Bio: Executive Chef Simon Dolinky's passion for cooking was sparked at a young age when he embarked on childhood trips to the Madison Farmers Market in Wisconsin's bustling Capitol Square. During these weekly outings, the aspiring chef found himself fascinated by the local farmers who dedicated their time and effort to bring a bounty of fresh produce to the market to share with others. This interest in locally-grown produce deeply inspired Dolinky, and became the backbone of his culinary path and style.
Dolinky has worked with some of the most prestigious and well-recognized chefs in the industry, beginning his culinary career under the tutelage of one of his personal heroes, James Beard Award-winning Chef Sanford D'Amato of Coquette Café in Milwaukee. Working under D'Amato's guidance, Dolinky learned about the importance of hospitality and infusing each dish with equal parts skill and enthusiasm — a technique that Dolinky maintains in each of his dishes today.
After four years, Dolinky took his culinary adventures abroad to Madrid, Spain. His passion and budding talent landed him as pastry chef at one of the city's best Italian restaurants, Ristorante II Gusto de Milano. Dolinky returned to the United States in 2003 where he delved further into culinary diversity, settling into New Orleans where he secured positions at August restaurant, helmed by Iron Chef winner and Food & Wine Best New Chef John Besh, as well as the kitchen of Susan Spicer's Bayona restaurant, and David English's restaurant, Cobalt.
His current culinary journey brought Dolinky to Southern California. In 2005, he served as Executive Sous Chef to acclaimed Executive Chef Christian Graves of JSix Restaurant at the Hotel Solamar in San Diego. Dolinky further honed his culinary and leadership skills as Executive Chef at BLVD 16 Restaurant & Lounge at the Hotel Palomar in Los Angeles. In fall 2011, Dolinky returned to San Diego, becoming Executive Chef of Saltbox Dining & Drinking in the Hotel Palomar in the city's urban downtown area.