‘Top Chef’ leaving Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen

Giselle Wellman, executive chef of Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen in Little Italy. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/ Union-Tribune)
(Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Top Chef alum Giselle Wellman (who was recently featured in PACIFIC’s March magazine) is leaving Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen, only nine months after headlining her first San Diego restaurant.

“My year was up,” Wellman said Sunday, referring to the timing of her contract with the restaurant on Pacific Highway on Little Italy’s western outskirts.

Pacific Standard’s menu will be overhauled to appeal more to hotel guests at the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn, said Wellman, a San Diego native.

“I’m leaving on good terms, but we’re going in different directions,” said the chef as she served slices of duck breast with clove dust during Sunday’s Festa Della Donna celebration at Cucina Enoteca.

The sold-out event, which paired eight notable woman chefs from around San Diego with eight woman beverage makers, matched Wellman’s duck with a pinot noir from Fiddlehead Cellars, in Lompoc.

Wellman - who appeared on Top Chef Season 13, grew up in Scripps Ranch and is of Mexican-Jewish descent - said her future plans are still unclear.

“Let me know if you hear anything,” she joked.
Twitter: @sdeditgirl