D Bar was created by Celebrity Chef Keegan Gerhard and Pastry Chef (and now wife) Lisa Bailey in Denver, Colorado on May 24th, 2008. Four years later (to the exact date), D Bar San Diego opened its doors in Hillcrest, San Diego.
Chef Gerhard’s focus is on the 3 d’s of the dining experience – drinks dining & dessert – after that to make sure everything in those categories is fun and delicious. “We like to call it “Fun dining at it’s finest!” he says. “We create all the desserts right in front of our guests at a dessert bar in the middle of the restaurant which brings a fun “dinner and a show” element to the dining experience that people seem to love.”
Chef Gerhard says diners have described his food as “upscale comfort food”, but he likes to describe it as food you know, done well, with a twist. “Our inspiration comes from childhood food memories, the best the season has to offer and our constant culinary explorations and travels.”
The menus are designed to reflect the season featuring local organic sourcing on every dish possible and partners that assist include Specialty Produce, Suzie’s Farm, Fresh Origins, Allegro Coffee and Premier.
While dining at DBar, it was obvious to me that Chef Gerhard is a very passionate, committed and driven culinarian, constantly greeting guests and even personally delivering food to the tables. “I am a cook and my favorite part of being a chef is the way the simple act of creating food for people to eat becomes so much more. It is an intimate way to serve people, an eye opening experience, culturally given the inherent diversity of kitchens, and a very satisfying artistic outlet for me personally.”
Chef Gerhard told me that the aspect of his career that gives him the most satisfaction is the element of serving and teaching people. As for cooking meals, he advises to cook with whole foods and eat what’s in season. “All things in moderation. Keep it simple. Keep it balanced. Keep it fresh.”
As for eating out, Chef Gerhard says healthy eating is always possible when eating at restaurants, even at many fast food restaurants. “Sure some modifications need to be made sometimes depending on the restaurant, but ask for what you want,” he explains. “The greater the demand for healthy food the quicker the response. Seek grilled and steamed foods. Look for olive and other vegetable oils in moderation as opposed to butter. Keep it balanced and fresh.”
Named one of the nation’s top 10 pastry chefs of 2002 and 2004 by both Chocolatier and Pastry Art & Design magazines, brings a wealth of experience and abundant competitive energy to his position as Executive Pastry Chef. He has been featured numerous times on the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of America, as well as the Food Network and CNN. For the 2001 Pastry World Cup, he served as technical advisor to Team USA, which brought home a gold medal. Gerhard is honored to have been recognized as a Distinguished Visiting Pastry Chef by Johnson & Wales University, and has been twice named as Top Ten Pastry Chef by Pastry Art and Design magazine. Chef Gerhard has had the honor of participating in 6 different James Beard Dinners. His light, fresh fruit desserts have also been featured widely in A Neo-Classic View of Plated Desserts, Chocolatier, FoodArts, Pastry Art and Design and many other publications.
D Bar San Diego
3930 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103