Mille Fleurs Staff
Born in rural southwest France, Bertrand studied economics at the University of Toulouse. After college, his studies took him to America where he made his way to the west coast, always deriving income by waiting tables in French restaurants.
He started his own restaurant career in La Jolla, in 1973, as the managing partner of Le Cote d’Azur. In over a decade, Bertrand became involved in the ownership of several restaurants: Mon Ami, La Mediterranean, Bertrand’s and La Maison du Lac.
In 1984, finally on his own, Bertrand bought the property he coveted for years: Mille Fleurs, in Rancho Santa Fe. Taking on the challenges of offering elegant European cuisine to a relaxed city such as San Diego, his commitment and belief in utmost freshness and quality, soon made Mille Fleurs San Diego’s premier restaurant. Mille Fleurs has attracted national attention & awards (being named top 25 in America by Food & Wine magazine), helping to bring San Diego’s dining scene to the forefront.
Bertrand wanted to add a metropolitan restaurant to his restaurant portfolio and had always loved the tremendous location and potential of the legendary Mister A’s. He was able to purchase the lease in 2000 and completely redesigned the restaurant, which is now the toughest reservation in city.
In between spending time as host at both his country & city dining establishments, Bertrand writes a wine column for the local newspaper, enjoys golf, tennis, horseracing, and traveling with his lovely wife Denise.
Marko Dedic was born along the Balkan Peninsula of what is now Serbia, formerly known as Yugoslavia. In the winter of 1996, while pursuing studies in electrical engineering, Dedic was granted a US visa to visit family in sunny San Diego. Once Dedic arrived in California he immediately fell in love with the 82-degree weather in the middle of winter and decided to prolong his stay.
As Dedic spent more time learning English and immersing himself in Southern Californian culture, he relocated to Los Angeles. Opportune moments followed and Dedic accepted a job at Los Angeles-based Patina, where he was quickly surrounded by celebrated chefs and wine sommeliers.
Dedic’s desire for fine dining grew stronger and he soon found his way back to Encinitas, California, where he learned about Italian food at a restaurant called When in Rome. Word of Mille Fleurs echoed as one of the finest dining experiences that San Diego had to offer. Dedic’s luck followed him and he soon found himself among the best in the business. Now, 16 years and counting, Dedic feels privileged to be a frontman of a one-of-a-kind hospitality institution that has been honored by Food & Wine Magazine as top 25 in the country, top 100 Best of Service by OpenTable, and many more.
With Dedic’s 16 years at Mille Fleurs, what he enjoys most is the ever-evolving menu throughout the seasons, the fantastic wine list that covers the globe and the unique dining guests that entrust him and the Mille Fleurs team to guide them on a gustatory journey.
Executive Pastry Chef
Pastry Chef Samantha Bird has always been drawn to the kitchen, especially during the holidays where she would spend hours helping out her grandparents. By the age of seven, Bird had already developed a deep curiosity with the rising dough of the homemade cinnamon rolls she baked with her grandpa and she developed a fixation on perfecting each consecutive batch. It was only natural that Bird’s first job in high school was in the kitchen at a nearby college where she grew up.
After moving to San Diego to attend college, Bird came to a crossroads. Follow a traditional college path or pursue a deeper passion in the culinary arts? She soon realized that she enjoyed being in the kitchen more than the conventional route and made the decision to pursue a career in pastry. Bird worked her way through various kitchens in San Diego and worked alongside San Diego City College’s urban farm, Seeds, where she learned and continued her appreciation for organic urban farming.
In 2013, Bird went abroad to Copenhagen where she landed a stage position in Chef Matt Orlando’s Amass and a bakery internship at Meyers Bageri. The month-long intensive program honed her classically-trained French techniques and perfectly married them with her modern Southern Californian disposition. After her stint in Europe and a newly refined skill set, Bird moved back to San Diego where she quickly worked her way up to Lead Pastry Chef at Juniper & Ivy and in 2016 took the Head Baker position at Herb & Wood. After five years in San Diego, Bird was ready for a new challenge. Attracted to the years of consistent innovation and perfected technique at Mille Fleurs, Bird joined the team in 2019.
Mille Fleurs seasonally-driven kitchen allows Bird to work closely with local farmers and purveyors to incorporate seasonal flavors in every confection, most notably in her house-made ice creams/sorbets and in her newly launched chocolate program. Bird brings her classic pastry skills and modern style to the Mille Fleurs kitchen and continues to craft classic French desserts influenced by Southern California’s ingredients and culture.