Golden Hill's Counterpoint Appoints New Executive Chef & Launches Revitalized Menu

Counterpoint Executive Chef Fred Keller
October 9, 2015

Roughly six years after Counterpoint opened doors on the hill, the restaurant is ushering in a new chapter with the addition of accomplished Chef Fred Keller (no relation to Thomas Keller, though that lineage certainly wouldn’t hurt) who has launched a new menu at abundant in dynamic fall additions.

A native of New Orleans, Keller relocated to San Diego at a young age. While his family took a strong interest in the art of cooking, it wasn’t until he accepted a position at Coronado’s Bistro d’ Asia that he got his first real taste of the restaurant industry. After graduating from Coronado High School, Keller packed his bags and moved to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.

After fine-tuning his culinary acumen, Keller accepted an externship at the oldest restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand. From there, it was time for new horizons in the states at Napa Valley’s (now-closed) Michelin-starred restaurant, Martini House. After honing his craft and training under numerous well-respected chefs, Keller took to the seas of the Caribbean as a private chef on a yacht. Ready to come back to the US but not quite wanting to settle back in San Diego, Keller then moved to the culinary hotbed of Chicago where he began working at the highly acclaimed Roka Akor before moving back to San Diego to join the team at Counterpoint.

Potato beignets
While remaining true to the restaurant’s culinary roots, Chef Keller has taken the menu in a new direction with a stronger emphasis on seasonal vegetables, freshly sourced seafood and housemade pastas. While tried-and-true, greasy spoon favorites including the fried bologna sandwich, fried cheese curds and cheeseburger remain, the new menu is infused with standouts including potato beignets with herbed ricotta, paprika oil, honey and crispy basil ($6); scallop crudo with bay scallops on lotus root chips with black garlic pesto ($11); short rib pasta with housemade pasta, braised short rib and lemon poppyseed béchamel ($13); and pan seared yellowtail with green onion hush puppy fritters, sautéed bok choy and mushrooms, topped with watermelon radish, fennel and micro green salad in lemongrass broth ($18).

Pan seared yellowtail
With a new menu and chef in place, the team at Counterpoint remains committed to integrating itself into the heart and soul of the historic neighborhood. The restaurant has seen vast growth since it opened in 2009 in an area with limited dining and drinking options. Owner Cam Fomby’s vision that was born a mere six beers on tap, a couple of bottles of wine and a toaster oven, has now grown to include 15 rotating handles as well as flavorful brunch and dinner offerings. From bitters crafted in the time-honored and consuming fashion, to tonic water and vermouth, both made in-house, Counterpoint’s beverage program has developed into one of the most progressive in the city, paying deep respect to the history and craft of the bar.

Counterpoint is 830 25th Street in Golden Hill. For more information, visit