Leading a tight-knit family of “vagas” and “vagos” is Chef Claudette Zepeda. Known for her bold, fearless style, Chef Claudette Zepeda is Executive Chef of VAGA, as well as the comprehensive culinary program at Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas. Prior to joining the much-anticipated new resort, Zepeda garnered national acclaim for her time as the executive chef and partner behind San Diego’s El Jardín restaurant. Zepeda was named both Eater San Diego and San Diego Union-Tribune’s Chef of the Year in 2018, and was a James Beard Best Chef West semifinalist in 2019. Prior to El Jardín, Zepeda was Chef de Cuisine at Javier Plascencia’s celebrated Bracero restaurant, and competed on Top Chef Season 15 and Top Chef Mexico.