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NEW IN TOWN: James Kozak

Avant (ex-El Bizcocho) snags Charlie Trotter alum as chef de cuisine

The old dining room at El Bizcocho. It will look nothing like this as Avant.

The old dining room at El Bizcocho. It will look nothing like this as Avant.

When you do a $2.5 Million renovation, you don't just promote the banquets guy to chef de cuisine. Especially when you've got a hefty rep like El Bizcocho, which has seen serious young talent from Gavin Kaysen (now at Cafe Boulud) to Patrick Ponsaty (now a Master French Chef).

Announced today, Rancho Bernardo Inn has tapped another top talent for when El Biz is reborn as Avant later this year. James Kozak was a chef de cuisine at Charlie Trotter's and Trotter's To Go in Chicago. Trotter's has since famously closed, jettisoning a bunch of promising chefs into the free agent market. He also served as executive chef at Talon Lodge in Alaska and chef de cuisine at Juniper in Colorado. He'll be heading the line opening night. (This news is minutes old, so there's no bio info. But you can view Kozak's entire CV on his LinkedIn profile.)

The talented chef Nicolas Bour (ex of The Farmhouse in Georgia) will be Kozak's boss, serving as executive chef for the entire RB Inn property. And, in case you missed it, the El BIz grad Ponsaty just left his high-profile gig at Loews Coronado to helm these spots in Escondido.

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