Author Leo Tolstoy said, “Spring is a time of planning and projects”. Spring is now upon us and Mr. Tolstoy’s quote is appropriate for us. We’re proud to announce that we’ve hired a new executive chef. Meet Chef JT Walker. JT is an OC native and has experience working in restaurants and catering. He’s had quite a reputation for creativity and excellence during his tenure at The Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach for the last two years. His experience also includes working for The Waterfront Hilton while still in culinary school.

His love of animals led him to his dream of being a zoo keeper. Throughout his upbringing he also fell in love with food. Growing up experimenting with his family’s recipes gave him desire to become a chef. When asked what he loves about being a chef he says, “the most rewarding thing for me is to create or spark a memory through my food”. He feels that bringing people to a time of joy is greatly rewarding. Influenced by growing up in Southern California and spending time with his Filipino grandfather, he leans towards Pacific Coastal and Baja Mexican cuisines.

JT is no stranger to off site catering. He was the executive chef for 24 Carrots Catering from 2006 to 2011. What does he plan to bring to Summit? Personalization to our clients, and knowledge to our chefs. JT loves the scientific aspect of cooking, but most importantly sharing with his team everything he has learned along his journey. We love his philosophy that “every kitchen is a classroom”. JT tells us that every person in the kitchen is a student and a teacher and reminds us that we can all learn from each other’s knowledge. He’s only been with us a few weeks and our staff has responded positively to his style, demeanor and experience. His excitement and positivity are infectious. He’s already taken our current menu items and brought a depth to them to the delight of our team and our clients. Soon he’ll change our menus and elevate our cuisine to a new level. We can’t wait to see what new heights we can achieve with JT at the helm of our kitchen.