OAKHURST – More changes are happening at the popular Oakhurst seafood restaurant Crab Cakes, which recently relocated to a much larger location.
Restaurant owner Roman Zabicki announced the hiring of Visalia native L. Brian Velasquez as the new Executive Chef. Velasquez will be overseeing the award-winning restaurant as well as off-site catering.
“I’m happy that Laura and Roman have brought me on to utilize my talent and experience to take Crab Cakes Restaurant and Yosemite Catering to the next level at their new location,” said Velasquez.“We’ll be bringing in specials, menu items and events that will be totally outside the box, while maintaining the professional service and quality food for which Crab Cakes has earned a reputation over these past 15 years,” he said.
Chef Velasquez has more than 20 years experience in high-intensity culinary production and upscale cultural dining.
Zabicki says Chef Velasquez has taken the art of dining at Crab Cakes to a new level through his creativity and local ingredients.
“His ‘attitude of cooking’ embraces freshness, flavor, method, and a deep passion for whatever he’s cooking at the moment,” said Zabicki. “He creates an out-of-the-box dining experience, and his delicious ‘freedom’ approach is evident in the catering and special event menus, as well as the dining at Crab Cakes Restaurant.”
Chef Velasquez began his culinary career at the age of 13, working in his grandmother’s kitchen, and later at the family restaurant in Visalia where he was born and raised. He also served in the United States Marine Corps as a Communications Radio Operator while in the Gulf War.
The chef’s education was based at Le Cordon Bleu in Sacramento and the ABC Bartending School in Rancho Cardova.
“Chef Velasquez is highly interactive with the front of the house guests and the public,” said Zabicki. “In addition to his approach, technique and fun personality, service plays a vital role in his culinary practices.”
Velasquez is very happy with the response he has received so far from the folks in Oakhurst.
“The community has really welcomed me here; it’s like a breath of fresh air,” he said. “To be able to go out and talk to the guests is refreshing.”
To learn more about the restaurant, visit www.crabcakesrestaurant.com or call 559-641-7667 for reservations.