Executive Corporate Chef, Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria and Sammy’s Pizza
Past: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, Top of the Market, Roppongi Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Studied at: The Art Institute of California, San Diego
What is the first dish you’ve ever cooked?
The first dish I remember cooking was a piece of meat on the grill, I don’t remember the cut but I do remember the meat wasn’t the thing that sticks out. It was the first time I made chimichurri. I can think back to mixing all the fresh herbs I could find and chopping it all up with a bunch of garlic and olive oil. I smeared it on the meat as it was hot coming off the grill and it forever burned that smell into my mind.
What inspired you to become a chef?
I never grew up wanting to be a chef. I sort of stumbled on it, and it was very much love at first sight. The more I learned and saw the more I couldn’t get enough. Then I ended up going to culinary school and here I am today.
How do you describe your style of cooking?
I like to use fresh ingredients and fresh seafood when I can. I have a soft spot in my heart for fresh seafood.
What’s your favorite dish to cook at home?
When I am at home I cook comfort food, something braised, something roasted.
What is the best part of being a chef in San Diego?
Besides the weather, it’s all the different types of restaurants and cuisine at our fingertips.
What advice would you offer to anyone looking to start a culinary career?
I would say good luck! This is a crazy competitive field that can eat you alive and spit you out the other side. You have to be tough, learn how to work while tired, and start loving the flavor of strong black coffee in the morning.
Food photos by Heartwork Hill