A new executive chef brings his flair for fusion cuisine to San Diego’s only Cali-Creole restaurant, just in time for its fourth birthday. Local Habit, Hillcrest’s newly renovated eatery focused on blending Creole flavors and dishes with fresh California ingredients, is proud to announce the hiring of Emeril Lagasse protege, Jimmy Tessier, as new executive chef. Bringing 25 years of experience to every plate, Chef Tessier will bring new and imaginative dishes to the Louisiana-inspired restaurant just in time for its Cajun vs. Creole themed anniversary celebration taking place on June 26 & 27.
The restaurant’s original chef-partner, Nick Brune, is pleased to pass the torch to enthusiastic Tessier and will continue to consult on the transition. “I couldn’t have found a better chef to man the kitchen of a restaurant I consider my baby,” said Brune. “Jimmy brings a new flair to these dishes that will blow everyone away and allow locals to experience new flavors that were previously unavailable in San Diego.”
Having worked with numerous high profile chefs including Chef Carla Pellegrino of Top Chef fame and Chef Sammy DeMarco of Travel Channel’s “Chow Masters,” Tessier brings an accumulation of learned talent from the best mentors in the business. This talent paired with his gritty and ambitious energy earned him a spot on Food Network’s hit show Chopped in 2012.
Tessier decided to make San Diego his home in 2014 when he helped open Union Kitchen and Tap as executive sous chef. Now with feet planted at Local Habit, Tessier is excited to showcase his wealth of knowledge of different cuisines.
“I want guests to know that this restaurant isn’t just gumbo,” said Tessier. “Because I was trained by such a variety of chefs, I am not pigeonholed into one type of food. I love putting spins on classic New Orleans-style plates.”
Some specials that locals already love include Tessier’s duck confit with trinity bread pudding, which highlights the New Orleans holy sacrament of vegetables - bell pepper, onion and celery. His buttermilk pie is also allegedly "to die for."
Tessier and the team at Local Habit are looking forward to featuring more great dishes and drinks at the restaurant’s four year anniversary celebration, held Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27. For $25, guests can try any three things on the menu consisting of a mouthwatering array of Cajun and Creole favorites including jambalaya, fried chicken and alligator sausage. Speciality Louisiana cocktails will also be served including moonshine and hurricanes, not to mention a new Port Brewing blackberry saison that is being brewed just for the celebration. A live band will add to the atmosphere and guests are encouraged to stay and party late into the night. Tessier, Brune and the rest of the Local Habit crew can’t wait to celebrate this special occasion with the locals, Louisiana-style.
Local Habit is located at 3827 5th Avenue in Hillcrest. For more information, visit mylocalhabit.com for more information.