (the kitchen staff hierarchy), the Michelin star system, what changed for Addison once it received the star, and how the restaurant needed to define itself. Just one year after receiving the award, Addison had to close temporarily. In summer 2020, they moved their dining room completely outdoors and attracted a new clientele. Fun fact: When they commenced outdoor dining, their servers were walking up to 16 miles a day during each dinner service.

Addison is unfortunately closed for in-person dining again, so the team decided they needed to pivot to offer takeout (for the first time in the restaurant’s history) to keep their workers and the ecosystem of local businesses that supply the restaurant employed. How can fine dining, which is experiential, translate to takeout? William said they didn’t want to go the route of offering an extensive tasting menu to go, so instead their new program, Addison at Home, is more approachable. The four-course meals, which are available four nights a week, are “what you’d make at home, but we’ll make it for you.” There is also an option to add on wine that is selected by their sommelier, as well as breakfast for the following morning.

Last, we talked a lot about the future of fine dining, and William shares what he’s looking forward to in 2021. Listen to find out!

In Hot Plates, we discussed the news that Karl Strauss is leaving La Jolla after 25 years because they decided not to renew the lease (two locations remain open for takeout). The owners of Farmers’ Table just opened Smokey and the Brisket, a new barbecue restaurant near Lake Murray; and coming soon to Golden Hill is Kingfisher, a modern Vietnamese restaurant from the owners of Crab Hut. They’re doing monthly pop-up dinners to showcase the new menu, starting January 15 at Crab Hut’s Mira Mesa location. Sam the Cooking Guy is opening a new burger concept soon in Little Italy Food Hall that will be a permanent home for the “Samburgers” that he launched at a ghost kitchen in Seaport Village.

In Two People for Takeout, William had two picks for his favorites: Bitchin’ Sauce, a locally made almond-based dip available at Costco and farmers’ markets (he recommends the chipotle flavor), and the Double-Double at In-N-Out Burger. Troy’s pick this week is the OBecian pizza with white sauce at Sisters Pizza in Bankers Hill, and David recommends the family-style crab boil from Louisiana Purchase in North Park. My pick is the birria ramen from The Birria Truck, which has two locations in Chula Vista and City Heights.


Thank you for listening and starting the new year with us! As always, we want to hear from our listeners. Do you have a question for Troy? Need a recommendation for takeout? Is there a guest you want us to book on the show? Let us know! You can call us at 619-744-0535 and leave a voicemail, or if you’re too shy, you can email us at [email protected]. See you next week!

Chef William Bradley

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