Cameron Ingle

It all began on my 12th birthday after seeing a family friend in his kitchen. Intrigued, he invited me into the kitchen, and from that moment on, I fell in love with the kitchen’s smell, sound, and pulsating energy.

Shortly after, I began my culinary journey as a three-day apprentice, undertaking tasks such as inventory and minor projects. Over time, I graduated to salads, then to the veggie station. The lessons from those formative years still resonate 22 years into my career.

At 34, I am incredibly fortunate to have collaborated with remarkable chefs and brilliant mentors. I spent 5 years under Chef Thad Gilles at a small French fusion restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Later, I went to work for Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills. The kitchen put me into the orbit of some of my best and favorite mentors, Rory Herrmann, Carolyn Nugent, and Alan Ramos.

I navigated through experiences with owners and chefs who taught me valuable lessons in what not to do. After those dark months, I found myself in the kitchen of Ori Manashe, rightfully nicknamed La Bestia (the beast). His kitchen tested every ounce of skill and changed my entire thought process when he told me I needed to cook like a grandma. This helped me understand the importance of cooking with intention and grace.

Then came Blue Hill and Dan Barber, a culmination of perfection and education. I learned from Dan to avoid getting stuck chasing accolades and stars and that a star changes nothing in how you cook.

As chefs, we must recognize the necessity of providing our cooks with the space to grow within our kitchens. Without the next generation understanding that mentorship is crucial, we risk dying out. The essence of a chef’s job is to make everyone on their team better. By understanding their goals and earning their trust, we can guide them.

At Marisi @marisilajolla in San Diego, I inherited a team of chefs and cooks who are hungry to learn and driven by goals. I hope to return to New York one day and eventually return to Detroit/Michigan, my hometown. Nothing beats the experience of New York farming and So Cal for the winter.

What is your favorite street food?

Dirty water dog in NYC

Which restaurant or food stand do you recommend? (Different from yours) (Add its Instagram handle if possible)

Tamar shawarma in Santa Barbara @tamarsantabarbara

What is your guilty pleasure?


What ingredient do you find overrated?

Uni, its good but not that amazing

What ingredient do you think is underrated?

Oats and grains in general

What is your favorite kitchen tool?

My knife

What is your worst kitchen nightmare?

Straining stock and the chinois breaks on the last little bit im straining and i have to start all over again.

Interviewed 🎤📸 by @mwatsonnyc