After nine years at Juniper & Ivy, where he started as chef de cuisine in 2014 before being promoted to the executive chef position the following year, Anthony Wells is trading Little Italy for La Jolla. Wells, a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef, California in 2022, has been named the executive chef of Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton and will be heading up a new restaurant opening on its penthouse level.
Wells helped celebrity chef Richard Blais launch the Spence in Atlanta before joining the Top Chef: All Stars winner in San Diego at Juniper & Ivy, where he fostered the lauded restaurant’s style of “West Coast cookery” that earned it Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand recognition in 2019.
Juniper & Ivy and the Crack Shack’s culinary director Jon Sloan, who was the founding executive chef of the Kettner Street restaurant, has temporarily stepped back into the role while the group searches for a replacement.
Arriving in February 2024, Sea & Sky is part of a multi-million-dollar renovation of the property, which opened 50 years ago in the seaside community of La Jolla Shores along the main thoroughfare leading into downtown La Jolla.
Wells will continue to focus on seasonal and regional California cuisine at Sea & Sky from the new exhibition kitchen in the revamped space, which features a redesigned private dining room and a cocktail bar that will also pour wine from California and Valle de Guadalupe.
Operated by Aimbridge Hospitality, the 110-room hotel also features a fitness center, event space, and an outdoor poolside bar. In his role overseeing all food and beverage operations, Wells will also handle catering for Hotel La Jolla meetings and events.