‘Top Chef’ cooks planning dinner at Animae restaurant in San Diego

Animae Restaurant in San Diego will host four cheftestants from "Top Chef" season 18 for a charity dinner on Aug. 1
(Dustin Bailey)

Four cheftestants from Bravo’s just-finished 18th season of “Top Chef” will be cooking together on Aug. 1 at Animae restaurant in San Diego to raise money for José Andrés’ charity World Central Kitchen.

Chefs Shota Nakajima, Jamie Tran, Maria Mazo and Byron Gomez will collaborate on an Asian/Latin American menu inspired by Kokoson, the winning menu concept on season 18’s “Restaurant Wars” episode.

Animae is co-owned by “Top Chef All-Stars” alumnus Brian Malarkey, and its executive chef Tara Monsod will create an amuse bouche to kick off the $350 seven-course meal.

The dinner is being produced in collaboration with Un-Plated by Sabrina Medora. Just 120 seats will be sold.

For tickets, visit

Kragen writes about restaurants for The San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at