Jesse Kirkby - Chef De Cusine
Jesse began his culinary life at an early age on Pender Island preparing meals for his family from his mother's garden. His professional experience began in the summers while attending the University of Victoria where he quickly learned that he loved the atmosphere and pace of the professional kitchen.
Moving to France, Jesse landed a job with the rising star chef Romuald Royer at the Michelin starred restaurant Le Lido. Tasked with creating a daily tasting menu using ingredients from the island of Corsica, it was his introduction to seasonal and local cooking. He spent two years in France working at Le Lido and as a private chef in the French Alps.
Returning to Canada, Jesse spent nearly three years at The Oakwood Canadian Bistro where he first met and worked for Chef Mike Robbins. He then took the opportunity to move to San Francisco to work at the celebrated Michelin Starred restaurant Sons & Daughters under chefs Alex Jackson and Teague Moriarty. Here he expanded and refined his technique working with the incredible products of California to create a truly unique dining experience.
Jesse then moved to Washington State for an opportunity to work with Noma alum and James Beard Award winning chef Blaine Wetzel of the Willows Inn on Lummi Island. It was here that Jesse learned a deep respect for the farmers, fishermen, divers, and suppliers that provide the ingredients for the 20-25 course tasting menu created daily.
Jesse is excited to bring his worldwide experience to the kitchen at AnnaLena and to continue the excellent food program created by Mike Robbins and Erin Searle.