Another 'Top Chef' Touches Down In San Diego | Chef Casey Thompson Takes The Lead At The Inn At Rancho Sante Fe's Morada

December 8, 2016

We have more than our fair share of former Bravo TV Top Chef contestants cooking up a storm in America's Finest City. There's Brian Malarkey (Season 3) at Herb & Wood, Rich Sweeney (Season 5) at Waypoint Public, Giselle Wellman (Season 13) at Pacific Standard, and Richard Blais (Season 4, All-Stars) at Juniper + Ivy and The Crack Shack. The latest former cheftestant to enter San Diego is former Season 3, Season 8, and current Season 14 competitor Casey Thompson, who recently accepted the role of Executive Chef at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe’s Morada restaurant.

"I am honored to collaborate with the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe to invigorate the menu at Morada," said Thompson. "Drawing inspiration from my home base of Napa Valley and the local offerings of San Diego County, I look forward to welcoming both time-honored and new diners to the restaurant to enjoy dishes that celebrate Southern California."

In her new position, Thompson aims to present seasonal menus elegantly showcasing fresh local ingredients in refined presentations.  As a Texas native, Casey Thompson’s culinary journey began as a prep cook at The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas where she immersed herself in the culinary profession. From there, Thompson embarked on her career as an executive chef at critically-acclaimed Dallas restaurant Shinsei.

During her tenure at Shinsei, Thompson was first approached by Bravo’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef for what would then lead to a long and fruitful relationship with the competition show. After competing on season three and achieving great success as a finalist and fan favorite, Thompson spent years working for various wineries, revamping menus and further enhancing wine varietals through thoughtful culinary pairings. As a result of her growing brand within the world of wine and spirits, she was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador for Moet-Hennessey. Her latest venture in Texas was the opening of the well-received Brownstone in Fort Worth.

After many years cooking in the Lone Star State, Thompson relocated to the west coast where she found a home in Napa Valley, California. Inspired by the local seasonal bounty, she opened Aveline in the heart of San Francisco, prompting Bravo to invite her back to Top Chef for the anticipated "All-Star Competition." Most recently, Thompson returned for a third time to Top Chef for participation in the show’s 14th season, which premiered on December 1, 2016.

"We’re incredibly fortunate to have Chef Casey lead our culinary team," said Jerome Strack, general manager of The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. "It’s easy to see why she was voted fan favorite, and why she has done so well on Top Chef. Her culinary skills can’t be rivaled."

Visit Morada and taste Chef Thompson's food. Reservations can be made at