Eric Bost just wants to get back into a kitchen and cook again. The chef’s long career has taken him from Paris’s Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée and Les Ambassadeurs at the Hôtel de Crillon to Los Angeles, where he was executive chef of République. In 2019, Bost opened Auburn, his highly anticipated first solo project, which was swiftly named to Eater LA’s list of the city’s essential restaurants and hailed by LA Times restaurant critic Bill Addison as “the most exhilarating splurge-worthy restaurant to open in Los Angeles so far this year.”
In mid-March, when Los Angeles announced its initial dine-in ban, Bost pivoted to selling takeout meals and produce boxes, but it wasn’t enough to sustain the once-promising restaurant, and Auburn permanently shuttered in late April. After making the “heartbreaking and painful” decision to close, Bost says he began to have many talks while contemplating his next move. One of those conversations was with John Resnick, owner of Eater San Diego’s 2019 Restaurant of the Year Jeune et Jolie, whose founding chef Andrew Bachelier departed the restaurant in July.
Bost tells Eater he soon discovered that he and Resnick were philosophically aligned when it came to their approach to hospitality and fine dining, from the way they manage and mentor staff to the style of cuisine that they highlight. Jeune et Jolie honors nouvelle French food and Bost has considerable experience in French kitchens, including eight years with Guy Savoy; at Auburn, he combined that French background with vegetable and seafood-focused California cuisine.
Bost will move his family to San Diego to become Jeune et Jolie’s new executive chef, starting in mid-September. It’s technically a return, since over a decade ago he cooked at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. Bost says he’ll miss the LA restaurant scene but is looking forward to exploring San Diego and working more directly with the local farms and purveyors that he used to champion at Auburn. Though Auburn was a tasting menu restaurant, and Jeune et Jolie is currently in tasting menu mode as Starry Night, its outdoor pop-up, Bost says that when normal operations return someday it will still offer varied a la carte options. He doesn’t plan to revamp the beloved neighborhood spot, but says his menu will be a continuance and evolution of what the Carlsbad restaurant has already established.