Chef Jose Rodriguez, or Jrod for short, is still passionate about his culinary journey even with 20 years of professional experience under his belt. He brings the same energy to his work as Chef de Cuisine for Pete’s Sunset Grille at the Hyatt Huntington Beach that he brought to his family’s parilladas (barbecue) as a teenager. Back then he was trying to help his dad grill before taking over for parties, birthdays and holidays but now he’s in charge all year round as he works to make his guests feel like part of the family.
His career path has taken him from night classes at Culinary School for Pastry Arts to restaurants, race tracks, arenas, colleges, stadiums, celebrities to his current post at Pete’s Sunset Grille. He thanks his wonderful mother – his inspiration for becoming a chef – and his family for the drive that sustains him. If you’re visiting him at the restaurant try the Skuna Bay Salmon belly grilled on the skin side (leaving the belly side raw) and the Shrimp Cocktail, a traditional favorite that takes Chef Jose back to his family vacations traveling through Mexico.
At home with his family, Chef Jose likes to keep things simple with a shrimp al mojo de ajo (garlic butter) or a nice cedar plank salmon. His advice to home cooks is not to be scared to try out something new. Much like he trusts Santa Monica Seafood rep, Judy Nishikuni, to find him the best of what’s out there, you should ask your fishmonger what they recommend and then try it raw – never overcook the fish! Chef Jose is proud to be able to “Surf up great seafood” in Surf City USA because Santa Monica Seafood delivers him the best.
Pete’s Sunset Grille
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach
21500 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648