Meet our New Executive Chef
Polo Welcomes Chef Ryan Gilbert to the role of executive chef.
Chef Ryan Gilbert was born and raised in San Diego, California. He graduated from the California
Culinary Academy in San Francisco, California in 2005.
Ryan spent the next several years honing his craft at the award-winning Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
as sous chef under celebrity chef C. Barclay Dodge of El Bulli in Spain and Restaurants Bosq & Mogador in Aspen, Colorado. Ryan then continued his ascension through the culinary world at various San Diego establishments including the prestigious Maderas Golf Club in Poway, California which has been recognized as one of Golf Digest’s “Top 100 Golf Courses in America” and Zagat Guide’s“Top Rated San Diego Golf Course”.
Ryan left Maderas GC in 2014 and took over as the Executive Chef at San Diego’s Historic Lafayette
Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows while also serving as the Corporate Task Force Chef for RAR Hospitality Inc.
In 2018, Ryan was invited to be the San Diego representative on The Palate Main Stage at Kaaboo Del Mar. Ryan returned to Kaaboo the following year for an encore, opening night headlining performance as well as the Amplify VIP cooking class, Culinary & Artist Lineup Announcement Event, and assisting the festival with culinary logistics.
After a stint at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, a club known for its elite and affluent membership, Ryan will now be taking the reins as Executive Chef.
Ryan attributes his passion for the culinary arts to his Sicilian and Dutch heritage and more specifically to his grandfather Simone “Sam” Billuni who was a renowned chef and restaurant owner in San Diego during the 1970s and 80s.
Curated collection of Wine and Craft Cocktails
The perfect pair
With our wine menu being curated by Feliciano Perez, a level 2 certified sommelier, Polo boasts a collection of over 500 labels and pours nearly 40 different wines by the glass. Carefully curated with plans to expand to 1,000 labels, the entire collection focuses on new-world wines, balanced with old-world, and classic California cabernets.
The cocktail program at Polo is led by Blake Byram. who has a rich background working at Morton's Steakhouse and Ironside Fish & Oyster. He has put a unique spin on traditional cocktails by incorporating amaro as a key component in his creations. The cocktail menu brings approachability and light-hearted humor to the steakhouse experience with fun names, such as the Fashionably New or the Man With a Hat On, Polo’s take on a Manhattan, made with Templeton Rye, Carpano Antica Formula, Averna and orange bitters.