William Bradley made his first foray into the culinary world as a teenager, working as a prep cook at a small Italian restaurant in Bonita, Calif. “I soon discovered that I loved cooking and became obsessed with the notion of expressing myself through food and the related pleasure that I could give others,” he recalls. Describing himself as “driven not by trends, but by the history of food,” Bradley, 36, says his emphasis is on “mastering simplicity, with a keen focus on taste and technique.”
In his role as director and executive chef of Addison, the signature dining venue of The Grand Del Mar, Bradley conveys his persona and culinary prowess through a simple, yet inspired menu. Since 2006, he has been creating highly praised dishes reflecting his artisanal approach to cooking, such as Baby Sea Scallops with leek fondue and vermouth, and Smoked Short Rib with red pepper confiture and wild arugula. His contemporary French cuisine, highlighted by the seasonal California ingredients that he scouts from local farms, has led to global recognition for this talented chef and his restaurant. With the full support of Addison’s outstanding service team, Bradley also oversees all front-of-the-house operations as the restaurant’s director.
Addison is the first and only restaurant in San Diego to receive both the highly coveted AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star ratings, which Addison has earned since 2009 under Bradley’s direction. It also garnered three stars from the Los Angeles Times – the highest review of a restaurant outside Los Angeles – and was named one of “America’s Best New Restaurants for 2007” by Esquire magazine and Gayot’s “Top 10 U.S. Hotel Restaurants.”
In 2010, Bradley received the designation of Grand Chef from Relais & Châteaux, and is one of only 160 chefs on five continents to hold this title – and the only member in San Diego. He was also named one of StarChefs.com’s 2010 “Los Angeles-San Diego Rising Stars.” Most recently, Couteaux Review, an epicurean organization that promotes sustainable agriculture, selected Bradley as a recipient of the 2011 Couteaux Review Sustainability Award.
Chef Bradley’s collaborative work with Wine Director Jesse Rodriguez on Addison’s wine program has contributed to prestigious kudos from Forbes.com, Wines & Spirits, Santé and Food & Wine. Addison was also awarded the Wine Spectator Grand Award, the highest honor for restaurant wine lists, for 2009-12; and was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s “100 Best Wine Restaurants” in 2011 and the Santé 2010 “Wine Restaurant of the Year.”
Before his position at Addison, Bradley was executive chef at the critically acclaimed Vu restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa. During his tenure there, he was named a candidate for the coveted James Beard “Rising Star Chef” award for three consecutive years, as well as being lauded as a “Rising Star Chef for 2006” by the Arizona Republic.
Bradley began his climb up the culinary ranks under the tutelage of Chef James Boyce at Azzura Point at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. He then moved to Arizona, where he worked for three years as a sous chef of the award-winning Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician in Scottsdale.
A native San Diegan, he enjoys giving back to the community by participating in local fundraising and culinary events such as: The Emilio Nares Foundation’s “Harvest for Hope”; Mama’s Day for Mama’s Kitchen; San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival; events at Bloomingdale’s at Mission Valley and South Coast Plaza; and teaching at San Diego’s Great News Cooking School. Bradley has also been a featured guest chef on FOX Los Angeles, FOX5-TV, KFMB-TV and KUSI-TV.
Bradley has parlayed his love of cooking into an extensive collection of vintage cookbooks – some dating back to the turn of the century. “I love the history of eating, and really believe to be creative, you need to have a strong sense of tradition.” So in his spare time, he likes to hunt for rare cookbooks and also shop for fine clothing.
The Grand Del Mar Hotel