Executive Chef,
Cusp Dining and Drinks

For Chef Donald Lockhart, cooking is in his blood. Growing up in Southern California in a family of cooks, butchers, farmers, and restaurant operators, his career as a chef is a natural fit. "I have been around food all of my life," said Lockhart. "We had a family garden where we grew much of our own produce. This taught me a respect for food and an ethic towards how we grow and cultivate it."

Lockhart's approach to cooking is simple: gather the best ingredients and allow them to shine. Using timeless techniques steeped in tradition, his food showcases subtle, yet flavorful dishes with clean presentations. On the menu, guests will find a variety of elements made fresh in-house, such as soft cheeses, cured fish, flatbreads and colorful pastas. Guests can expect dishes that stay true to the basics, yet offer a contemporary, almost whimsical touch.

  • Q: Who is your culinary mentor?
  • A: This question is very personal for me and it is difficult to pick just one person. I've had the honor of being a part of many culinary teams and I've had the privilege of working with many talented chefs and cooks throughout the years. All of these people have made a profound imprint on the chef/person I am today. "You are nothing without the people that invested their priceless time and thought you might be worth it."
  • Q: What do you consider your best culinary creation?
  • A: I believe that the best culinary creation is still yet to come. The talented team of Cusp restaurant in La Jolla is applying their skills to the tireless pursuit of evolving Cusp into one of this nation's great restaurants. This will be the proudest creation I could be a part of.
  • Q: What inspires you?
  • A: I'm inspired and passionate at the idea of seeing the moment someone's skills connect with their dream. You get to a certain point when amazing things happen.
  • Q: What are your favorite classics to cook?
  • A: I love cooking and eating Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes and Cheese Polenta (This is what I eat most nights after closing the restaurant.)
  • Q: What is your favorite kitchen tool?
  • A: My favorite tool would be a very sharp chef's knife. When I was younger, the cooks and I would always compete to see who could get their knife the sharpest and then show it off.
  • Q: Who would you love to have eat at Cusp?
  • A: I would love the opportunity to have a group of under privileged children come and eat great, wholesome food and allow them the chance to view one of the most amazing sunsets in the world.
Chef Donald Lockhart's Favorite Recipe

Behind the Apron: Featured Recipe

Featured Recipe from Chef Lockhart

CUSP   |   7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037   |   Phone: (858) 551-3620   |