Thomas Keller To Oversee Dining At Santa Barbara's Storied Coral Casino Beach

One of California's most prestigious resort destinations is set to team up with one of the most celebrated chefs in the country, as Santa Barbara's Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club announced this week that Thomas Keller will be overseeing all food and dining options. The Coral Casino has been around since 1937 and is a popular retreat for Hollywood stars and high-end locals from the wealthy enclaves of Santa Barbara. However, it has been closed since March of 2020, and recently underwent renovations after new management took over from the previous holders at the Four Seasons. The overhaul includes multiple restaurants on the property, as well as cafe and poolside eating, all of which will be under the purview of Keller.

Keller is a highly respected chef, currently holding seven Michelin stars across multiple restaurants, including the world-famous Per Se in New York. Keller helped put fine-dining California cuisine on the map with The French Laundry in Napa Valley, which was once considered among the best restaurants in the world, and still holds three Michelin stars to this day. In a press release, the Coral Casino's new owner, Ty Warner, says they are "honored" to have Keller onboard, and that "the restaurant experience will now sing in unison with the club's history, architecture, amenities, and unparalleled oceanfront location." The reopened restaurants will feature Keller's classic style, which marries local, seasonal ingredients with a French continental influence.

Thomas Keller's new Coral Casino restaurant will soon be open to the public for the first time

The biggest news outside of Keller's partnership with the Coral Casino is that one of its restaurants, Tydes, will be open to the public for the first time, although it will be reservation only. The exclusive club and its amenities have long remained limited to members and hotel guests staying at the connected Biltmore Hotel. By opening up the restaurant to the general public, Keller's new menu will be more accessible to locals and tourists, while the other dining options like La Pacifica restaurant and the Coral Café will remain private for members. While no specific date has been announced, the resort is aiming for a fall opening.

The entire facility has gotten a facelift beyond the new restaurants, and both the public and private dining options feature stunning ocean views. While there has been some pushback from members about opening up the restaurant to the public, Warner says he's glad it's happening. "A restaurant of this setting, standard, and cuisine deserves buzz, energy, and a vibrant ambiance," he noted, via the press release. The famed chef himself has also praised the partnership, saying, "It's an honor to be invited to join this legendary California destination," per The Montecito Journal. With so much of his history linked to California cuisine it will be exciting to see what Keller creates for his newest venture.