Bo-beau kitchen + garden adds new Executive Chef Tyler Shipton, and new summer menu


From a small farm town outside of Rochester, Minnesota, Cohn Restaurant Group’s BO-beau kitchen + garden’s new Executive Chef Tyler Shipton is now cooking his way to local stardom, bringing his farmer mentality of sustainability and organic ideals to the jeweled hills of La Mesa.

From a small farm town outside of Rochester, Minnesota, Cohn Restaurant Group’s BO-beau kitchen + garden’s new Executive Chef Tyler Shipton is now cooking his way to local stardom, bringing his farmer mentality of sustainability and organic ideals to the jeweled hills of La Mesa.

Settling in now after beginning in September of last year, Shipton said moving to the San Diego region is a dream job that allows him to live in a place that has much more “outside life” than he was used to in his time in the Twin Cities. But he also said that it was his work there, and his farmer’s roots that have cleared the way to become part of the Cohn Restaurant team.

Pushing the envelope in cuisine is what Shipton loves to do and his love of organic and seasonal foods inspires his menu creations. He is intrigued with the Southwest styles of cuisine here and works with many ingredients that many would not use at all.

“I incorporate my style, like what is in season and fresh,” he said. “So when it comes to working with the menu or changing it up for the seasons, that’s what we do here. I’m very seasonal programmed, so I still have that instilled in me, and that is a sell I like to bring to the table. But I still love playing around with different things, coming up with flavor combinations. Some of these new dishes, I’ve never done before.”

But he said a part of his creativeness is playing around with them, and seeing what works. Along with Bo-beau’s regular menu, he has brought to the table a couple of ticketed food events. Beer dinners, wine dinners and champagne dinners. He said he loves these events as much as he loves keeping the Bohemian feel that the restaurant has to offer, and said that through it all it’s kind of like a song.

“You have to know what all the instruments are going to do to come together so it sounds good,” he said. “I do that with food because I have to think about presentation, all the flavor combinations, texture, sweetness, salty and acidity and you have to pull it off. It’s like playing a song in your head. When you change the menu every week, you have to learn to be creative. Look to see what is here and available. I look at what’s going to be in season in August when I write the menu for then and go from there.”

He said the ticketed dinner really lets him do what he do the best.

“It’s my little palette and I love doing that. I really love playing with food, different concepts and having fun with it. I also think about different days, like Father’s Day. What food says dad and what would he enjoy? You have to have heart in the menu choices,” he said.

Some of the new summer dishes from Shipton include the Bo-beau Garden Crudite (seasonal vegetable with hummus), Belgium Beer Moules (chorizo and shallots), Grilled Salmon (cool fingerling potato salad, sugar snap peas, half artichoke, sunflower dill vinaigrette), Slow Roasted Pork Shank (roasted tomatillos, masa corn amazeballs, honey glaze, fresno rings), Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Clambake, Braised short Rib and a Summertime Stir Fry.

Although Shipton said he had a rough start getting in the industry, each job he held played an important role in making him the chef he is today, and his accolades that follow him are quite impressive. Shipton began his career in the food industry at a sushi shop, where he delivered to local colleges and other places. Wanting more, he became a line cook at Porter & Fry in downtown Minnesota, and then went on to work with James Beard Award-winning Chef Isaac Becker at Bar Lagrassa. But it was his tenure at Travail Kitchen & Amusements that gave him the ability to stretch his creative side and introduced him to his future business partner and opened Borough ((Bon Appetit’s ‘Top 50 Best New restaurants in America’, Playboy Magazine ‘Best Bars in America’ and also Coup d’Etat. By 2014, Shipton was recognized with the Charlie Award for “Emerging Food Professional.”

Shipton said working at Travail he learned to made tofu from scratch, butcher a pig, and all the things as a cook you want to see and do.

“I finally decided I had to go do it for my personal career. It was a rough two years, pure craziness,” he said. “We had 12 chefs, started out a la carte, then 10 course tasting for two people. Hype started building up and there would be a line out the door, even in the wintertime. My days would start at 9:00 a.m. work until midnight and make our meals plans. That’s where I met Nick O’Leary, we were both farm boys and he had been on “Iron Chef,” opened up a hotel downtown. We rotated stations so I got experience in waiting, pastries and desserts and we did a lot of experimental things, really trying to push the envelope.”

Shipton said it has been a long, crazy journey getting here but everything he has worked for from his humble small town beginnings of getting out of high school and having to call his mother and grandmother how to cook something. Then the culinary business was not even a thought. His interest was in art and music, but he realized that making a living would be difficult. It was his girlfriend at that time that suggested culinary school (which he said he did not even know what that meant at the time.) But he followed that lead and received a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts for the Art Institute International of Minnesota.

“I took a couple of month off last year, went to Hawaii and California,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to live in a place like San Diego, some place where you could go outside. In Minnesota you go from one box to another box, it’s cold and you don’t get much outside time. Sometimes the sun doesn’t come out a month or more. I just needed to get out of there. So I ventured out. I loved how clean San Diego was and its vibe compared to other larger cities.”

Shipton said that his job is more than just cooking and he believes that the entire creative process is a form of art. From experimentation to presentation, he said playing with flavors, textures and mixtures is fun, and that is an important part of loving what he is doing. Being raised in a seasonal environment, it is an important part of his creative process when it comes to designing menus and dishes.

“To me that is one of the real joys when you get a fresh batch of whatever is in season and what I can do with it,” he said.


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