A San Diego native, chef Jojo Ruiz of Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine relies on the local agricultural and oceanic bounty as inspiration, infusing his hometown culinary pride with influences from coasts across the globe.
Much like its name, Lionfish’s menu offers modern, coastal cuisine that features fresh-catch and seasonal ingredients, all prepared with innovative twists. Ruiz’s combination of sustainable seafood and prime meats toys with guest’s taste buds with its relaxed, yet redefined offerings.
Throughout the years, Ruiz has become one of the most well-known chefs on the west coast, garnering international attention for his commitment to sustainable practices and efforts to remain ocean-friendly. Ruiz began his culinary career as a sushi chef at a handful of local restaurants, including Yokozuna’s, where he learned the art of butchering fish and meat. Displaying incredible talent at a young age, JoJo was on the fast track to success.
Following, he began working as a sushi chef at JRDN Hotel’s Tower 23, then the Oceanaire Seafood Room as a sous chef, before stepping up as Chef de Cuisine of Brian Malarkey’s widely successful Searsucker in downtown San Diego.
As Brian’s right-hand man, JoJo moved on to become the Executive Chef of Enlightened Hospitality’s Herringbone in La Jolla, further enhancing his experience with coastal cuisine.
Prior to joining prominent hospitality group, Clique Hospitality, JoJo spent the past two and a half as the right-hand man of Michelin-starred chef/partner, Jason McLeod at Little Italy’s acclaimed Ironside Fish & Oyster.