Chef Jessica Jordan, FISHBAR Manhattan Beach: Past, Present, and Future

As a kid, Jessica Jordan took after her mother, a chef, and learned to love the kitchen at a young age.  Growing up, Jessica decided that cooking was a dream she wanted to pursue.  After going to the Art Institute of Santa Monica for two years, Jessica had her culinary school diploma and she set out to find a place to work. After putting the weight of cake decorating on her shoulders for years, Jessica moved to North End, a seaside restaurant in Hermosa Beach.  She began by only doing Wednesday night dinners, but she eventually took charge of some Monday night tapas as well.  Soon, chefs and customers alike were following the talented, young chef like crazy!  Jessica Jordan was a star!  And she deserved it too!

A Restaurant Established!Meanwhile, a man bought a big bar on Highland Avenue in Manhattan Beach.  He wanted to open a restaurant in the building, but he had no chefs.  Not surprisingly, the landlord heard about Jessica Jordan, so while he was thinking up hundreds of themes for his restaurant to be, he sent spies — watchful eyes, you might call them — to monitor Jessica’s incredible work like hawks.

Jessica knew the whole time that people were watching her and reporting to someone, but for what?  To who?  She didn’t know.  She just kept doing her best and pushing these visitors out of her mind.  A while later, the landlord walked up to her with a proposal.  He asked her to come be his Executive Chef!  After much thinking, Jessica took up his generous offer.

The landlord decided that FISHBAR was going to be in his building.  He wanted his bar/restaurant to be seafood-based!  And don’t get me wrong, Jessica loves seafood, but at first, everyone was a little shaky about the idea.  A fresh seafood place in an old Sharkeez building?  No one was sure, but Jessica came up with a menu anyway.  It consisted of not-too-pricey, but unbelievable dishes, and everyone’s thoughts were changed when business began.  People love FISHBAR, and soon lines were forming around the soon-to-be-famous restaurant.

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Chef Jessica JordanAs Jessica Jordan, Executive Chef of FISHBAR Manhattan Beach, told me her story, I listened with fascination.  I had never heard anything like that!  As I complimented Jessica on her phenomenal accomplishments, we started to get into her life now.  The same landlord that owns FISHBAR owns a place called Katella Deli in Orange County.  We talked about why she likes it there at FISHBAR and her favorite foods.  Her favorite dish at FISHBAR is her crispy fried chipotle calamari, and her favorite restaurants in the South Bay are Charlie’s in Redondo Beach and Gjelina’s in Venice.  She loves Mexican food and seafood.  We talked about other careers we would like to have.  Jessica told me: “Well, if I wasn’t a chef, I would be a food blogger.  It gives you the opportunity to eat, write, and travel.”

“I’d love to be a chef,” I told her, “but what I would also love to do is judge on a cooking reality show, like Food Network Challenge or Chopped.  I’d get to eat and compliment such good food,” I explained.  She nodded.

“Do you have any hobbies other than food blogging?” she questioned.

“I like to sing,” I told her with a smile.  She nodded again.

After I asked her pretty much every question I could think of, I thanked her for her time, and she drifted over to have lunch with the restaurant manager, Jacqueline Leanza.  “I’ll cook you up some of my favorite dishes.”  Soon afterward, crispy fried chipotle calamari was on the table.

An Amazing Suggestion“Yum!   I love that!  Maybe we will get crispy-fried calamari next time, instead of our usual sautéed calamari,”  I exclaimed to my mom.  She agreed.

“This is delicious, and so nice of Jessica,” Mom added.  Next, Jessica herself brought her sweet and sticky shrimp.  They were delicious beyond belief!  I’m telling you, Jessica Jordan is a chef you will want to check out.

I would like to thank Jessica Jordan for being so generous and giving her time to meet me!  We love FISHBAR, and I really enjoyed interviewing a chef like her!

 

FISHBAR Manhattan Beach

3801 Highland Avenue

Manhattan Beach, California 90266

Tel:  310-796-0200

www.fishbarmb.com

Twitter:  @FISHBARMB

Twitter:  @ChefJessicaJ