Since childhood, Executive Chef Julio Esquivel of Draft Republic always dreamt of becoming a chef. Little did he know that growing up in his grandmother’s small restaurant would lead him to a longstanding career in the culinary arts.
Chef Esquivel began his career as a dishwasher at Chevy’s in Anaheim Hills and was promoted to Line Cook a mere two months in. Four years at Chevy’s opened the door to a Lead Cook position at Disneyland, where he spent four years at Rainforest Cafe. After a stint in Texas as Lead Cook at On the Border Mexican Grill and Macaroni Grill, he returned to California in 2010 as the Kitchen Manager at Slater’s 50/50 in San Marcos.
In 2017, Julio joined Cohn Restaurant Group as a Sous Chef at Draft Republic in Carlsbad, working his way up to Executive Chef. Today, Esquivel creates innovative American cuisine, pulling inspiration from his professional history as well as his childhood memories of his grandmother’s restaurant. Esquivel credits his success and culinary skills to repetition, observance and dedication, as well as the experience of working with great chefs.