Ciarán Duffy — he of the chrome dome and the live chef cam — has left Tristan in the Market and headed west for a job as executive chef at the Marriott Del Mar property just outside balmy San Diego. There he will work with Chef de Cuisine Jason Maitland at the award-winning Arterra Restaurant and will oversee all the banquet operations at the hotel. According to restaurant manager Amy Enking, the California fusion restaurant has won numerous awards since it opened five years ago and focuses on fresh, local fare with a menu that changes daily. Duffy says he’s supremely lucky to have landed the job and departs Wednesday for his new town.
Over at Tristan, they’ve installed Duffy’s longtime back-up Aaron Deal as chef. According to Duffy, management is taking the restaurant in a different direction from the fine dining style he had established. “We got four diamonds within six months of opening [at Tristan],” he says. “I was pushing that style of dining, and they can’t continue to do that if they want to save money.”
Tristan owners Anita and Jerry Zucker promise in a press release announcing Deal’s promotion that “Tristan’s guests will enjoy a contemporary American menu that continually evolves with the seasons and that reflects [Chef Deal’s] commitment to sourcing quality local and sustainable ingredients. Along with Chef Deal’s new dishes, he will continue to feature many of Tristan’s anchor menu items.”
Charleston will miss Duffy’s influence, as he was an avid participant in local culinary events and planned to instruct at the new Art Institute. He says he’ll hopefully be able to find a similar spot at the AI out in San Diego. We wish him the best and can only hope that he’ll return in the future.