La Jolla icon George’s at the Cove, one of the nation’s highest-grossing independent restaurants, has brought on chef Michael Kahikina to help to oversee day-to-day-operations at its three distinct culinary concepts, George’s California Modern, Level2 bar, and Ocean Terrace.
Kahikina attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and worked for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group at The French Laundry and Bouchon in Yountville, and helped to open Bouchon Beverly Hills. He has held positions at Los Angeles restaurants Red Medicine, Water Grill, and Barrel & Ashes and consulted for Cochon in Atlanta as well as several Tim Hollingsworth restaurants including C.J. Boyd’s, Free Play, and The Hudson.
He will help to support the George team led by executive chef/partner Trey Foshee, who said, “Finding a chef to help me run such a large and diverse operation requires a wide variety of skills, and Michael’s experience working at some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles along with a variety of different concepts has prepared him well for this position.”
Foshee told Eater that he and Kahikina have similar food sensibilities regarding the sourcing of ingredients and cooking methods and techniques, and says the new chef will be assisting in adjusting the summer menu for Ocean Terrace as well as collaborating on a slow roll-out of changes at California Modern with Foshee and chef Bradley Chance.
“I’m so excited to be part of the George’s at the Cove team,” said Kahikina. “Trey was a mentor to Rory Herrmann, one of my culinary mentors, and I’d heard about him and his influence in San Diego and our entire industry my whole career. Working alongside him and getting back to an ocean-driven concept with the incredible produce and seafood San Diego has to offer is an opportunity too good to pass up.”