Cæsar Cardini Defys Bowl Theory

3 min readFeb 9, 2021
Cæsar Cardini , Born Cæsare Cardini in the Small town of Baveno , Italy ; nimble & creative hospitality professional .
Bavano , Cardini’s village in Italy , North West of Milan .

Born to a family of nine , mother , father , & seven brothers & sisters , Enter the scene : Cæsar Cirdini . At some point the brothers emigrated to America , while the sisters stayed behind in Italy . To start businesses in the hospitality industry . Nereo one of the three that emigrated to America , opened a hotel near the Casino in San Diego . The other two brothers , Alessandro & Gaudenzio went on to bet into the restaurant business in Mexico City , Cæsar’s brother Alessandro was his partner for his restaurant in Tijuana , Mexico . Cæsar eventually returned to Italy , to work within the European gastromony discipline . He returned to the US in 1919 .

He partnered with William Brown & ran Brown’s Restaurant in Sacramento , California . He moved soon after that to San Diego , This is where the gegend begins . It is from here that he opens restaurants in Tijuana , Mexico , where business could be conducted more freely , as the prohibitions detailed in the the or The National Prohibition Act https://www.law.cornell.edu/topn/volstead_act

Hotel Caesar’s , built c . 1929 , Tijuana , Mexico

It was at his restaurant where he hatched the culturally iconic Cæsar Salad . The dish was a hit among the travelling elite of the day . Once the restrictive Volstead was lifted , Mexico banned gambling in Tijuana , the thriving business environment dissipated . Cardini closed his businesses in Tijuana , going to the newly freed frontier of San Diego where he would open Cæsar Cardini Cafe .

Cæsar was a gifted man , in that he understood that when things get tough , there is opportunity to be had elsewhere . But in order to do this , he also knew the value of educating himself & pushing his abilities further whether working in the European gastronomy discipline , returning to the US with this knowledge , working for partners managing restaurants , moving to friendlier territories in Tijuana , then back to California .

While his business were operating , he worked to manage other businesses in the hospitality industry while running his own Caesar Cardini Villa in Chula Vista , California .

in 1938 , he and his wife & daughter moved to Los Angeles to market his Cæsar Dressing , which was trademarked in 1948 .

The beauty of the Cæsar Salad is the simplicity of the ingredients , Romaine lettuce in a dressing of eggs , olive oil , lemon juice , anchovies , salt & pepper , then topped with fresh Parmesan & cracked black pepper . Photo Credit : Gastro Plant

This is the story of a man who worked to find & fulfil his dream across several countries & continents . This is the story of the humble Cæsar Salad , a product brought into existence in the face of adversity , a testament to resilience , failure ,which led to a return to the old country to continue education through discipline , reacting & restructuring in the face of national policy , dictated from on high , by the central governing body , contained in the hallowed marble halls of the national religious shrine , the American capital .

This was Cæsar Cardini’s act of defiance to all odds of adversity & in the process , a dining icon was created .




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