French Master Chef Patrick Ponsaty, Corporate Chef
Influenced by years of extensive training in kitchens around the world, fifth-generation French Chef Patrick Ponsaty brings 31 years of experience to his role as Corporate Chef at Bellamy’s at Bandy Canyon Ranch. Besides working at multiple Michelin Star rated restaurants, he was recently given the esteemed honor of receiving the title “Master French Chef” from the Paris-based Association des Maitres Cuisiniers de France. This elite group includes 51 chefs in the United States, 200 in France and 55 other chefs located throughout the globe. Only two U.S. Master French Chefs are based in San Diego (Bernard Guillasof Marine Room is the other). Since his designation as Master French Chef, he has received 15 ‘Best Of’ or ‘Top 10’ awards, yet Patrick has kept his fame in perspective, because for this humble chef – it’s really all about the food.
Born in France, Patrick’s culinary career was ignited at his father’s own restaurant, Cochon de Lait (the Suckling Pig), in Cazeres near Toulouse, France. By the age of 10, he worked side-by-side with his father perfecting and preparing traditional French recipes. Raised with a strong sense of family heritage and years of classical training, Patrick established a foundation for the simple, yet intensely flavorful, Modern French cuisine he offers today.
After his formal training at Brevet des Colleges and Cuisine Classique, Patrick earned his Certificat d’Aptitude Professionnelle and went on to apprentice under masters in restaurants studded with Michelin stars, among them; Les Pyrénées, Pierre Darroze, Le Chabichou, Pain Adour et Fantasie, Didier Oudill and Louis XV in Monaco (under Alain Ducasse). He eventually ventured to Lazarte, Spain as a chef de cuisine at Restaurant Berrasategui and then traveled to Saint Martin in the Caribbean to serve as pastry chef at La Samanna. New York was next, with a stint as executive chef at Park Bistro with Jean-Michel Diot before heading for the West Coast to help Diot open Tapenade.
Patrick settled in San Diego in 1998, where he became chef de cuisine at Rancho Bernardo’s El Bizcocho. Under his guidance, “El Biz” captured Zagat Guide’s highest rating as “Best Restaurant in San Diego” four years in a row and achieved a Mobil Five-Star Rating. He also carried the executive chef title at Bernard’O Restaurant, which was rated “Very Good to Excellent” in San Diego’s Zagat Guide, and voted Best French Cuisine by A List 10 News. Patrick also took Loew’s Coronado to new heights during his time as executive chef at Mistral Restaurant. Chef Patrick’s accolades are ongoing with his “full plate” of impressive awards and recognition, including “Best Hotel Chef in America” by James Beard Foundation and “Chef’s Hall of Fame” by San Diego Home/Garden Magazine.
Chef Patrick continues to stir the evolution of Modern French cooking, incorporating robust, intense flavors inspired by Europe’s Mediterranean coast. Diners will discover more than the traditional sauce-laden fare that is typical of formal French cuisine. He brings his formal training together with humble roots, all the while utilizing the abundant resources of San Diego – a region that shares the same ecosystem as his hometown – bringing together a celebration of local skilled farmers, foragers and fishermen from whose bounties he assembles his award-winning culinary creations.
Ricardo Zarate Jr., General Manager/Sommelier
Ricardo Zarate Jr. is an award winning Sommelier born and raised in Escondido, California. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at prestigious Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, he moved back to Southern California where he took the helm of Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar in La Jolla, and began the process of becoming a Master Sommelier. In August 2015, he passed the Certified Level examination, and two months later, was a Young Leaders in Wine recipient that enabled him to attend the 2015 SommCon in San Diego. Since then, he has been featured on the Voice of La Jolla, published in the SommJournal, as well as designed and operated an eponymous pop-up wine bar in Fujisawa, Japan. He joins the team at Bellamy’s Restaurant with enthusiasm for the cuisine and ethos of the establishment. In his spare time, he enjoys the theater, tennis, and alphabetizing his library by first word of the novel.
Jonathan Freyberg, Executive Chef
Chef Jonathan Freyberg attended the New England Culinary Institute and began working in the kitchen at the age of 14. His love for cuisine is evident in every dish he makes. Chef Jonathan has worked along side Chef Patrick Ponsaty for over 8 years. Ponsaty sent Freyberg to France to learn “boulangerie,” from a fifth generation baker. He has brought these techniques to Bellamy’s and has created a unique authenticity. Chef Jonathan has worked with Chef Patrick at Bernard’O in San Diego, as well as Mistral at Lowes in Coronado where they received many awards. Together they make a harmonious team combining the flavors of both California Modern and French cuisine. Freyberg believes in perfection and finest highlighting each ingredient to its full potential.
Kevin Ashe – Head Bartender
Kevin has been a fine-dining restaurant professional for more than ten years. He started his career as a server assistant at Donovan’s Steak and Chop House in La Jolla. He was eventually promoted to back waiter, server, and then to bartender. In the late 2000’s, Kevin moved on to Dussini Mediterranean Bistro (Downtown San Diego), where he worked as lead bartender and corporate bar trainer. In recent years, Kevin tended bar with the Patio Restaurant Group and facilitated the opening of their second restaurant in Mission Hills in 2013. In addition to advanced liquor, beer and wine knowledge, Kevin has created and maintained original craft cocktail programs at several upscale properties.