New Chef at Sandpiper in La Jolla

Executive Chef Christine Rivera has departed Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters to pursue other culinary opportunities in San Diego. Marty Fay, who spent the last two years as Sous Chef under the guidance of Rivera, has been named the new Executive Chef. Founder Trey Foshee made the announcement.

Sandpiper, the sister restaurant of Georges at the Cove, opened its doors in June after being reimagined from Galaxy Taco in the same space.


Rivera, 32, began working for Foshee in 2011 in the George’s Ocean Terrace kitchen. She was honored as an EaterYoung Gun in 2016 for the tortilla/masa program that she built at Galaxy Taco. Rivera is a San Diego native who attended San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and subsequently graduated from Grossmont College’s Culinary Arts Program.


Fay, 27, arrived in San Diego in the spring of 2020 after several years in Boston working in the kitchens of Benedetto, Allium Market, and Buttonwood. The Baltimore native attended The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia. 


“Christine was an integral part of Sandpiper’s early success and the great six-year run of Galaxy Taco, and we wish her nothing but the best in her next ventures,” Foshee said. “Marty has taken the reins with confidence and the transition has been seamless. I know he will continue implementing the high standards set forth by his mentor Christine.”


“Learning from Christine has been the highlight of my culinary career, to be sure,” Fay said. “I am forever grateful to her for giving this East Coast kid a chance two years ago. I am excited for my new role, and I am eager to continue presenting outstanding cuisine to La Jolla residents, all San Diegans, and visitors alike.”


“It’s been a memorable 12 years working for Trey and I am certainly proud of everything we accomplished at George’s, Galaxy, and Sandpiper,” Rivera said. “Sandpiper is in great hands, and I look forward to returning as a guest.”


Assuming the role of Sous Chef is Cody Smith, who transfers over from Georges.


Sandpiper General Manager Evan Vallee is a Certified Advanced Sommelier. He also has Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 4 Diploma.


Sandpiper, which is located at 2259 Avenida De La Playa, features bar seating, traditional indoor seating, covered patio seating, and fully-outdoor seating. Happy hour is daily from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m., and that menu features a free dozen oysters with the purchase of a bottle of champagne.


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