Jason Giles, Executive Chef
Vice President, ACF Monterey Bay
As executive chef of the 379-room Portola Hotel & Spa Jason Giles is at the helm of all culinary operations, including menu development for the hotel’s two restaurants, Jack’s and Peter B’s BrewPub, as well as the creation of menus for in-room dining, banquets and special events.
A California native, Chef Giles credits his mother as a driving influence in his culinary upbringing. As a youngster he began serving as the official “taster” in the kitchen, and soon learned the importance of showcasing each ingredient’s flavors while grilling in the backyard.
Fueled by those joyful early experiences and the creative satisfaction he derived from cooking — and further inspired by the passion of chefs such as Julia Child and Jacques Pepin — Giles enrolled in the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Upon graduating, he headed to The Grill at Sonoma Mission Inn (now the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa) in Sonoma for a two-year stint as the lead line cook. Giles then made his way to the Monterey Peninsula, accepting the position of sous chef at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, where he played an active role in the development and opening of Stillwater Bar & Grill.
In 1999, wanting to hone his skills at a stand-alone restaurant, he joined the team at Hullaballoo Restaurant in Salinas, California as executive sous chef and pastry chef. After three years at Hullaballoo, he headed to Carmel’s Portabella & Merlot Bistro to take on his first position as executive chef. In 2005, Giles accepted a position as executive chef at the Portola Hotel & Spa, drawn by the opportunity to develop a culinary program that allows him to practice his passion for the culinary arts at the highest level.
Chef Giles lives in Salinas with his wife and three children. When not in the kitchen, he enjoys golf and travel.