SAN DIEGO, CA — The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla announces a couple of significant changes to its award-winning culinary team. On February 1, 2022, Jeff Jackson, who has served as Executive Chef of The Lodge at Torrey Pines since 2000, will assume the newly-created role of Corporate Culinary Advisor. Kelli Crosson, who has been with The Lodge since 2009 and currently serves as Chef de Cuisine for A.R. Valentien and is a member of the senior culinary leadership team, will take the helm as Executive Chef.
“It is a bittersweet combination of immense gratitude for his indelible contributions to The Lodge’s and Evans Hotels’ culinary program and a degree of sadness that we acquiesced to Jeff’s request to take a step back in his responsibilities,” said Bill Gross, General Manager of The Lodge at Torrey Pines. “We’re so glad to create this new role for him, in which he will continue to help recruit and mentor our culinary teams, remain engaged in The Lodge’s culinary events, and support other company initiatives and culinary efforts at our family of restaurants like Oceana Coastal Kitchen.”
During his 20+ years with Evans Hotels, Jackson not only distinguished himself as a culinary leader for The Lodge and Evans Hotels, but also as a founder and central figure of San Diego’s farm-to-table dining revolution. He and his team’s consistent craftsmanship of fresh and innovative California cuisine have garnered him and The Lodge numerous awards and accolades, including A.R. Valentien’s designation as #1 restaurant in La Jolla on TripAdvisor, and The Grill at Torrey Pines regularly being named Best Hotel Casual Restaurant by the California Restaurant Association since 2007.
Jackson has been honored to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York and was named Chef of the Year by the California Restaurant Association.
“An incredibly talented and integral part of our culinary team and vision for well over a decade, Kelli’s appointment to Executive Chef was a natural fit for us,” continued Gross. “She has been instrumental in helping establish The Lodge’s well-earned reputation as one of San Diego’s premier dining destinations and we’re excited to begin this new chapter with her.”
From her upbringing on a 40-acre citrus orchard to graduating from The French Culinary Institute in New York, Crosson embraces simplicity in her cooking conveyed through dishes that allow fresh and naturally flavorful ingredients to shine. She is also a passionate advocate for promoting San Diego’s thriving culinary community and regional bounty of produce and other provisions.