Bracero Cocina de Raiz’s talented founding chef de cuisine, Claudette Aimee Wilkins, parted ways with the Little Italy restaurant last May. Since then, Wilkins has been traveling, showcasing regional Mexican cuisine through a series of pop-ups in different cities.
The chef, who also worked at East Village’s Jsix and Sea180 in Imperial Beach, will return to San Diego to join owner Johan Engman and his growing local hospitality collective Rise and Shine Restaurant Group, which includes the Breakfast Republic locations, Como Ceviche in the East Village, and the in-progress North Park Breakfast Company.
Wilkins will start off as the research and development chef for the group before transitioning to executive chef of Rise and Shine’s newest concept, El Jardin, a Mexican restaurant that will go in across from Breakfast Republic in Liberty Station at 2865 Sims Road.
Due in early 2018, the 8,800-square-foot space, which includes a huge 5,500-square-foot patio, will serve a regional Mexican menu made up of both modern and traditional dishes, plus an extensive selection of tequila and mezcal.