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James Spencer

General Manager

With over 30 years in the restaurant industry, James began his journey at 15 in a mom & pop Italian restaurant, then moved to The Chronicle Restaurant in Pasadena at 17, later joining his father to open Spencer’s. His career took him to La Cachette in Beverly Hills and Mesa Grill in NYC. He excelled at Hotel Bel-Air before spending a decade at Melisse, achieving 2 Michelin stars and Forbes 5-star rating.

After a European sabbatical, he returned to NYC as GM of Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, refining its 3-star dining experience. Back in LA, he reopened Melisse, earning it 2 Michelin stars again, amidst challenges like COVID closures. While short-lived, his stint at Gwen left a mark, with Chef Curtis Stone acknowledging James's contributions to their first Michelin star.

Now settled in Oceanside, James is dedicated to his craft alongside Chef Roberto Alcocer, sharing their passion for culinary excellence.