Chef Jonathan Blackford
Where are you from?
I was born in Pittsburgh, PA where I lived for 21 years. Now I live in Huntington Beach but have also enjoyed living and working in San Diego and New York.
What do you do at A?
As the Executive Chef, I create our dishes and manage the kitchen.
Why do you love food?
The emotions that food can evoke are like nothing else. Food makes you use all of your senses at once. Flavors and scents can trigger memories of growing up, the place you came from, or events in your life. There are very few things that are a necessity of life but can also be enjoyed in such a way that they create a memorable experience.
What do you love about A Restaurant?
First, I have a great staff to work with and amazing ownership that support my visions. For me, A has created space for me to challenge myself and create memorable experiences for our guests and friends.
First restaurant job?
I worked as a dishwasher at 15 for about 3 months, then was promoted to a cook. Yolanda’s was the name of the restaurant. It was an Italian restaurant where we made all the sauces from scratch and all the pizza dough everyday. After about a year I had worked every station and became one of the main cooks with one of my best friends.
Favorite ingredient and why?
Salt. Without it our food would be so bland.
Your favorite tattoo?
It’s a toss up between my food sleeve that is still a work in progress, or my tahitian tribal as it represents something my wife and I share and reminds me of her.
The best thing about living in Orange County
I love the healthy and active lifestyle. I can lift weights, go cycling, swim, and take a jog on the ocean all in the same day.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Workout and lift weights, hang with my wife, work on my car, spend time with my friends, and eat out A LOT!