Jeff Rossman, chef and co-founder of Terra, an American Restaurant, has been involved in San Diego's hospitality industry since 1981.
Rossman began his culinary career in 1981 as a dishwasher at Pam Pam Cafe & Grill, his family’s restaurant. He continued working there until 1986. To help put himself through college, he took a position as a bell boy at the La Jolla Village Inn (now the Radisson Hotel La Jolla) and ultimately ended up in a management position in 1989. After graduating from UCSD in 1991, Jeff’s enthusiasm for the restaurant business led him back to full time involvement at Pam Pam, where he transformed the self service coffee shop into a full service operation.
Rossman’s passion for cooking led him to an externship in Boston with Michael Schlow, one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs of 1997, where he learned the intricacies of fine dining. Upon his return to San Diego, he convinced his father to join forces and open Terra Restaurant & Bar in May 1998. As executive chef at Terra, Rossman has worked successfully to develop moderately-priced, American dishes with a sophisticated flare.
Rossman is one of those rare talents who never attended a culinary school. His cooking knowledge has come mostly from dining out, tasting, observing, and reading. He uses only the best and freshest ingredients available, including produce from local San Diego farms.
Under Rossman’s creative guidance, Terra Restaurant has achieved consistent acclaim from such noteworthy critics as Zagat, the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association with a “Sterling Silver Award Of Merit,” and the Wine Spectator with an “Award Of Excellence” for 2001 and 2002. In addition, Terra was recognized by Hillcrest residents as “Best Hillcrest Restaurant” two years in a row. The restaurant also achieved finalist status in San Diego Magazine’s Reader’s Poll in the “Best of The Best Moderate” category and in the San Diego Union Tribune’s Reader’s Poll “Best Of The Best.”
Rossman is a past board member of the American Institute of Wine & Food and is an active contributor to the community. Along with his work at the restaurant, he donates his expertise to charitable organizations and events, such as Share Our Strength’s “Taste of the Nation,” the KPBS Food & Wine Festival, San Diego Zoo’s Celebration Of The Critters, UCSD Cancer Center Celebrity Cook Off, Great Chefs of San Diego, Mama’s Kitchen, Ordinary Miracles, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Rossman is the president of Chef Celebration, a local chef and restaurant based event which raises scholarship dollars for local chefs.
His love of teaching has launched a successful cooking class/demonstration schedule at Terra and around San Diego.
Rossman is the president of Chef Celebration, a local chef and restaurant based event which raised scholarship dollars for local chefs.
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