The Tower Awards

The Tower Awards are a brand new award presented by Chef’s Roll to honor the new empire builders of a city’s culinary scene.

Check out the full gallery here!

In the spirit of one of the original empire builders, Chef Jeremiah Tower, Chef’s Roll is proud to recognize and celebrate the Chefs and principals of restaurant groups that are making a mark in their cities and bringing the fire to the dining scene.

Recipients are invited to an intimate dinner where Chef Jeremiah Tower and the Chef’s Roll co-founders will present them with an award and celebrate their achievements.

The inaugural event was held Feb 24, 2020 to honor the following San Diego Empire Builders who have over 41 properties between them and more in the pipeline:

  • Chef Andrew Bachelier & John Resnick – Effort Collective
  • Chef Brad Wise & Steve Schwob – Trust Restaurant Group
  • Chef Brian Malarkey & Chris Puffer – Puffer Malarkey Collective
  • Chef Brian Redzikowski & Matt Spencer – SDCM
  • Chef Jason McLeod & Arsalun Tafazoli – Consortium Holdings

The Tower Awards will be held in cities around the globe when clear crops of new empire builders are evident.

Media, Sponsorship and Nomination Inquiries:

About Jeremiah Tower

Executive chef and owner of Stars in San Francisco, one of the most innovative restaurants in the United States. Before that he was co-owner and executive chef of Chez Panisse where, quoting Anthony Bourdain, “Jeremiah Tower’s menus made Chez Panisse the place that everyone wanted to go,” and where Jeremiah Tower was largely responsible for creating “California Cuisine.” Later at Stars was created “New American Cuisine.” After Stars, Tower opened restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore and Manila.

An award-winning chef: the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef of the Year,” “Regional Best Chef” California, award-winning author of several cookery and related books including the Beard Foundation “Best American Regional Cookbook” for Jeremiah Tower’s New American Classics. Tower has since written Jeremiah Tower Cooks, America’s Best Chefs Cook with Jeremiah Tower, a revised edition of Henri-Paul Pellaprat’s The Great Book of French Cuisine, California Dish, Escoffier, A Dash of Genius, Table Manners: How to Behave in the Modern World and Why, Start the Fire, and first e-book Flavors of Taste.

TV includes Good Morning America and The Late Show with David Letterman and a 13-series show for PBS. In 2016 Jeremiah was the subject of the feature length CNN documentary film “The Last Magnificent” produced by Anthony Bourdain, now on Netflix. Tower is now consultant chef for Sancho Panza restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where he resides.


About the San Diego honorees

Chef Brian Redzikowski and Matthew Spencer

SDCM is a nationally acclaimed, San Diego based restaurant group. Owned and operated by Matthew Spencer, SDCM was founded on Spencer’s 20 years of hospitality industry experience. Spencer began the group with the opening of oceanfront restaurant and lounge, FIREHOUSE American Eatery + Lounge in 2007. Quickly thereafter, he partnered with the Cohn Restaurant Group to open Downtown San Diego’s hottest wine bar, Vin De Syrah, followed by the throwback restaurant Analog Bar. In 2014 SDCM opened Kettner Exchange, to local and national acclaim. A year to the day after opening Kettner Exchange, SDCM opened Devil’s Dozen—a creative, chef-driven donut concept offering high-quality donuts and coffee. SDCM’s most recent ventures include, The Grass Skirt, an adventurous tiki-concept and Good Time Poke, which serves San Diego’s freshest and most innovative poke dishes. In 2020, SDCM is slated to open The Waverly in Cardiff.  Awards include: Orchids & Onions (2015) – Best Architecture, Kettner (Orchid Award), (2016) – Top 100 Restaurants in America, (2019) Diner’s Choice, Cochon555 (2018): Los Angeles “Prince of Pork” – Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski, Cochon555 (2019) Chicago “King of Pork” – Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski, Kettner Exchange named to the Michelin Guide’s prestigious Bib Gourmand list (2019).

