San Diego Chef Shuffle Involves Fernside, Tiger! Tiger! & The Original 40 Brewing Company

November 3, 2019

A chef shuffle in San Diego has the founding chef of South Park's Fernside going to Tiger! Tiger! in North Park and being replaced by the chef at The Original 40 Brewing.

Chef Luke Johnson is leaving North Park's new The Original 40 Brewing to join the team at Fernside, where he is replacing Chef Travis Clifford who is leaving to work in the kitchen at Tiger! Tiger!.

"Luke expressed to us he is interested in working fewer hours to spend more time with his children and Fernside was able to offer him that opportunity," explained The Original 40 Brewing founder Steve Billings. "He implemented a fantastic menu with very detailed and structured procedures. Because of that will are keeping our current menu and kitchen staff. In addition Luke will continue with us on a consulting basis. We will be searching for a new chef but we are in no hurry since we have such a fantastic foundation that Luke has given us."

Chef Luke Johnson joining Fernside makes sense, being he previously worked with Fernside co-owner and bar manager Christian Siglin to help launch Cutwater Spirits dining program in Miramar. Before joining Original 40, Johnson helped launch the culinary program at Cutwater Spirits. Prior to that, he worked at the now-defunt Sky Room at La Valencia Hotel and ran the kitchen at the long-closed Red Velvet Wine Bar in Little Italy (now Underbelly). Johnson also spent time in the kitchen with celebrated chef Grant Achatz at Alinea in Chicago, which is considered by many as the top restaurant in the United States, as well as the 2-Michelin-starred Mélisse in Santa Monica. Johnson is replacing Travis Clifford, who is moving on to work in the kitchen at North Park's popular Tiger! Tiger!.