Attention to details from our design to the food we source is a priority to the team. From produce to proteins, Chef Vincent Espinoza strives to purchase and source our ingredients from local, sustainable, and organic suppliers.
In designing the menu, the kitchen team collaborates with the local farm nestled in the mountains across the street to source a variety of fresh herbs, veggies, and fruits.The handpicked ingredients are supplemented throughout the Xacalli menu, in both dishes and cocktails. We are proud to reduce our impact on the environment as well as support young entrepreneurship.
Chef Vincent Espinoza always aims to use as much of the ingredients as possible to minimize food waste. This is demonstrated throughout the menu as well as with our cocktails. We cook the Jamaica flowers to produce our Hibiscus syrup and candy the cooked Jamaica flowers to garnish our Jamaica Limonada.
In 2022, the Xacalli bar was designed with materials from the Frances Citrus Packing House that was originally constructed in 1914 by the Irvine Co. as a lemon-packing plant. In 1977 the Packing House was carefully dismantled to build the Barn Restaurant, located in Tustin CA, and operated from 1980 until 2002. After the Barn closed, the building materials were stored in Silverado and later used in the construction of Xacalli.
Chef Vincent’s passion for cooking and the art behind cooking has led him from graduating from The Art Institute of Orange County to assuming the highest level in the kitchen as an Executive Chef.
Chef Vincent Espinoza got his start at AnQi by Chef Ryan Carson who gave the inexperienced college graduate an opportunity. Under the tutelage of Ron Lee, Chef Vincent advanced to Sous Chef at AnQi in Costa Mesa CA and in a space of only a few years, advanced to Executive Sous Chef at The District by Hannah An, Beverly Hills CA.
As his passion for learning continues, Chef Vincent moved back to Orange County CA and was the lead line cook for Boathouse Collective, Costa Mesa CA and eventually became the Chef De Cuisine/ Consultant at Mr. G’s Bistro, Balboa Island CA. This led the way to becoming Chef at Gabbies Mexican Restaurant, Orange CA and eventually was tapped as the Executive Chef + Team Leader at CHAAK, Tustin CA.
As an Executive Chef + Team Leader, Chef Vincent was the head of the entire kitchen operation of both Gabbi’s and CHAAK. Chef Vincent managed the inventory, budgeting, menu planning, training, plating, and all kitchen staff, from sous chefs to dishwashers. Always ensuring that the high standards of food quality, consistency and service runs smoothly and efficiently.
This high standard Chef Vincent demands has ultimately garnered a 2020 Michelin Guide New Discoveries for CHAAK and 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand for Gabbi’s. In 2020, Chef Vincent left to pursue his personal goals.
In 2021, Chef Vincent teamed with Mimi Vy Nguyen to develop and open Xacalli in Silverado Canyon.