Former World Food Champion Joins Culinary Team At InterContinental San Diego Hotel

March 5, 2023

Former World Food Champion Ricardo Heredia has joined the culinary team at downtown San Diego's InterContinental Hotel. 

Chef Ricardo Heredia started working in professional kitchens at age 15 and by 23, he had honed his skill under the guidance of Chef Steve Current at Current Cuisine and Catering in Yellow Springs, OH. Chef Ricardo came to San Diego in 2008 where he and partners opened now-defunct Alchemy Restaurant in South Park. In 2013, Chef Ricardo won $10,000 by winning the bacon category at the World Food Championship, and in 2014, he came back defending his title and sweeping the rest of the competition with his overall World Food Champion win, walking away with a grand total of $110,000. Then in 2015, Heredia beat out nearly 1,000 chefs to win the KitchenAid Apple Challenge. Most recently, Chef Ricardo consulted on the menu for the launch of Coco Maya restaurant in San Diego's Little Italy

Chef Ricardo is now the Chef de Cuisine at downtown San Diego's bayfront InterContinental Hotel. Heredia's first order of business was to implement a new menu at InterContinenta's Italian-themed speakeasy and hidden restaurant Garibaldi. New dishes include Oysters Arrostito with six oyster confit, bone marrow, chili oil, saffron, tuna tartare and finger lime; and Opah Meatballs with spicy 'nduja tomato sauce, sheep milk, yogurt and mint. 

"We are very excited about Ricardo joining the team, and he is elevating our culinary game here to level not seen at the Intercontinental since pre-Covid," explained InterContinental San Diego Director of Food and Beverage Jeff Josenhans. "Garibaldi is specifically focused on the cuisine and beverage of Sardinia and Sicily, complemented by local seafood sourcing. Garibaldi is also now James Beard Smart Catch certirfied. Noteworthy additions here include a section of the menu dedicated entirely to Southern Italian house-baked bread, and a strict focus on seafood sourced here in San Diego waters with unique twists such as Opah Meatballs or Sand Dabs. Also new is a focus on late night happy hour and brunch. We will showcase heavy discounts on both food and drink after 8pm and for brunch we feature a bottomless Aperol Spritz & Sbagliato for only $25 per person. Both will also feature new items from Ricardo. Brunch at Garibaldi is a hidden gem without crowds, superior views and free parking."

InterContinental Hotel is located at 905 Bayfront Court in downtown San Diego. For more information, visit