James Beard Award Semifinalist Jonathan Bautista Joining The Fishery In San Diego's Pacific Beach

April 11, 2023

James Beard Foundation Awards semifinalist, Jonathan Bautista, who recently left his position at Kingfisher in Golden Hill, is joining The Fishery restaurant in San Diego's Pacific Beach. 

Chef Jonathan Bautista graduated from The Art Institute of California with an Associates of Science in Culinary Arts in 2005, and began his career as a line cook at now-defunct Roy’s in La Jolla. He eventually moved on to become a sous chef at Kitchen 1540 in Del Mar under Chef Paul McCabe before leaving to join the opening team of Michael Voltaggio’s INK in Los Angeles. Bautista returned to San Diego as chef de cuisine of Kitchen 1540 in late 2011, and in late 2013, he became head chef of Georges at the Cove under Chef/Owner Trey Foshee. In 2019, Bautista left Georges and joined Common Theory in Kearny Mesa. In early 2021, he was hired as Executive Chef at Kingfisher modern Vietnamese restaurant in San Diego's Golden Hill, a position that earned him a James Beard Foundation Awards semifinalist nomination for the Best Chef, California category.

It was announced Chef Bautista was leaving Kingfisher only one day after it was released he was not a finalist for this year's James Beard Awards. It is believed he maintained his position until the James Beard announcement, as it is required by the awards process that a chef be associated with a restaurant to win a Best Chef category. 

We have now received information that Bautista is joining the crew at acclaimed San Diego seafood restaurant The Fishery in Pacific Beach. The Fishery's kitchen has been helmed by Ironside Fish & Oyster alum Mike Reidy since summer 2020. Chefs Reidy and Bautista previously hosted a collaboration dinner at The Fishery in December 2021. Bautista will be replacing Reidy as Executive Chef staring in May, as Reidy is going on to take a position as chef de cuisine at Callie restaurant in San Diego's East Village. There is a rumor Bautista has been hired to help The Fishery expand with the upcoming announcement of a new location. We reached out to Chef Jon Bautista for comment and he responded by blocking us on both Facebook and Instagram. Reidy outwardly denied the news despite it ultimately proving to be factual. 
Jonathan Bautista & Mike Reidy
The Fishery was launched by fourth-generation La Jolla fisherman Judd Brown as a restaurant offshoot of sister seafood wholesaler Pacific Shellfish back in 1997. Over its more than two decade tenure, the restaurant and market has become a San Diego destination for fresh seafood. 
The Fishery is located at 5040 Cass Street in San Diego's Pacific Beach. For more information, visit thefishery.com.

(Top photo by Arlene Ibarra)