Executive chef has personal knives set stolen
Cutlery valued at more than $4,000, Ingino says.
By Aaron Burgin
Friday, March 18, 2011 at 2:43 p.m.
OCEANSIDE — The executive chef at the Beach House in Cardiff had his personal set of knives stolen from his car this week.
That’s no small theft to a chef. It’s like a baseball player losing that perfectly broken in baseball glove or the painter missing a collection of brushes.
Sometime during the morning of March 13, thieves broke into a BMW owned by chef Michael Ingino and stole a set of Messermeister knives engraved with Ingino’s name, Oceanside Lt. Leonard Mata said.
Thieves also stole a set of kitchen utensils.
The crime occurred on Paseo De Laura near state Route 78 and Rancho Del Oro Drive.
The German cutlery is expensive: initially, Ingino valued the set of 13 knives at $1,500. An insurance adjuster later valued the set at $4,200.
But beyond cost, Ingino said he had a strong personal connection with the set.
“I’ve collected them over a 15-year-career; one knife was a Father’s Day present from my kid, and another was a 30th birthday gift from my wife,” Ingino said.
Ingino served for five years as an executive chef with Andre Agassi’s Suburban Restaurant Group in Las Vegas before assuming his executive role at The Beach House’s Laguna Beach and Cardiff locations. He splits time between homes in Oceanside and Las Vegas.
He said he was headed to Las Vegas when he saw that his back passenger-side window was smashed, and his two knife bags were gone.
“I also had a suitcase in the car, and I was so upset about the knives I forgot to tell the police that it was stolen, too,” Ingino said.
A local culinary expert said the theft of chef’s knives is both financially and emotionally painful.
“It’s a personal affront; anyone who gets their knives jacked is not a happy person,” said Andrew Spurgin, the catering executive chef at Waters and a U-T Superdiner.
“It’s not like putting a kid through college, but it’s a couple of semesters,” he said about the cost.
Police said they are searching for leads.
“They are engraved, so if we do find them, it will be easy to trace them back to this case,” Mata said