La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel has been a landmark and jet setter destination since the the Golden Era in 1926. The seaside hotel has been flaunting its beautiful, signature architecture and coveted views on Prospect Street through a lot of changes over the years. After 7 decades, the Collins family  sold the “Pink Lady” to Pacifica Hotels in 2011, who immediately announced they had plans for a major renovation that would cost them $12 million. 

The Med, La Valencia’s ocean view restaurant, has been the site of many traditions; Mother’s Day Brunches, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, charity events and more, but in its kitchen… La V has been fraught with constant change over the last decade. As of tomorrow, Friday, June 14th, La Valencia will once again say goodbye to its Executive Chef. 

Chef Alex Emery has been Executive Chef of the dining outlets of La Valencia for the last three years and before him, in a very short span of time, Chef James Montejano (The Huntress), Chef Daniel Barron (Oceanaire Seafood Room) and Chef Paul McCabe (Robard’s Steakhouse) swept through the kitchen for a stint… some shorter than others.

TIMELINE:

  • Vaughan Mabee – 2007
  • Sean Eastwood – 2010
  • Jason McCleod – 2011 (consulting)
  • Paul McCabe – 2012
  • Daniel Barron – 2013
  • James Montejano – 2014
  • Alex Emery – 2016

I spoke with Chef Alex yesterday and he was happy to tell me that he would be taking over the Executive Chef Position at the Coastal Kitchen at the Hilton Del Mar as of Monday morning. 

I’m excited to rejoin the Hilton brand at Del Mar as the Executive Chef. We’re going to incorporate local ingredients with Baja influence which, being a native San Diegan, is up my alley. Expect partnerships with local purveyors you wouldn’t expect, starting a Chef’s Garden which will be a highlight to our new menus. Guests can expect cooking the food I grew up eating. We’ll explore and experience these flavors together, as we should in the Coastal Kitchen.

Alex Emery

Though it will be a few months before we taste Chef Alex Emery’s signature, Instagram-worthy plates on the menu, it will be a fresh welcome for the Coastal Kitchen patrons. We wish him all the good feels on his new digs.