Progressive, Diversely Talented, James Beard Nominee Brings Experience from Kitchens in New York City, Nashville, Atlantic City and San Diego
La Jolla, CA — In yet another signal of its modern renaissance — starting with a $10 million renovation — the landmark La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla announces the appointment of Executive Chef Daniel Barron.
Known as a molecular gastronomy advocate, Chef Barron also has a diverse culinary background, having worked in top kitchens in New York City, Nashville and Atlantic City. Most recently Chef Barron owned and operated Evolve Cuisine Forward, an innovative pop up restaurant and catering company in San Diego. Immediately prior, he led the culinary team at Blue Point Coastal Cuisine where he was named “Chef of the Year” in the 2011 Gaslamp Quarter Association’s annual Lamplighter Awards; won a “Chef of the Fest” competition in the 2011 San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival and was named 2011’s “Chef to Watch” in 944 Magazine.
“Chefs are chosen for many reasons but we made this decision for the most important one to our guests and the hotel’s legacy,” explains Managing Director Mark Dibella. “Simply put – Daniel creates beautiful, inventive, well-influenced delicious food – his menu samplings blew us away.”
According to Dibella, another key factor in the choice was the chef’s wide range of culinary experience. Chef Barron will be will be tasked to create singularly unique menus for two very different restaurants as well as menus for La Sala Lounge, the hotel’s banquet and event facilities and in room dining. The hotel’s oceanfront Mediterranean Room and Ocean Terrace will offer a savory range of signature dishes that will celebrate the diverse flavors of the Mediterranean while using the exceptional farm-to-table resources of California. The return of Café La Rue later this year will introduce a casual coastal bistro theme to the property along with an award winning wine vault and fast paced “locals” bar. Newly refreshed patios and terraces along with sidewalk seating will compliment both restaurants. La Sala Lounge will continue to attract the leisurely cocktail crowd with inventive libations and light appetizers, live nightly entertainment and stunning ocean views.
A native of Detroit, Chef Barron explains that he fell in love with the energy, pressure and excitement of the kitchen with his first restaurant job at 13 years old and he knew it was the life for him. He attended the American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship Program at one of Americas top boutique hotels, The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan. To compliment his artistic side, Daniel followed this apprenticeship with an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Management from Wayne State University. His culinary experience also includes chef stints at:
AnQi in Costa Mesa, CA — Chef Daniel’s menu was ranked as one of the Top Ten Molecular Gastronomy Restaurants in America by Gayot.com.
La Playa Resort, Naples Florida
Trump Entertainment’s Premiere Casino Restaurant an upscale steak and fresh seafood concept restaurant in Atlantic City, NJ.
Cesa, a Southern Italian Restaurant that received 3 Stars from The New York Times.
Mad Platter in Nashville, TN, where he was nominated for the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef/Restaurant Southeast.
“I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to join the team leading the renaissance at the La Valencia Hotel,” explains Chef Barron. “There is so much history and beauty here. The projects that we will be working in the upcoming months will pay tribute to that history and I look forward to creating a little history of our own. And I am overjoyed that I am able to stay in the beautiful city of San Diego, I look forward to continue to find ways to give back to the city I now call home.”
Chef Barron’s charitable work includes helping establish Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund raising over $ 23 million for the families of restaurant workers in the World Trade Center following 9/11. Chef Barron donates his time in the San Diego area to such as the Liver Foundation’s “Flavors” culinary gala and the Alzheimer’s Association “Our Bright Future Gala. In addition, Chef Daniel regularly hosts foodie events for charity and donates proceeds from specialty “menus with meaning” to philanthropic organizations such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and local homeless shelters.
La Valencia Hotel or La V is comprised of 112 accommodations which include 16 circa 2000 villas along with a unique collection of suites and guestrooms housed in the 1909 West Wing and the main 1926/1928 tower building overlooking Ellen Browning Scripps Park and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Dining options include the signature Mediterranean Room and Ocean Terrace adjoining the La Sala Lounge and Café La Rue (debuting Q-3, 2013). Ocean view banquet rooms accommodate 10 to 175 guests and the property includes terraced gardens, heated pool & spa, fitness room and business center. La V is located in the center of the Village of La Jolla and steps away to premier retail and dining. Renowned leisure destinations are minutes away and include the La Jolla Cove, Torrey Pines State Park, Scripps Ocean Institute, the Birch Aquarium as well as UCSD / La Jolla Playhouse and the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art.
La Valencia is owned and managed by Pacifica Host Hotels, a division of Pacifica Companies. On-going property enhancements include the completion of all guestrooms renovations this past April and currently in process is the renovation of Café LaRue and new enhanced entry courtyard. Future plans will include new 10th floor guest suites the addition of a signature spa in the final phase.