Consortium Holdings
Chef Jason McLeod and Arsalun Tafazoli

CH Projects is the premier San Diego-based restaurant and bar group founded by Arsalun Tafazoli who set out to cultivate their neighborhoods through unique concepts focused on quality-driven products and social environments built to encourage the sharing of ideas. Two-starred Michelin Chef Jason McLeod partnered with CH Projects as their culinary director, passionately delivering inspired menus, fresh ingredients and world-class cuisine to perfectly complement the elevated cocktail programs. CH Projects launched the cocktail culture in San Diego and has grown to 18 establishments with 3 in the pipeline, setting the bar for the Baja region. CH’s beverage programs hold a place on many of the nation’s most coveted lists, including Esquire’s “Best Bars in America,” Imbibe’s “Cocktail Bar of the Year,” Food & Wine’s “Best New Bars in the U.S.,” nods from the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Bar Program,” and countless awards from the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards.


Effort Collective
Chef Andrew Bachelier and John Resnick

Owner John Resnick and Executive Chef Andrew Bachelier lead the dynamic team responsible for the success of Carlsbad, California’s culinary gems, Campfire and Jeune et Jolie. After the ambitious renovation of a former auto repair shop, Campfire opened in 2016 with a market-driven menu celebrating the spirit of the campfire through the daily use of live fire cooking and smoking techniques. The restaurant has since received national acclaim and Bib Gourmand status from the 2019 California Michelin Guide, as well as mentions in Bon Appétit, The Los Angeles Times, Sunset, USA Today, Eater and Vogue. Two years later, Resnick and Bachelier set their sights two blocks north of Campfire to open its sister restaurant. Jeune et Jolie, whose name translates to “young and beautiful” and serves as an homage to both Resnick and Bachelier’s daughters, has wooed diners with its globally-inspired French cuisine, exploratory cocktail menu, and impeccable interiors designed by Bells and Whistles. Named one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants, class of 2019, Jeune et Jolie has established itself as a vital force in burgeoning restaurant scene in Carlsbad.


Trust Restaurant Group
Chef Brad Wise and Steve Schwob

Co-founded by Executive Chef Brad Wise, named Chef of the Year 2019 by the San Diego Union-Tribune, and Steve Schwob, Trust Restaurant Group operates four of Southern California’s most acclaimed eateries.

The flagship Trust Restaurant, named Critic’s Pick Best New Restaurant 2017 by San Diego Magazine and Neighborhood Trailblazer by Eater, celebrates wood-fired cookery in the heart of Hillcrest. Rooted in the enclave of Mission Hills, Fort Oak showcases hearth-cooked fare with a focus on a seasonal selection of small plates and sophisticated service. It debuted in early 2019 and earned dozens of accolades including Critic’s Pick Best New Restaurant 2019 by San Diego Magazine and San Diego’s Best Restaurants 2019 by Conde Nast Traveler. Mid-century inspired steakhouse Rare Society was unveiled in late fall 2019 in University Heights and the group’s most ambitious concept to date, Cardellino, an all-day eatery, enoteca and bakery in Mission Hills, opened in January 2020.


Puffer Malarkey Collective
Chef Brian Malarkey and Christopher Puffer

The Puffer Malarkey Collective, founded by Chef Brian Malarkey and business partner Christopher Puffer, includes ten restaurants (Animae, Herb & Wood, Herb & Sea, Farmer & The Seahorse, NIMA Cafe, Herb & Eatery, Herb & Ranch, Green Acre Nautilus, Green Acre Campus Pointe, and Wood Yu) in Southern California. Focused on creative concepts and unparalleled cuisine, the Puffer Malarkey Collective (PMC) is frequently included among the best restaurants in San Diego. PMC holds numerous accolades, including a Plate Designation by the Michelin Guide, and several Best Restaurant, Restaurant of the Year, and Chef of the Year awards. Additionally, PMC has been featured by publications such as Zagat, Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, Forbes, USA Today, and AFAR.






San Diego Awards Dinner Sponsors