Chef Changeup At La Jolla's Pink Lady | San Diego's Historic La Valencia Hotel Appoints New Executive Chef

June 14, 2019

La Jolla's La Valencia Hotel has appointed a new Executive Chef. Chef Alex Emery, who has led the historic hotel's onsite culinary programs since 2016, is returning to Hilton's employ and taking the reigns at the Coastal Kitchen at the Hilton Del Mar. Meanwhile, Timothy Ralphs is relocating from Los Angeles to take the position of Executive Chef at The Pink Lady.

On December 15, 1926, La Jollans MacArthur Gorton and Roy B. Wiltsie formally opened La Valencia Apartment-Hotel overlooking La Jolla Cove on Prospect Street at Herschel Avenue. The Cabrillo Hotel adjacent to the La Valencia was acquired in 1956 and incorporated as the West Wing, while at the same time Cafe La Rue and the Whaling Bar were constructed. Now owned and managed by Pacifica Host Hotels, La V features 114 completely renovated guest rooms and villas overlooking Ellen Browning Scripps Park with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Dining options at La V have all been enhanced over the past decade with the hotel’s recent $11 million reimagining and include THE MED, a signature ocean facing restaurant and terrace featuring New American Cuisine, with the adjoining La Sala Lounge and the street facing European bistro, Café La Rue.

San Diego native Alex Emery was appointed Executive Chef of La Valencia in July 2016, taking over the position from James Montejano, who is now the Corporate Executive Chef at RMD Group. Prior to taking the job, Emery worked in the kitchens at Grant James Vineyard in Ramona, CA as well as Oceanaire Restaurant, Knotty Barrel Gastro Pub, The Pearl Hotel and the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego. Chef Emery graduated from the San Diego Culinary Institute. Chef Alex is returning to Hilton as of next Monday, June 17, taking over the Executive Chef role at the Coastal Kitchen at the Hilton Del Mar.

Taking over Emery's position at La Valencia is Timothy Ralphs, who previously worked at Los Angeles-based Schaffer Catering, as well as stints at Brown Palace Hote in Denver, Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club, and locally at Estancia La Jolla. Chef Ralphs is also an advanced sommelier, a certified cheese professional and a cicerone. In the next couple months, Chef Ralphs will modify the hotel's menus to reflect his personal culinary style.

La Valencia Hotel is located at 1132 Prospect Street in the heart of San Diego's picturesque beach town of La Jolla. For more information, visit