Chef Andrew Bachelier steps down from acclaimed Jeune et Jolie in Carlsbad
Time at home with fiancée, kids during pandemic led Andrew Bachelier to re-evaluate his priorities. He was also the founding chef of the 4-year-old Carlsbad restaurant Campfire.
Eight months after helping make Carlsbad’s Jeune et Jolie restaurant one of Esquire Magazine’s 22 best new restaurants in America for 2019, executive chef Andrew Bachelier announced Friday that he is stepping down.
In an amicable parting with restaurant owner and longtime friend John Resnick, Bachelier said sheltering at home with his fiancée Larah Ivy and their children Madden, Margot and Emmet led him him to re-evaluate the demands required of running a fine-dining restaurant kitchen. Bachelier was also the founding chef of Resnick’s 4-year-old Carlsbad restaurant Campfire, just down the street. He ended his tenure in June.
Bachelier’s French-inspired cookery was so integral to the vision for 90-seat Jeune et Jolie that it was named after Resnick’s daughter Elsie June and Bachelier’s daughter Margot Jolie. Due to social distancing orders, Resnick last month converted Jeune et Jolie into an entirely outdoors restaurant with a $95 prix-fixe menu.
John Resnick plans to continue acclaimed eatery’s ‘Starry Night’ project as long as social distancing measures are in place
“As a chef, it’s a constant struggle to find that work-life balance,” Bachelier said in a statement. “I have had the opportunity in the last four months to view the world through the innocent lens of my children. I know what it takes to be a great leader and chef; I can tell you it’s extremely difficult but rewarding. However, I’ve found a much clearer perspective on what it takes to be a great and present father, while still providing (for them).
“Leaving both restaurants is the hardest decision I’ve ever made and my heart will forever carry them both. They are also my family away from home. It’s been the most amazing five years of my life and career, and I can’t thank John enough. He has definitely given me the right tools and resources for my next step in life and my career.”
Resnick said he has mixed emotions over Bachelier’s departure. Although his shoes will be difficult to fill, he leaves behind a well-trained team and an award-winning legacy.
“Andrew is so passionate about cooking and hospitality, but nowhere near as passionate as he is about his family, and rightly so,” Resnick said. “This has been true since he first became a dad almost three years ago, but during the months that we were closed down, he was able to spend a whole lot more time with his family. ... He realized during that time that his true purpose was to be with them more.”
Andrew Santana will continue to serve as executive chef at Campfire and Jeune et Jolie executive sous chef Dusan Todic, who like Bachelier trained at the Michelin-starred Addison in Carmel Valley, will lead the Jeune kitchen while a search is under way for a new executive chef.
Sign up for the Pacific Insider newsletter
PACIFIC magazine delivers the latest restaurant and bar openings, festivals and top concerts, every Tuesday.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Pacific San Diego.