Executive Chef Jason Hotchkiss knows his way around the kitchen, as he comes to Encontro with years of impressive restaurant and hospitality industry experience. In his previous position as director of culinary operations for The Patio Group (The Patio on Goldfinch, The Patio on Lamont, Fireside by The Patio, Saska’s Steak & Seafood), he was solely responsible for overseeing the consistency of quality within their food and beverage program. Chef Jason’s passion for sourcing sustainably caught seafood led him to obtain a Fish Receiver’s license so that he could purchase and receive the freshest catch available for his restaurants.
Prior to his role with The Patio Group, Chef Jason held corporate chef positions at both the iconic Cohn Restaurant Group and Whisknladle Hospitality organizations. And before relocating to San Diego, he served as executive chef for the famed Bottega Louie in Los Angeles, where he managed a kitchen staff of 80. During his four-year tenure, the restaurant garnered accolades in numerous publications including “Top 10 New Restaurants” by Los Angeles Magazine and L.A.’s Best Restaurants by Angeleno Magazine. His culinary expertise also gained him personal recognition in Gourmet Magazine in addition to affording him the opportunity to cook at the Epicurean School of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles.
Prior to guiding the culinary team at Bottega Louie, Chef Jason worked at highly-acclaimed restaurants such as San Francisco’s L’Entrecote de Paris and Café Kati. His successful track record also includes a previous role as culinary partner at P.F. Chang’s, where he was responsible for menu development and growing the organization from six restaurants to more than 200.
Chef Jason graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, where he appeared on “Cooking at the Academy.” In his spare time, Chef Jason enjoys fishing the local San Diego waters and is passionate about connecting local purveyors of fish, game and vegetables with restaurant kitchens.