By Kelley Carlson
One Rancho Santa Fe restaurant is stirring things up, as a new partner and chef has been added to the fold.
Paul McCabe, formerly executive chef of L’Auberge’s Kitchen 1540 in Del Mar, joined Delicias on Nov. 15.
“I’m a bit of an entrepreneur,” McCabe said. “I’d been with L’Auberge for seven years. It’s been a great ride. But I kind of hit the top.
“I was very happy there (at Kitchen 1540) — I loved the place,” he said, adding that it was a “cushy job.”
But the ambitious McCabe — who has also been on staff at Top of the Cove in La Jolla and Star of the Sea in San Diego — started pondering ideas about advancing his career to another level. He revealed that he was approached about becoming a partner in Delicias.
“It sparked my interest,” McCabe said.
There was plenty of aspects that he enjoyed about the restaurant, such as the wood-burning oven and the “awesome” location. McCabe also appreciated the various areas where guests can dine — the front patio with its green umbrellas and two fire pits; the Mediterranean-themed main dining room and black chandeliers; and a courtyard with a fireplace and retractable awning.
“It’s a 160-seat restaurant, but it doesn’t feel like it,” McCabe said.
The North Park resident met with Delicias owner Owen Perry, and they discussed plans about refreshing the restaurant, along with the possibility of opening other restaurants.
“Owen is an entrepreneur himself; he’s got a vision, too,” McCabe said.
Delicias owner Owen Perry said he is looking forward to working with McCabe.
“To get this caliber of chef to come work in a stand-alone neighborhood restaurant such as Delicias ... is real unusual,” Perry said. “We’re very happy to have him.”
McCabe added that they will initially focus on changes at Delicias and get the restaurant where it “needs to be.” In about a year, they will begin to look at other opportunities in the region, but the dining establishment won’t be branded, he said.
The changes planned involves the creation of a completely new menu and a different menu format, McCabe said, and the changes will be made in January and February.
However, the menu is being kept a secret until the grand reopening party in the spring. McCabe did reveal that he will be using all-organic, sustainable products and free-range meats, including “very local” pork and chicken from sources in San Diego.
“That’s (the organic philosophy) always going to remain with me,” he said.
The chef is enthusiastic about Delicias’ future.
“Delicias has been around so long and has been super successful; it just needs a little shot of energy,” McCabe said.
Delicias Restaurant is located at 6106 Paseo Deliciás, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067, 858-756-8000,
- L’Auberge is located at 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014, 858-259-1515,