Pop-Up Chef

Cam Ybarra


About Cam Ybarra

Hi, my names cam, I'm sf born and raised, spent time in the army, as a firefighter, and now a chef in the city, working with the best chefs in America. I've been a dish jockey, cook, sous, cdc, all the way to executive chef. I left my restaurant positional an executive chef this last January, I've been on sabbatical since then (aka vacation!). This gave me a lot of time to think food. I cooked and cooked and cooked, popped in at a kitchen here and there on a stage, and eventually, after cooked every type of cuisine this city has to offer, came back to thinking about my grandmothers lo mein (brought from China pre-Mao, so it's way different), my moms carbonara (she couldn't cook, so it was really Alfredo and bacon), and my aunties amazing Cioppino. It was when I got back to my core that I found this new style of cooking. It's not fusion, I hate fusion! This food actually goes back to the culinary core of every cook for 2000 years. I read immense amount of books and articles and research about ancient food, apician, ashkali, mesopotamian, han, ainu, dravidian, every culture that would have been linked by the routes of the Silk Road. It was a profusion of commonality. Roman fish sauce, chinese pesto, japanese jamon, hebrew dumplings, aryan pastas, and greek miso. Even ancient herbs that are now lost to us. This lets us reach to our roots and find the essence of these flavors, hone them, and foster them, they are without a doubt unique, and the idea of cooking this led to my search for the purest ingredients available. I was disappointed, the quality of any item imported was low, like really low. This brought me to my reason for doing these dinners. You see my thought is that we could make everything we import here, in our home, by our hands. We need the recipes, we need the market, and we need the enterprising people to follow through with it. At this point my lightbulb lit up, I'll start a research kitchen, perfect the recipes, the perfect, unadultered originals from antiquity, using produce from local sources only, like within a ride local, we will showcase the recipes, market them, release them open source, and then we will develop and guide the entrepreneurs who wish to make this a business, locals helping locals, helping locals, who produce in a sustainable fashion, natural to our habitat, and deliciously better than anything else. Come eat with me and let's make this happen, we can move food to the forefront of social empowerment.