Growing up on her family’s citrus grove, California-native Rachel Haggstrom is best-known for her upscale farm-to-table cooking style that draws influence from the state’s bounty of fresh, seasonal produce. The past 15 years of her career have been spent in some of California’s most reputable dining institutions and now as Executive Chef of JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, Chef Rachel leads a culinary team that services the MICHELIN-Starred Restaurant at JUSTIN including all-catered events, galas and weddings, in addition to the dining program at JUSTIN’s Tasting Room in Downtown Paso Robles.
Chef Rachel’s culinary journey began shortly after completing her degree from California Culinary Academy – Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco. Post-graduation, chef Rachel worked her way through the kitchens of various elite culinary destinations including “The Dining Room”, the one-star Michelin restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, the former “Postrio” by Chef Wolfgang Puck, and Thomas Keller’s three Michelin star, The French Laundry.
After years in the Bay Area, chef Haggstrom relocated to Southern California in 2013 and accepted the sous chef position at the five-star St. Regis Monarch Beach. She quickly familiarized herself with large scale hotel and banquet operations and in October of 2014, chef Rachel accepted the position as chef de cuisine at Balboa Bay Resort. She quickly exceled and was promoted to executive chef of the resort in June of 2015.