Chef Phil Esteban Leaves The Cork & Craft To Join CH Projects | Rancho Bernardo Restaurant, Brewery & Winery Names Scott Cannon As New Executive Chef

Chefs Scott Cannon & Phil Esteban
October 12, 2016

Chef Phil Esteban has left Rancho Bernardo’s The Cork & Craft to join CH Projects (Craft & Commerce, Soda & Swine, Ironside Fish & Oyster and more), and will soon work as Corporate Chef Jason McLeod's right-hand-man, assisting in overseeing the culinary development of the company. Meanwhile, Cork & Craft has appointed Chef Scott Cannon as their new executive chef.

Chef Phil Esteban has worked as Executive Chef at The Cork & Craft for the past two years. He will join one of San Diego's most ambitious and popular restaurant groups - CH Projects (formerly Consortium Holdings) - starting this November, where he will initially work under the brand's head chef Jason McLeod. Esteban previously spent time as sous chef at CH's Craft & Commerce. Rumor has it that Esteban may eventually take over Ironside Fish & Oyster's kitchen, or possibly take the lead at Born & Raised, the collective’s fourth restaurant coming soon to Little Italy.

Born & Raised is taking over the former Nelson Photo Supplies building at 1909 India Street and will pay homage to America’s greatest dining institution, the classic steakhouse. The building is currently receiving an overhaul by local design guru Paul Basile of BASILE Studio, who is building out the two-story, 8,000 square-foot restaurant with a midcentury architectural influence. The custom layout will feature two oversized bars, and three dedicated dining spaces including the main dining room, a downstairs patio seating, and a 1,500 square-foot rooftop terrace with an adjacent 2,000 square-foot open-air urban garden that will be utilized to grow many of the restaurant’s herbs and produce needs. Born & Raised will offer reimagined steakhouse dishes, craft beer, and inventive cocktails. The restaurant hopes to open by year's end, although early 2017 is more realistic.

Taking Esteban's place at The Cork & Craft is Scott Cannon. With nearly a decade of experience in the kitchen, Cannon plans to bridge the gap of fine dining and intrigue diners with approachable, yet elegant dishes. At the helm of the kitchen, he’ll incorporate local produce and create farmer’s market-type specials for the menu. Cannon’s previous culinary experience include working as the sous chef at Jake’s Del Mar. A native of central California, Cannon earned his Culinary Arts degree from the Institute of Technology Clovis in Fresno. Chef Cannon will take the lead as executive chef at The Cork & Craft starting on October 22.

"We’re very excited to have the opportunity to bring one of San Diego’s most up and coming chefs, Scott Cannon, onto our team as our new executive chef," said Abnormal Company Co-Founders Matt DeLoach and Elvin Lai. "He has been an avid supporter of us from the beginning, before the restaurant was even constructed. With his creativity and knowledge, he is without a doubt the best candidate we could hope for to continue to elevate San Diego’s culinary scene through our kitchen.”

The Cork & Craft is a multi faceted concept with Abnormal Beer Company and Abnormal Wines, the first San Diego restaurant, brewery and winery all located under one roof. The restaurant offers a unique blend of comfort food and elegance in a refined urban, atmosphere. Known for its craft beer and wine pairing dinners served alongside modern seasonal dishes for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, the eatery has become a destination for meals using fresh, local ingredients.

"I’ve wanted to be a part of this company since it was a tiny wine bar with plans to expand," said Cannon, "As a young chef, I look forward to launching my career in a creative kitchen environment with freedom to display the artistic value in food. It’s been my dream to be my own chef, especially at The Cork & Craft, and this opportunity will allow me to continue to do what I love - excite guests with unique ingredients and presentation."

Chef Phil Esteban echoes the sentiment and enthusiastically supports Chef Cannon in his new endeavor.

"I would like to thank Abnormal Company for the trust and opportunity to work as the executive chef of The Cork & Craft the last two years," said Chef Esteban. "They have allowed me to share my vision of not only a creative space, but a nurturing and educational environment for myself and staff. Although I’ll be leaving, the vision will remain, to continually push the quinine of Abnormal Company and San Diego as a whole. I wish them all the best of luck in the future."