Executive Chef James Montejano returns to his hometown of San Diego, taking on the role of executive chef at the historical oceanfront landmark location of La Valencia Hotel where he caters to The MED and the new street-facing Cafe La Rue bistro.
A classically trained French chef, Montejano attended the Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He worked at Aqua restaurant under renowned chef restaurateurs George Morrone and Michael Mina. “These chefs are my mentors,” he says. “They taught me the art of cuisine, how to utilize the products at hand, and keep dishes simple, but unique.”
At the restaurants at La Valencia, Montejano says he’s all about the local cuisine, utilizing organic and sustainable products in the kitchen. He likes to take ideas from different cultures and infuse them in the foods he makes to create a seasonal and eclectic California cuisine with a Mediterranean feel. “We celebrate the past while adapting to the needs of today’s visitor,” he says.
Montejano’s advice to up and coming chefs is to work hard, work fast, follow directions and have a culinary diary of what you make and what you do. “File your recipes and photograph your food!”
*Written by MDM
About La Valencia Hotel: Owned and managed by Pacifica Host Hotels – a division of Pacifica Companies – La V features 112 completely renovated guest rooms and villas overlooking Ellen Browning Scripps Park and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Dining options at La V have all been enhanced with the hotel’s recent $10 million “reimagining” and include THE MED, a signature ocean facing restaurant and terrace featuring New American Cuisine, with the adjoining La Sala Lounge and the brand new street facing European bistro, Café La Rue. Ocean view banquet rooms accommodate 10 to 175 guests and the property includes terraced gardens, heated pool & spa, fitness room and business center. La V is located in the center of the Village of La Jolla and steps away to premier retail and dining.
Renowned leisure destinations are minutes away and include the La Jolla Cove, Torrey Pines State Park, Scripps Ocean Institute, the Birch Aquarium as well as UCSD / La Jolla Playhouse and the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art.