Sergio Jimenez is the new chef de cuisine of AVANT, the signature restaurant of Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego. “My position is a very fun and active role in the restaurant. I oversee all back-of-house operations and develop menu based on seasonality.” Learn about Sergio Jimenez…
Hometown: San Diego, CA
First job: A dishwasher at Lil Piggy’s BBQ in Coronado, CA. I was just around 14, turning 15 years old.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: Go to the gym or work out in my garage with the door down with really loud music. I also really enjoy going to the beach cities here in San Diego, laying in the beach next to my girlfriend listening to reggae music, and eating as much we can.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: One of my biggest accomplishments in life was when I was first able to do a pull-up. I was overweight when I was young and one of the only exercises I couldn’t do in PE to pass my yearly physical was the pull-up. I challenged myself to do one the next year, and I still couldn’t do just one. So, I practiced every day until I did one and after that it went to two and so on.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: The biggest obstacle that I overcame was the fear of creating a dish and being worried about what other people thought. Once I created my first dish, I was fascinated by the idea of creating something that other people can enjoy, not just me. It was when I fell in love with the craft.
Someone who inspires you and why: My daughter. She is the inspiration to all my dishes. Without her in my life, I wouldn’t have pushed myself to give her a better life and future. She is someone that inspires me every day to be better.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: The advice that I would give to anyone pursuing a career as a chef:
– Be a sponge for the first couple years.
– Absorb as much information as you possibly can.
– Don’t get discouraged when you mess something up.
That’s the most important part of being a chef–be constantly learning and never give up.
Favorite quote: “No adversity, no growth.” That’s my favorite way of looking at adversity. At the end of it, there’s always a positive side to it.
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I like to eat steak with ketchup.
What makes someone fabulous: Confidence. I believe that being confident develops from enhancing your appearance as well as your day-to-day rituals. By enhancing both, you develop confidence which makes you fabulous.