Whisknladle Hospitality started simply with the serendipitous meeting of one talented chef [Ryan Johnston] and one young entrepreneur [Arturo Kassel] in 2006. Convinced that what San Diego needed was a farm-fresh restaurant that served from-scratch cooking without all of the fine dining fuss, the pair opened Whisknladle in the heart of La Jolla in 2008. This back-to-basics approach to cooking – or gourmet comfort food – has firmly planted Whisknladle in the hearts of locals and tourists alike.
A La Jolla institution with a national following, Whisknladle expanded its concept into another style of restaurants – Prepkitchen. A restaurant designed for cooks by cooks, Prepkitchen focuses on delivering the same farm-fresh and seasonal cuisine at an everyday-eats price. Since opening the first Prepkitchen in La Jolla, the concept has exploded. In 2010, Whisknladle Hospitality opened Prepkitchen Del Mar and then Prepkitchen Little Italy in 2012.
Together with its committed & passionate managing partners [Gabe & David], angel investors and, of course, loyal local diners, Whisknladle Hospitality has grown from one ambitious, little restaurant to a humble restaurant group with never-ending ideas to continue bringing good food, good wine & great people together.
Good Food, Good Wine, Great People best sums up our philosophy on food, dining and restaurants. We think our food & beverage are better than good but we subscribe to the “Great Good” Food Philosophy where less is more, simpler is better and it’s the quality and freshness of the ingredients that matters most. The great Julia Child put it best,
“You don’t have to cook complicated or fancy masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients.”-Julia Childs
But there’s one more ingredient that makes our restaurants great and that’s the quality of our people. And by “our” people, we mean our passionate & talented employees, our purveyors committed to quality, humane & sustainable products and you, our loyal and supportive network of guests, friends & family.
At the end of the day, producing great food is a process; it takes great ingredients, a lot of preparation and skill. But a great meal, that only happens when the food is made with love and shared amongst friends, loved ones and even total strangers. You see, a great restaurant is a sum of its parts, the food, the service, the ambiance, the hospitality, the buzz and in the end, it all adds up to make you feel great.
In the era of Yelp, highly specialized food trucks, the celebrity chef and the Food Network where “survivor” meets food porn, we still haven’t lost site of why we fell in love with this business in the first place, and that’s a passion for making people happy. Pure & Simple.
Whisknladle takes its name from one of our inspirations for opening a restaurant and committing to a life in the hospitality industry. Tucked away in Brooklyn is a “Supper Club” by the name The Whisk & Ladle where a group of friends and food hobbyists would periodically convert their apartment into a restaurant and invite a group of strangers to share great food, drinks and conversation. Their motivation was purely out of love of people, food and dining without the fiscal pressures of operating a restaurant.
While that’s not a luxury that we as a business have, by naming our business after The Whisk & Ladle and food hobbyists like them, it’s a constant reminder as to why we dedicated ourselves to this craft in the first place.
The second half of our name is really quite simple. Hospitality comes naturally to us. For us, it’s not the taste of the food or the excellence of the service that matters most, but how dining with us makes you feel. That is the very essence of hospitality and is one of our most cherished core values as a company. Put those two together and you get our namesake, Whisknladle Hospitality.
PARTNER & CULINARY DIRECTOR
PARTNER & COO
PARTNER & DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES
Our Chefs, Managers, Hosts, Servers, Backwaiters, Bartenders, Cooks, Prep Cooks & Dishwashers. Without them, NONE of this is possible. They are the ones making it happen.