Vine San Clemente Changes Ownership, Brings Back Chef
Photo by Kevin Lara/OC Weekly
Everyone's got a go-to place: that coffeehouse where a barista starts making your "usual" the moment you enter, the unofficial parking spot we gravitate towards, or a Target so familiar, you can pick up toothpaste while on autopilot. Our go-to dining room in south county was a modest space known as Vine. Executive chef Jared Cook was an early On the Line subject we were fortunate to interview. His culinary schooling led to positions at French 75, Chat Noir and The Crow Bar and Kitchen. However, Cook departed Vine at the beginning of 2013 to collaborate with colleague Scott Brandon on LinX in Old Towne Orange. It's here where our story takes a u-turn.
In recent months, changes in management at both establishments resulted in some old-fashioned musical chairs. Jared was not only swayed to come back, he got hitched shortly before returning to Vine. Best. Week. Ever.
We caught up with Cook and his well-seasoned owner between courses of schnitzel, charcuterie and beer. Their on-site garden tucked in the back (Hint: you can catch a glimpse from their sliver of a parking lot) has transitioned from tomato season, making room for rows of herbs and winter veg. Look forward to a subtle remodel and more of what Jared is good at, like his Meyer lemon and honey duck wings! Welcome back, Jared.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.