A native Angeleno, Executive Chef Ben Diaz puts his homegrown passion into every dish he prepares at The Culver Hotel and the newly opened Le Jardin patio restaurant and bar. Using local provisions and seasonal farmers’ market finds as inspiration, he elevates classic dishes using a combination of new and old-world techniques that honor ingredients and maximize their flavor.
Formally trained at the California School of Culinary Arts and the L’Académie Culinaire de France, Chef Ben developed Tacos El Chapin, a popular pop-up taqueria, and is the Director of Culinary Innovation at CBD Cuisine Consulting Services & Catering Division.
He has served as top toque at some of Southern California’s best hotels and restaurants, including Luxe City Center in Downtown Los Angeles, JW Marriott Santa Monica, The Omni Hotel San Diego, and Santa Monica’s Areal Restaurant.
He has also acted as consulting chef at esteemed hospitality brands at home and abroad, including West Hollywood’s Toca Madera, Zimbali Retreats in Negril, Jamaica, and Farahat Co. in Dubai, UAE, and written a culinary reference book called, From a Cook to a Professional Chef.
An esteemed professional, Chef Ben holds several certifications, including Hospitality Department Trainer and Food and Beverage Executive; is an active board member for the Chefs de Cuisine Association of California, and was inducted into the Les Amis d’Escoffier Society and the World Master Chefs Society. He is also a brand ambassador for Turbopot and Alliance Group.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Chef Ben has appeared on various television shows, including Food Network’s Chef Wanted and Cutthroat Kitchen, as well as The Cooking Channel’s Farmers Market Flip, where he was crowned the winner.
Other accolades include the 2020 World Food Championship Winner for Best Mojo Recipe and Best Home-Cooked Meal, Winner of LA County Fair’s 2019 Best Chili Contest, Winner of Chefs de Cuisine Association of California’s Cutting-Edge Award in 2019 and Chef of the Year in 2018, and Best Latin Chef at the Latin Food Fest in 2018.
In his spare time, Chef Ben enjoys volunteering with local charities, such as The Boys and Girls’ Club of San Gabriel and the Chefs de Cuisine of California Educational Foundation.
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