Effectively a self-taught chef with cooking in my blood, I drew influence from my Latin family, food for all of us, was a central topic, and once I saw how a great meal started great conversation and friendship I never looked back. Drawing from these influences and experiences, I’ve spent my career re-creating that feeling in my restaurants.
The Coffee Cup Café in La Jolla. It’s a great little 18-table diner blocks from the beach in a vibrant part of town. Coffee Cup was the original name from years back, and even though we are a full-serve breakfast & lunch restaurant, we kept the name.
Isabel’s in Pacific Beach serves as our “flagship” restaurant where I find myself testing new menu items and working with new ingredients.
2007 brought a big milestone. I released my first cookbook, Isabel’s Cantina, with Random House. It was a great way for me to share my food concepts in a way that people could relate with. I was fortunate enough to have Isabel’s Cantina named as one of the New York Time’s top cookbooks of the year. This year Isabel released The Latin Table, her latest cookbook.
I’m an accidental first-time entrepreneur at mid-life. I spent most of my career at a law firm, doing research and investigation. I watched stress take a big toll on many people around me, both physically and mentally, and made the decision that time and health were more important to me than a 6 figure salary. So I retired 9 years ago. I wanted to focus on creating a balanced, healthy intentional life so I downsized my life to upsize my well-being. I love research and information so I spent a lot of time reading about how I could take charge and maximize my own health and well being, as I watched my sweet mom disappear into dementia. All roads led to food. I am a firm believer that your DNA is not your destiny….your dinner plate is your destiny. I am on a mission to make everyday wellness easier.
Isabel Cruz and Jean Courtney offer three hands-on culinary experiences, 3.5 hours each, during which you will enjoy preparing your own meal along with fellow cooks. Classes take place at La Cocina Que Canta, our culinary center on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4pm. For more information and registration, please click here.