The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, recently named the number two top hotel in Southern California by Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, has brought on a new executive chef for The Inn’s Morada restaurant. New Executive Chef Chris Haas boasts more than 30 years of experience in the kitchen and plans to bring a fresh take to the dining experience in the Rancho Santa Fe village.
When did you get your start as a chef and where have you been honing your craft over the last 30 years?
I started working in kitchens at 17 years old and my first job was as a busser at a Kilroy’s restaurant. I enjoyed the experience, decided on a culinary career and attended the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. While there, I had an externship at Rancho Bernardo Inn and later at Temecula Creek Inn.
During my time as a chef, I’ve worked at the Westin Bonaventure, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Pala Casino Resort & Spa, Poseidon restaurant in Del Mar and some other stops along the way.
What made you want to come to work at Morada?
I love the ambiance and uniqueness of The Inn and how Morada serves as a communal gathering place for the people of Rancho Santa Fe. I like that it’s a cornerstone of the community and being able to create a great dining experience there.
How would you describe your style?
My Morada menus are coastal ranch cuisine. I drew inspiration from my experience as a butcher, fish monger and the regional farmers I’ve work with for years to create dishes that are fresh, seasonal and utilize as many local ingredients as possible.
The Royce Salad stays. What are some of the new items to be found on the menu?
Our Rancho Santa Fe regulars would riot if we ever removed The Royce Salad, so that definitely stays! One of my favorite additions to the menu is the Drunken Lamb. I collaborated with Dutch House in The Huntsman Whiskey Bar to create our in-house barrel-aged marinade and it is delicious.
We went out of our way to take guest feedback into account when crafting the new menus so we added more vegan, gluten-free and healthy options, too.
Any changes to the restaurant’s look?
The restaurant’s elegant English equestrian design remains unchanged.