Chef James Montejano shares recipes for creating amazing dishes and a successful brand. How video and social media are building his culinary career.
San Diego native, Chef James Montejano has had his heart set on working at La Valencia since he first visited it. After graduating from the California Culinary Academy, Chef James worked at Aqua and was soon promoted to sous chef within just two years. He then worked with Jeffrey Strauss at Pampelmousse in Solana Beach, CA. His first Executive Chef position was in La Jolla at Japengo, where he spent three years and became known for his delicate and colorful Asian fusion cuisine. After winning two consecutive annual awards for Best Sushi from the California Restaurant Association, Chef James decided to widen his horizons. Over the next four years his experience included: heading a casino steakhouse in Valley View, launching Jade Restaurant in downtown San Diego, and introducing a sustainable, organic, farm-to-table menu at La Papagayo in Leucadia. He then grabbed an opportunity he couldn’t resist– working with Michael Mina as part of the reopening team of his Michelin Star Restaurant in San Francisco.
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Think Like A Journalist Quote
Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors–it’s how you combine them that sets you apart. ~Wolfgang Puck…
“The art of successful cooking relies on the know-how. It comes from the heart. It makes great demands on the palate and it needs enthusiasm and deep love for food to bring it to life.”
“Treasure the farmer. Nurture the soil. Plant wherever you are. Learn from nature. Cultivate your palate. Make your own. Eat whole foods. Share the harvest. And, teach the children the art of simple food.” ~Alice Waters.
Opening a Michelin star restaurant in San Francisco with Michael Mina.
When It Didn’t Work
James had to leave a restaurant after being with it for several years. It was a tough decision but he knew he had to move on…find out why.
Brand Journalism & Marketing Advice
Videographer / iPhone
Book, Documentary, Podcast, Internet Channel
YouTube chef videos
How To Peel A Pomegranate
How To Peel A Banana
Not in the podcast but another great video. How To Shuck Corn.
The Hundred Foot Journey
Cafe La Rue Restaurant (at La Valencia)
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