Executive Chef, El Jardín Cantina
Past: Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, JRDN, Blue Bridge Hospitality, Sugar & Scribe, Neighborhood, Morning Glory
Studied at: The Art Institute of California (San Diego)
What is the first recipe you ever made?
Professionally, it was a maple pot de creme at The Marine Room. I used maple sugar, maple syrup, some sort of “mapley” liquor…it was for a special dinner.
What are some of your favorite flavor combinations for baked goods?
Cherry and chocolate, corn and salt, and pumpkin and maple.
What is your go-to dessert?
To eat: I love all custards! To make, I really enjoy ice creams and cookies. I’m big on cookies!
What inspired you to become a chef?
I’ve always enjoyed making people feel better, smile, improving their day. I soon realized that by providing someone with something delicious, even if for that moment, they smile and are happy. I love that.
What advice would you offer to anyone looking to start a culinary career?
Get a job in the kitchen before deciding to go to culinary school or anything like that. School is expensive, you should really know if this life is for you. Find someone who will give you the opportunity to learn from them and ride with it. And never think you’re not good enough, if this is your passion anyhow, keep at it, your work will shine.