Rise and Shine Restaurant Group is stirring up a pot of excitement with the addition of a seasoned chef who’s been making a splash in San Diego since 2005. Claudette Wilkins joined the group this month as Research and Development Chef until she takes the helm as Executive Chef at the group’s new El Jardin restaurant opening its doors in Liberty Station early 2018.
It was evident from our first few meetings that Chef Claudette would be an awesome fit,” says Rise and Shine’s owner, Johan Engman. “From her creativity in the kitchen and passion for food, to her future goals and desire to help our organization reach new heights, I am thrilled to bring Claudette on board.”
Expressing her desire to celebrate Mexico’s vibrant flavors, Chef Claudette held a position as Chef de Cuisine, helping open and lead Little Italy’s highly-anticipated Bracero Cocina De Raiz in 2015. Before that, she worked at hotspots such as at Sea180 and East Village’s Jsix, and has a plateful of experience as a sous chef, butcher, owner and pastry chef.
Most recently, Chef Claudette has been tapping into her Guadalajara roots and channeling her experience with Baja-Med-influenced cuisine into a series of pop-up events around the U.S. and beyond; her most recent dinners taking place at Liv Restaurant and The Black Lodge in Ontario, Canada. In Indianapolis, for example, she will be presenting a 14-course regional Mexico dinner (which sold out in less than 24 hours) with F&W Top 10 alum Jonathan Brooks of Milktooth. And on January 28th she will be testing out some dishes for El Jardin.
“I’m excited to begin this new adventure as Rise & Shine’s R&D Chef, so that together we can take San Diego’s restaurant scene by storm” she says.
El Jardin will be located in Liberty Station, across from Breakfast Republic, at 2865 Sims Road, San Diego, CA 92106. The restaurant will serve both modern Mexican and Traditional. The square footage will be 8,800 with an inside space of 3,300 sq. ft. and outside patio set for 5,500. Sq.ft.