Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas and Chef Claudette Zepeda Appoint Ananda Bareño as Executive Chef


Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas and James Beard Foundation Best Chef West Semi-Finalist Claudette Zepeda recently announced the appointment of Ananda Bareño as Executive Chef of Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas, according to a press release. Bareño will oversee the day-to-day culinary execution of VAGA, in addition to overseeing menus for The Pocket Pool & Bar, Coffee Box, special event catering and in-room dining. Zepeda will assume the role of Chef Consultant and continue to be the creative visionary behind the bespoke dining experiences at Alila Marea Beach Resort, while continuing her work to champion regional Mexican cuisine within the global culinary community.

“Claudette’s fearless culinary style and bold approach has positioned VAGA and Alila Marea Beach Resort against some of the best in the world, capturing the attention of top critics nationwide and bringing national fame to San Diego,” said Benjamin Thiele. , General manager. of Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas, in the press release. “We will be forever grateful for the fierce passion, hard work and dedication Chef Zepeda has brought to our culinary program and we are thrilled to support her on this exciting evolution of her own culinary journey as we welcome the chef Bareño in our Alila family.”

Bareño’s culinary resume began as a Sous Chef at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, which eventually led her to become Executive Chef at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. Since then, Bareño’s 25+ year career has taken her around the world, including France, Costa Rica, Damascus, Syria and Amman, Jordan, where she spent several years working as a chef for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

“Chef Bareño is an exceptional chef who I trust completely to continue our special culinary story at Alila Marea, taking our guests on a journey of exploration that both celebrates our hometown of San Diego while reflecting a spirit of curiosity and wanderlust throughout the property,” Claudette Zepeda said in the release. “Ananda’s passion for unique dining experiences, local food partnerships and connecting with people through comforting and nourishing foods makes her a natural fit for our culture and our team.”

When Bareño isn’t in the kitchen, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 11-year-old son enjoying the outdoors, camping, hiking, biking, and working with horses on a rescue farm. Always up for a new adventure, Bareño has abseiled bridges and even cycled from San Francisco to Canada.

For more information about Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas, visit


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