It was not until after graduating from a four-year university that Christina Pancheri decided to become a professional chef. So at age 24, she enrolled in the Art Institute of San Diego’s Culinary Arts program. She also took her first foray into the industry as garde manger at La Villa in Little Italy, subsequently working as a pasta and pastry cook for the farm-to-table eatery.
Kitchen 4140 then sought her out for her pastry skills, but Christina had her sights set on the fast-paced line. After pivoting to line cook, she quickly rose to Chef de Cuisine, skipping the sous chef role entirely. She then accepted her first Executive Chef position at Tavern on the Beach, which exposed her to the world of craft beer and cocktails, which would become useful in learning to create pairings. Christina then used her skills to help open Miss B’s Coconut Club in Mission Beach, followed by Park 101 in Carlsbad, serving as Executive Chef for both.
Her rich background and versatile experience led her to CRG, coming aboard as Executive Sous Chef at Vintana wine + dine before promoted to Executive Chef. It’s the biggest kitchen she’s helmed, and she enjoys the challenge of managing a large staff and busy events schedule. The position has given her the ability to refine her organization and communication skills on a more complex level, and she values the sense of family and camaraderie among the restaurant staff.
In June 2019, Christina was selected to compete on Food Network’s hit cooking competition show, Chopped. Her episode is slated to air in Season 45.