In the Kitchen with chef Ingrid Funes of Cusp Dining & Drinks
Ingrid Funes, head chef at Cusp Dining & Drinks located inside Hotel La Jolla, is creating flavorful dishes. Chef Ingrid believes in using fresh ingredients that are in season. She chats about her inspirations as a chef and her rack of lamb recipe, perfect for the summer.
Rack of Lamb
Rack of Lamb with roasted baby squash and corn salsa verde
Tell us about this dish?
This dish is a great dish for Summer. It is very light, healthy, and features all seasonal ingredients! What's the key component to this dish?
The preparation of the lamb is key here. The salsa verde is equally important, as it gives this dish its balance.
Describe the taste to someone who hasn't had this dish?
The meat boasts a rosemary and garlic infusion, while the corn offers a sweetness to balance the neutral flavors of the baby zucchini. The salsa verde features mint, basil and a tangy zest.
What's a good beer, wine and/or cocktail to pair with this dish?
I always say drink what you like!
Watch as chef Ingrid Funes shares her delicious, infamous rack of lamb dish.
What kind of experience will a diner get at Cusp Dining & Drinks?
At Cusp Dining & Drinks, expect fresh coastal cuisine set to stunning ocean views. Our menu features locally sourced, seasonal ingredients presented in inventive dishes that take the most sophisticated palates on a taste-filled journey.
About Ingrid Funes
Are you from San Diego?
No, I am originally from El Salvador, Central America. I moved to the United States when I was 15-years-old. I lived in Los Angeles for half of my life and moved to San Diego because of love!
Did you always want to be a chef growing up?
Yes! I used to pretend that I had a camera filming me while I presented my dishes. I would cook for my brothers and sisters at the age of 9, and loved to watch them enjoy my creations. I would watch my mother cook with pride in her restaurant, and knew that this was my calling in life.
What has your journey been like leading up to your current position as executive chef for Cusp Dining & Drinks?
Having absolutely no professional knowledge, work experience, or culinary training, I was given the rare opportunity to prove my worth to Chef Joseph Gillard at Windows Restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles. It was there that I learned to work both pantry and making the desserts for the restaurant. From there, I moved to the Beverly Hills Hotel, and had the great opportunity to work for two amazing Chefs, Dan Olson and Alex Chen. I believe that it was Chef Chen’s mentoring that enabled me to find this incredible position as Chef of Cusp Dining & Drinks.
What is your favorite dish on Cusp Dining & Drinks' menu? Why?
I love everything that is on my menu. If I did not believe in a dish, it would not be on the menu.
What motivates you as a chef?
This is my passion. I love the creativity involved and I love the feeling of family that good food creates. There is no better feeling than watching guests enjoying my food.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge when it comes creating new dishes?
Creating a product that is going to appeal to my guests while staying true to my style.
Are you planning on creating any new items for the menu?
Yes! I am currently working on an entirely new brunch menu, which will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
When you're not coming up with delicious dishes, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Spending time with my family, going to the gym and reading to acquire additional culinary knowledge.
What’s next for you?
The goal is to realize my life long dream of owning my own restaurant, where I can balance family and my business.
Cusp Dining & Drink
Hotel La Jolla, 7955 La Jolla Shores Dr., La Jolla. (858) 551-3620 or cusprestaurant.com
Click here for more 'In the Kitchen' articles.