Located inside this luxury hotel, The MED ocean view restaurant is home to big-league Executive Chef Alex Emery, who offers a dramatic dining experience and mans a kitchen that’s humming with precision in presentation and taste.
In many ways, Emery’s journey is a classic tale of climbing the culinary ladder, learning something special at every stop and adding more and more creativity to his skill level. “When I was 16 years old I started as a dishwasher at the Coronado Cays Yacht club, then moved up as a prep cook,” he told me. “Later, I fell in love with the industry and decided to go to culinary school at the San Diego Culinary Institute.”
Although the photos in this post clearly suggest otherwise, Emery says what he dislikes most about being a chef is spending so much time and effort designing intricate and inventive dishes, only to see them instantly consumed. “Food is art and my creations aren’t on a canvas that last forever.”
What’s clear to me is Emery is a young chef coming fully into his own and building his identity while forming an extremely talented and passionate kitchen team. Changing his menu with the seasons while utilizing local, sustainable and organic ingredients allows him the freedom to push the boundaries and produce a wide variety of solitary gastronomic preparations.
I admire how Emery infuses his love for seafood with bold Spanish flavors, especially his Spanish octopus dish that’s poached in white wine with grilled oranges and lemons, ginger, garlic and lemongrass, then vacuum-sealed with preserved lemon. For the grand finale, the octopus is placed on the grill for a quick char then served with a Spanish white bean stew with added chorizo and lobster butter.
There are many other dishes on the new menu that make the cut and show real strength in subtle explorations of Mediterranean cuisine, including the traditional Paella, that Emery plans to reinvent yet again.
It is refreshing to see that an age-old favorite has been energized with a youthful team in a moderately eccentric class of their own, blending new ideas for a truly magnetic food experience that peaks our global curiosity.
©Written By Maria Desiderata Montana