Adrian Ramirez
I’ve been drawn to the kitchen since I was a toddler. I would find myself inspecting the ingredients in the pantry or fridge, asking my grandma about different tools and produce, and trying out various dishes she would make. As I grew older, I started helping her cook and making myself available to lend a hand in the kitchen. When I graduated from high school, I needed to make money. At 17, I was hired as a host at Red Lobster. Despite my role, I often found myself in the kitchen. Within a few months, I was promoted to busser, server, and expo. I realized I enjoyed my expo shifts the most, even though working in the front meant more money. One day, when we were short-staffed, I stepped in as a line cook. After that, I became a line cook and eventually a Culinary Supervisor. I worked in that role for five years.

Then, my mentor left for another job, and I decided to move on. I called her to ask if there was a job opening, and there was. I left Red Lobster. I was excited about this opportunity because I would work with my mentor again. I learned how to maintain extra cleanliness, work quickly, and handle pressure, especially since the kitchen was partially open and guests could see us. I spent two years there working as a line cook. Then, an old coworker offered me an opportunity at my current workplace/home, @animae.sandiego, where I have been for almost three years. I have learned a lot from a fantastic team and an outstanding mentor. To my fellow chefs: Always work hard because you never know who could be watching, and you might cross paths later in life.

My dream is to open my own Mexican restaurant in San Diego. It will showcase a more sophisticated and elevated Mexican cuisine. I’d love to see a change in the industry, rewarding low wages and culture. Most kitchens are toxic. I hope we stop letting each other suffer one day and recognize that we are all on the same team. We work in the same restaurant making delicious food. If we can change how we operate regarding service, we can change the overall experience not just for the guests but for ourselves as Chefs.

What is your favorite street food?


Which restaurant or food stand do you recommend? (Different from yours) (Add its Instagram handle if possible)


What is your guilty pleasure?

Watching Musicals

What ingredient do you find overrated?


What ingredient do you think is underrated?


What is your favorite kitchen tool?

Grilling Tongs

What is your worst kitchen nightmare?

Walking into an empty walk in

@mwatsonnyc reporting from San Diego 📸🎤