Chef EJ Jimenez to Receive International Honor

Before coming to Rancho Cielo, EJ Jimenez was the Corporate Chef de Cuisine for Aqua Terra Culinary, Executive Sous Chef at Ventana Inn and Spa in Big Sur and Chef de Cuisine at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Additionally, Jimenez held various positions at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica and the Huntington Museum, Library and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena. He graduated from the California School of Culinary Arts’ Le Cordon Bleu Program.

As Drummond Culinary Academy’s Executive Chef and Instructor, Jimenez teaches students the importance of sustainability and utilizing seasonal products through creative menus.

Meanwhile, Jimenez’s passion and drive are carried on through DCA graduates as they enter the workforce as chefs or in any other area.

Through its Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards program, the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) is recognizing Jimenez as the 2024 best of the best in foodservice (“Business and industry”).

A panel of produce foodservice experts evaluated him on:

  • Creativity in using fresh produce in concept development and menu design, including the ability to incorporate produce into culinary trends.
  • Knowledge and use of proper fresh produce handling procedures.
  • Produce-related outreach or special events, such as community service projects, local educational outreach, etc.
  • Recognition among peers and by their company, such as awards, additional responsibilities and training

The Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards pays tribute to chefs and foodservice operations for their innovation, creativity and excellence in using fresh produce in the culinary arts. It grants winners global recognition at the esteemed Foodservice Conference in Monterey on July 25–26, 2024.