Executive Chef & Owner, Clementine
John Russ, Chef and Co-Owner of Clementine, was born and raised in New Orleans. His inspiration for pursuing a career as a chef was simple- he loves to eat. Luckily, his grandmother's quenelles de brochet expanded his palate beyond PB&J and he was encouraged to seek out new flavors and ingredients to satisfy his growing appetite.
Russ studied at Delgado Culinary in New Orleans and worked in fast-upscale environments at the Ritz Carlton and subsequently The Capella Group. Quickly moving up to the position of executive chef, Russ worked on the east coast in restaurants located at Mirbeau Inn and Spa in Skaneateles, NY, and The Inn at Thorn Hill in Jackson, New Hampshire, as well as Lüke Brasserie in San Antonio. During his executive chef roles, he restructured dining programs to fit the ownership’s vision in addition to creating and implementing menus.
Russ moved to San Antonio from St. Michael's, Maryland in 2012. Looking to put down roots in a city with opportunity for growth and sustainability, San Antonio was the perfect fit. With their pop-up series Alamo City Provisions, John and his wife Elise organized a well-received series of events that showcased San Antonio's growing food scene and culinary talent. Encouraged by the popularity of the dinners and with support from friends and family, John and Elise established their own restaurant group in 2016. Their dream was to open a neighborhood American restaurant featuring a seasonally adjusted and family style menu with global flavors. Clementine was born.
The embodiment of Southern hospitality, Russ is passionate about providing a consistent and welcoming dining experience. At Clementine, he is responsible for all aspects of running a successful restaurant in addition to managing the savory side of the kitchen. With a strong sense of enthusiasm and an energetic approach to his job, he ensures that Clementine stays true to the neighborhood cuisine concept, while creating and executing a menu he hopes will be enjoyed by every customerthat walks through the door.
In his free time, Russ loves working in his garden and providing veggies for his friends, family, and neighbors. He also enjoys reading at elementary school libraries and volunteering with Houston St. Charities. He is currently working with a mentoring program to assist in the growth of young chefs, cooks, and members of the service industry in San Antonio. Ever grateful for an amazing group of friends and supporters, Russ is thrilled to grow his family and business with the city of San Antonio.