One of San Diego’s newest chefs, Cameron Ingle at Marisi in La Jolla, is reportedly bringing back the famous Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner. While it has been over a decade since the last local chef hosted the event, Ingle, who took over the restaurant’s kitchen in August 2023, is preparing to host the five-course, $350 meal this March.

Born and raised near Detroit, Michigan, Ingle grew up working in his family’s Italian restaurant. He has since gone on to become a culinary advisor to The White Buffalo Land Trust for regenerative agriculture in Lompoc. He is an advocate for sustainable farming as well as an avid hunter and currently lives in Del Mar with his wife.

Now, on Wednesday, March 20, Ingle is set to prepare the dinner, with all proceeds going to benefit the James Beard Foundation. The James Beard Foundation, headquartered in New York, is a nonprofit dedicated to fostering, enhancing, and honoring the culinary heritage of America. Every year, it proudly highlights outstanding restaurants, talented chefs, inspiring food media, and influential leaders who shape the industry, celebrating their contributions and hard work.

Before he started at Marisi — an Italian restaurant that opened its doors in the summer of 2022 at 1044 Wall St., in the former Whisknladle space — Ingle worked as a sous chef and private dining chef for Michelin two-star chef Dan Barber at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, New York, for four years. Before working in Tarrytown, Ingle worked for Ori Manashe at Bestia and Bavel in L.A. He also worked for Michelin three-star chef Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bistro in Yountville in the Napa Valley.

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Speaking on what brought Ingle to San Diego last summer, the chef said “I had another opportunity on the Central Coast that brought me back out here, but it didn’t pan out as I wanted. The Puesto team reached out, and they had a great reputation, plus it’s a beautiful restaurant.” Ingle continued, “A lot of my childhood was doing Sicilian events and growing up in Italian restaurants. This is a return to my roots. I get to cook the food I really enjoy eating on a daily basis, and I like that a lot.”

Ingle was asked what dishes he was working on and stated, “I’m working on a veal Milanese for spring, and I’m excited about that. I will also launch some new pasta but want to keep that under wraps for now. I’m a huge fan of chicories and bitter greens. One dish I always go back to that my mom makes me on my birthdays is Parmesan broth in escarole soup. That’s something I will incorporate into a dish.”

Concerning the prestigious event on March 20, Ingle also spoke about the importance of hosting the Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner. He said, “This is the next step for Marisi, to get that level of excellence we’re reaching for.” The chef added, “I’m excited to be working with the James Beard Foundation and everything they are doing for small independent restaurants and lesser-known chefs. I haven’t made it to the next level yet, but I’m phasing really hard to get there. It’s super exciting, and I’m excited for our team and for San Diego.”

Finally, Ingle spoke and what diners at the James Beard Benefit Dinner can expect to find on their menu. Ingle said, “I don’t know the menu yet, but we chose a springtime date, which is my favorite time of year to cook because it’s a time of rebirth for things like morel mushrooms, ramps, and green garlic. I’ll also try to focus on regenerative agriculture as a huge component and we’ll try to utilize some things from The White Buffalo Land Trust.”