Chef Kyle Wiegand: Setting The Grill On Fire

By Wendy Lemlin

Why a chef? I was always interested in food, watching my mom in the kitchen and learning to cook from her. In college, I cooked for my roommates and friends, and as I learned more about it, I realized cooking was the perfect mixture of art and science. I eventually landed a job in my first real kitchen and have been hooked ever since.

Greatest influence? In the kitchen, Chef Jeff Jackson, Executive Chef
at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, for helping me develop my style and palette as well as always having great advice and training to offer. Alton Brown for getting me interested in the science behind food and instilling the desire to try new things. Outside of the kitchen, my wife for encouraging me to pursue my passion.

Your culinary style? Ingredients come first. Start with fresh, high quality products, and then you don’t need to do too much other than cook and season properly to make great food. I also like adapting techniques and ingredients from different culinary traditions, seeing how they can work together and bring out something new in a traditional dish.

Most proud of? How much I have learned and grown over the past seven years since starting my culinary adventure. I started out making hot sandwiches at the Turf Club in Del Mar and now have the pleasure of running a great restaurant in a fantastic location.

Must-have tools? My Anova Immersion Circulator! I’m having fun learning to sous vide everything from carrots to custards. Also my 8” Wüsthof Chef’s Knife, it’s my day-to-day workhorse. 

Fave celebratory meal? My wife’s eggplant parmesan.

More about you? I love to brew beer! It’s like playing with a science lab, but you get (hopefully) delicious beer when you’re done.

In fact, Chef Wiegand is in the process of earning his Cicerone Certification (like a sommelier but for beer). At The Grill, he plans to combine his passion for both craft beer and organic, locally produced ingredients to create beer-pairing dinners and other ways of showcasing a sustainable and unique cuisine.