Longtime Juniper & Ivy Chef Leaves Little Italy Restaurant For Hotel La Jolla

December 6, 2023

James Beard Award-semifinalist Chef Anthony Wells has left the employ of Little Italy's Juniper & Ivy after nearly a decade to take over as the executive chef of Hotel La Jolla.

Anthony Wells started at Juniper & Ivy at its launch in 2014 as a sous chef under co-founder and celebrity chef Richard Blais. In spring 2021, it was announced that Wells would be moving on from Juniper & Ivy with Chef Jason Franey later chosen to take over as Executive Chef following a national search. Franey ended up leaving the restaurant after only 4 months and Wells took back the reigns in the kitchen. 

Last year, Wells was a semifinalist in the Best Chef California category of the 30th annual James Beard Foundation Awards. Wells was expected to leave Juniper & Ivy in 2022 to open his own restaurant, expected to be with the backing of Juniper & Ivy owner Michael Rosen, but it appears plans have changed.
Inside the incoming Sea & Sky
Wells has now taken the position of Executive Chef at Hilton's Hotel La Jolla, which is in the final stages of an $8 million renovation. Hotel La Jolla's penthouse-level, signature restaurant, Cusp Dining & Drinks, closed this past August and will soon reopen as Sea & Sky. Chef Wells will spearhead the menu for the new concept. Expect Sea & Sky to have a devotion to coastal cuisine complemented by frequent live music and jazz brunches on the weekends. 

"We are so excited for Anthony and his new venture with Hotel La Jolla," wrote Juniper & Ivy through its Director of Marketing Nicole Rogers. "As a critical part of Juniper and Ivy’s success over the past (almost) decade, we wish Chef Wells nothing but the best in all his future endeavors and will support him always."     

With Chef Anthony Wells departure from Juniper & Ivy, longtime Culinary Director of both Juniper and Ivy and The Crack Shack, Chef Jon Sloan is at the helm of the Juniper and Ivy kitchen. Juniper & Ivy is continuing its search for the right fit to fill the position of Executive Chef.

Sea & Sky is expected to open in January 2024 at 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive in San Diego's beachside La Jolla. For more information, visit hotellajolla.com.