by Brian Wubbena, Director of Culinary
The food in La Jolla is fantastic, and Truluck’s is no exception thanks to Chef Brian Moran (affectionately known as B-MO), Sous Chef Stephanie Lechuga, and the talented culinary team they have put together. After years of kitchen gloom, we have finally found our forever chef in Brian Moran. Let me be the first to say we’re stoked to have Brian on the team.
Brian Moran grew up in Northern California just east of San Francisco. His passion for the culinary arts started when he was growing up in a single parent household, and kitchen time was a way for him and his mother to spend dedicated time together. It was fun to cook, clean, organize and stay on task as a duo. These skills are the foundation of any culinary career and isn’t something that Chef takes lightly. According to him, “being raised by a single mother molded me into the chef that I am today. Cleanliness, organization and follow through are all things that I learned from her. My mom is my role model and my biggest supporter. She made me successful.”
In high school, Brian chose to spend his elective time working in the cafeteria rather than focusing on sports like many other high schoolers choose to do. The ladies in the kitchen treated him like a grandson and encouraged him in his talent. When it came time to graduate high school, B-MO was amped to hit the road and head to culinary school at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). After graduating college, he bounced around gaining experience through opening multiple restaurants and working hands on with chefs to learn different styles of cooking.
In 2003, Chef started working for an independent group at a little mom and pop style restaurant. As the group grew and expanded into fine dining concepts, he opened numerous locations in California. Brian was eventually sent to Austin, Texas to oversee the company’s first out of state expansion. After completing the expansion, he returned to California when the group folded just two years later. Stuck in California by himself, B-MO decided to apply to Eddie V’s and moved right back to Texas. After battling it out with six other chefs all over the country, he was given the opportunity to run Eddie V’s downtown San Diego kitchen and once again relocated to SoCal. We could go on and on, but I’d really like to get to Chef’s time with us. Let’s fast forward a little bit.
B-MO was contacted by a recruiter about Truluck’s. After several phone calls, he pressed his cardigan, pulled out his favorite bow tie and flew to Austin for a face-to-face interview. I only mention that because at the airport, he looked like Skippy from Family Ties and in real life his style is more Sons of Anarchy meets the hyphy movement, which is something we put him on blast for constantly. He was a perfect fit and, lucky for us, he was down to join the team. He wanted to leave for a short time during a momentary lapse of judgement, but fortunately we got him to stick around – the rest is history.
Now, in his own words: “I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with being a chef. The challenge of getting so many people with so many backgrounds, viewpoints, educational experiences, etc., can be so frustrating. It is also so rewarding. The beauty of coordinating chaos into something special every night is incredible. You need to have a real team to make it happen. It’s challenging, but I thrive on building the culture and the crew. We have a forever team that wants to get better for themselves, the staff, and the guest. The willingness of everyone to listen and simply improve is dope. In our kitchen, if you are too proud to be part of the team, you won’t last. I’ve realized that the challenges of teaching, developing, sharing and being open to receiving knowledge is so much more important than being a star. I feel like my team needs me and I know that I need them.”
B-MO is about to be the proud father of his first child and he is excited, but understandably nervous. We at Truluck’s know he doesn’t need to be, though, because as our managing partner, Todd Perry, always says, connecting with and caring for his people is B-MO’s superpower. We’re lucky to have his genuine compassion and hard-working spirit on our team.