Executive Chef Jessica Cabo
Chef Jessica Cabo’s love of food began in her native Long Island, New York. Her family’s reverence for diverse ethnic dishes created the foundation of her “produce obsessed” vegetarian and seafood-centric menus. Cabo shops local, employs healthful cooking strategies, and utilizes select items grown in the Blockade Runner gardens. She arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1996 to attend UNCW. After college, she relocated to Venice Beach, California. Employed as a headhunter by day, by night, Cabo cooked. Gourmet meals for her friends lead to catering some rather eclectic affairs, where a lifetime of cultural influences impacted her style.
Cabo exploded onto the national cooking scene when she won a spot on the 1st season of Hell’s Kitchen. She made it into the final three despite having no formal training and never attending cooking school. Returning to North Carolina in 2012, Cabo spent the next four years as Executive Chef at CAM Cafe, the eatery at Louise Wells Cameron Art Museum. She joined the Blockade Runner team in the spring of 2016. Flavors from California, Mexico, Asia and the Mediterranean are seen in her presentations. “Map these countries on the globe, and map the places I’ve lived. You’ll see that all of them sort of line up along the 30th parallel. Not sure what that means, but it’s something to think about.” The Blockade Runner Resort in Wrightsville Beach falls right in her “zone”.