Chef de Cuisine
Marcel Childress is chef de cuisine at Rustic Root in San Diego. He brings more than seven years of experience to his role and looks forward to perfecting his classic California cuisine with inspired French techniques. Childress’ unique culinary style brings a fresh perspective to the restaurant’s culinary team, led by Executive Chef Antonio Friscia.
Childress grew up in Seattle with a mixed Scandinavian and Southern background, through which he learned to appreciate various types of cuisine from all over the world. At the impressive young age of five, Childress developed a strong passion for food and had already begun experimenting with cooking, fueling an early desire to pursue a culinary career.
He moved to San Diego in 2002 and enrolled in the San Diego Culinary Institute, where he eventually became head coach for the traveling culinary team for over two years. Since then, Childress has participated in various cooking competitions around the nation, winning four gold and six silver American Culinary Federation competition medals in New York, Ohio, California, and Nevada. Childress’ rapid success led him to become Sous Chef for Bertrand at Mr. A’s in San Diego where he spent five years working under Chef Stephane Voitzwinkler. In 2012, Chef Childress joined The Knotty Barrel Gastropub located in San Diego’s East Village as executive chef.
Chef Childress’ primary culinary motivation is to make his grandmother proud by creating a diverse and delicious dishes that appeal to a wide variety of cultures. Childress describes his unique culinary style as refined comfort food with French techniques and a California flare, using only the freshest ingredients.