Our host for this month’s Slow Sips networking event featuring honeybee experts plus mead and honey tastings from San Diego-based producers is Local Habit: a vibrant Cali-Creole restaurant in San Diego’s lively urban community of Hillcrest. Local Habit specializes in local ingredients, craft beer and New Orleans-inspired cocktails. Local Habit recently welcomed a new executive chef, Emeril protégée Jimmy Tessier, who brings 25 years of experience to each plate he serves. Chef Jimmy is excited to use his fusion style of blending unique flavors to bring new and imaginative dishes to Local Habit.
Native to Fall River, Massachusetts and a 1995 graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Tessier has a long history of working across the country with some of the top chefs in the industry. In 1994, Tessier was taken under the wing of famed celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. He worked with Emeril in Las Vegas to open two of his hotspot restaurants, Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House and Delmonico Steakhouse. During his 18 years in Las Vegas, Tessier honed his skills in a variety of different cuisines including French, Mediterranean and Italian.
Having worked with numerous high profile chefs including Chef Carla Pellegrino of Top Chef fame and Chef Sammy DeMarco of Travel Channel’s “Chow Masters,” Tessier brings an accumulation of learned talent from the best mentors in the business. This talent paired with his gritty and ambitious energy earned him a spot on Food Network’s hit show Chopped in 2012.
Tessier decided to make San Diego his home in 2014 when he helped open Union Kitchen and Tap as Executive Sous Chef. Now with feet planted at Local Habit, Tessier is excited to showcase his wealth of knowledge of different cuisines.
“I want guests to know that Local Habit isn’t just about gumbo,” said Tessier. “Because I was trained by such a variety of chefs, I am not pigeonholed into one type of food. I love putting spins on classic New Orleans-style plates.”
Tessier is excited to host this month’s honey-themed Slow Sips event at Local Habit, especially because of his love of using honey as an ingredient.
“Honey is amazing to cook with because it’s in its purest form and you can create the guiltiest pleasures,” said Tessier.
Tessier will be serving Honey Mustard Lamb Chops with Truffled Cauliflower Puree along with Smoked Honey Bread Pudding with Candied Walnuts and Ginger Honey Ice Cream for the honey-themed Slow Sips event.
Want to use honey in your cooking at home? Here’s the recipe for Chef Tessier’s Honey Mustard Lamb Chops: