Long before Chef Geoff Baumberger was the executive chef of El Segundo, he began cooking holiday meals with his family. As a child, he found inspiration and a love of food from the memories and experiences with his loved ones. Cooking became a way for him to connect with people – not through the food, but through the shared meal and time with his community. As a high school student, he pursued a culinary program that exposed him to the restaurant business and opened his eyes to the endless career opportunities the industry offered. He was hooked.
Geoff attended The Culinary Institute of America and was introduced to Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) in 2002 during an externship. Upon his graduation in 2003, Geoff returned to Columbus and began working at various CMR concepts. He eventually transitioned to Ocean Prime in Phoenix in 2008. After brief stints at other restaurants, Geoff returned to CMR in 2015 to open Ocean Prime in New York City. His new role as executive chef of El Segundo allows him to explore the creative freedom of a new concept.
“I enjoy CMR as a whole for the diversity of our brand,” says Baumberger. “We have so many restaurants that each have a unique style and feel. Even some of our concepts with multiple locations are different in their own way.”
Geoff advises aspiring chefs to develop standards and expectations early. “Our industry is extremely competitive, and separating good from great throughout daily habits will lead to success,” he says.
Outside of the kitchen, Geoff loves spending time in the great outdoors – golfing, snowboarding and grilling. He always has ice cream in the freezer, and his kitchen is never out of chili garlic paste. Going back to his roots of holiday cooking, Geoff says the meal his family requests the most is Thanksgiving dinner.
Jessica Stull, general manager of El Segundo, has more than 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry and has been with Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) since 2015.
Before working at CMR, Stull studied Hospitality Management at The Ohio State University. She began her career in hospitality working as a server and bartender at Colonial Golfer’s Club. She also was a server, bartender and intern at Roosters for a time. Stull moved her way up from server to dining room manager at Hudson 29 Upper Arlington. From there, she continued her career at The Pearl Short North where she was promoted to General Manager.
Stull is incredibly passionate about delivering genuine hospitality to guests, whether it be in the restaurant or in her home with friends and family. Because she has always loved cooking and dining out, being a part of the restaurant industry comes naturally to her.
Her favorite thing about working for CMR is the people. Stull grew up in a small town in Ohio with a strong sense of community and family and has found a similar sense of community with CMR. She’s grateful for an amazing team and is focused on guiding them through encouragement, inspiration and engagement.
“I have learned that communication is key and you need to give the best of yourself to your associates,” says Stull. “Always be open and honest and learn something new every day to grow with your team.”
Stull resides in Italian Village. When she’s not working, she enjoys cooking, spending time with her nephews, trying new restaurants and traveling. Her favorite CMR dishes are the Shanghai Seabass from Hudson 29 and the Filet from Martini.