You lucky San Diegans! One of my favorite (former) L.A. Chefs will soon be cooking for you guys!
Chef Giselle Wellman quietly (and very adeptly) helmed the kitchen at Petrossian in West Hollywood for quite a few years. After a recent short stint at Mama Shelter in Hollywood, she has returned to her hometown of San Diego and landed the Executive Chef position at Pacific Standard.
Agree that it’s a pretty pedestrian menu that plays it safe with the usual standards. Let’s hope in the near future that Giselle gets more freedom to experiment and showcase her cooking with twists on old and totally new creations. Based on Top Chef, she’s obviously capable of some really creative and delicious cooking (as long as it’s not in a solar oven, Ha!).
I admit - I’ve never watched that show (I’m not much of a TV fan). Chef Giselle’s great body of work from her years helming Petrossian in West Hollywood is what made me a fan. Her kitchen fundamentals are just so solid. To this date, I’ve not had a better roasted jidori chicken in L.A. that was better than hers.
I thought that the restaurant name was simply a double-meaning contraction of “Pacific Standard Time”, with the “Standard” part indirectly implying that their food will be the standard against which others are judged (as opposed to reflecting standard menu items).
Not sure we should have our expectations very high.
PSCK is essentially a hotel restaurant that provides 3 meal services per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in addition to room service. Most hotel restaurants serve a captive audience, they don’t need to be innovative or creative.
A Denny’s with better and better-sourced ingredients.
I saw that article. And when I read the entire paragraph where that quote came from, my heart sank
Q: What can you tell us about Pacific Standard - Coastal Kitchen?
A: It’s a new stand-alone concept developed by T2 (hotelier) and New School Consulting supporting the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites. The restaurant has 160 seats with two outdoor areas, and we support a 3,000-square-foot banquet hall and room service. There’s an executive chef who designed the menu and as we move forward, I’ll explore more and put my mark on the concept. In Little Italy there are a lot of concept restaurants but we didn’t find one that highlights the simplicity of what’s offered on the West Coast. This restaurant is like a French bistro that was born in San Diego. What Californians call comfort food, like vine-ripened tomatoes with local burrata. And we have fish and chips, but it’s the best you’ve ever had because we’re sourcing the right fish and we’re making the fries and aioli in-house. It’s simple food that lets the products shine. It’s comfortable and casual with no white tablecloths and it’s competitively priced with other Little Italy resturants like Juniper & Ivy.
Hard to do banquet food, and room service, and support a hotel clientele, and still focus on putting out innovative food. Just practically impossible to execute.
Honestly, I think her talents will be wasted there.
Yes, but I see it as almost two different operations and kitchens. Stand alone restaurant cuisine vs catering type cuisine. I’ve worked for several high end hotel restaurants before and that’s how it worked. Very different operations at the back of the house with different people running things. Yes the head chef was ultimately in charge, but was not hands on for the banquet and catering stuff. That all was handled by a different staff than the regular restaurant crew. Yes there was some overlap, but really it was different teams.
I grew up working in that business starting when I was only 10 years old. My Mother was a Food and Beverage Director and also a GM for a number of very high end hotels…I made really good money as a young man bussing, then cooking, and waiting tables in restaurants and picking up banquet work when available.
Agree that her talents are probably wasted there in the short term. She moved to San Diego without a gig in order to be with family. It would not surprise me that if she is limited in doing her own thing, that she will find a better gig elsewhere in town.