With over 17 years of culinary experience, Executive Chef Jennifer Stainrook leads Cohn Restaurant Group’s Draft Republic La Jolla. Her talent, dedication and creative vision have propelled her career forward on both coasts, from her hometown of Buffalo, New York to Southern California.
After attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Stainrook began working at Andre Rochat’s former Andre’s in Las Vegas as an unpaid chef looking to gain experience. When a coworker failed to show up for a shift one day, Stainrook impressed the head chef with her tenacity and was offered the position of Garde Manger and Assistant Pastry Chef. Stainrook later returned to her hometown of Buffalo as Sous Chef at Rue Franklin, the former acclaimed French restaurant. In 2005, her dream of opening her own restaurant came true when she debuted Amaryllis Restaurant, a small French eatery focused on local ingredients that shuttered in 2008. It was during this time when she crossed paths with the owner of Auburn Watson Culinary Arts Center and partnered with the business to develop hands-on cooking classes as the Director and Lead Instructor. In 2013, missing the excitement and creativity of the restaurant world, she dove back into the industry as Kitchen Manager and Working Chef of Betty’s in Buffalo.
Desiring a change of pace, Stainrook traded East Coast for West Coast, landing in San Diego as Executive Chef of Cohn Restaurant Group’s Draft Republic La Jolla. The Cohn Group’s structure, supportive culture and passion for growth were exactly what she was looking for to continue excelling in her career, and she has never looked back.