Building upon the success of its first dinner in its Chef Series, Sirena’s Chef Jaime Chavez invited Chef Alex Emery of the Hilton Bayfront to spice things up for the second edition. Designed to showcase Latin American flavors, the chef exercises culinary creativity in achieving this goal.

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The Artists

I was looking forward to the  collaboration because, Chefs Jaime and Alex, in addition to being friends, have worked together at the Hilton chain of hotels.

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Chef Jaime

His chilean roots are savored in each of his dishes and his chefs roll page sums it up perfectly. “I cannot define a single moment that made me want to become a cook; it was something that was always a part of me & came naturally.”

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Chef Alex

As Banquet Chef of the Hilton Bayfront, Chef Alex is no stranger to pressure.

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He was up to the task for this 6 course dinner having just returned from D.C. a few weeks earlier where he accepted an award from Hilton Worldwide. Alex garnered the Most Beautiful Dish recognition from all Hilton’s nationwide for the dish below.

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And a quick glance at his Instagram feed, and you can see why! His beautiful dishes are sure to make anyone hungry! Click here to follow with us!

https://instagram.com/chefalexemery/

Chef Alex is well versed in the open kitchen format, designed to exhibit the Chef’s artwork, and is frequently a guest chef at Kitchen 4140‘s charitable dinners including one that he just participated in, the Harvest of Fall dinner.

I had a few minutes to chat it up with Alex about himself and the dinner

1. You and chef Jaime both used to work at the Hilton. How was it getting back together for Latin Nights Dinner?

Jaime is so humble, so cool, and his food is incredible! It was great! Just like old times. It was great experience.

2. What does Latin inspired cuisine mean to you and how did you instill your dishes with this inspiration?

It means everything! Spices! Culture! Growing up in San Diego, close to the border, I gravitate toward Latin Food and I like to do Modern Mexican. This is the food that I love. That’s my inspiration. I feel a responsibility to bring that to the table.

3. What was your favorite dish of the night and why?

Of that night, I have 2. There is a dish Jaime made, squid and pork belly. It was made perfectly. The texture was all there and I felt like it melted in your mouth. It triggered the senses in your mouth and on your tongue.

And 1 of mine. I’m not a pastry chef and I like to feel challenged with dessert… So I thought, I love pork and mexican chocolate…and that’s how I decided to do a pig ear churro! I was like “Lets do this!” I was happy the way it came out. It tasted good and I could eat that all day. 

4. When did you first realize you wanted to be a chef?

Since before I can remember…My mom tells me that I used to sneak out of my crib and eat hot dogs and dip in sugar… When did it click? When she used to put me in front of Julia Child and my favorite dish spaghetti and a caesar salad… We used to cook together, get these recipes together and take me to the store!

5. Favorite Taco Shop in SD? Favorite Mexican Dish?

Favorite Taco Shop? Tacos El Gordo, BUT… Los Taquitos in Chula Vista has the best cabeza tacos in the world. Favorite mexican dish? Birria. Game Over.
The Dishes!
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As the night wound down, the chefs thanked everyone, raising a glass to another successful dinner!
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Make sure to follow Sirena and be on the look out for the next! Every 3rd Thursday of the month!!

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