Born and raised in Galveston, TX, Chef Jeff Balfour developed a love for his native cuisine and the freshest ingredients. Balfour realized his culinary passion over fifteen years ago while studying at the University of Texas at Austin. Balfour switched gears and transferred to Conrad Hilton School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. While working in kitchens in Houston, including the former La Reserve, he honed his skills in French and American cuisine under several of the nation’s top chefs.
In 2002, Balfour moved to San Antonio after given the honor of creating the food service concept for Hotel Valencia Riverwalk. Under his direction, Citrus Restaurant became known as one of San Antonio’s most innovative fine dining restaurants. Citrus has been recognized numerous times and consistently named among the top hotel restaurants in San Antonio, including being named as a “Best Hotel Restaurant” by the San Antonio Express-News in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Balfour also received one of the culinary world’s top honors, being chosen to showcase his talents at the James Beard House in New York.
In 2015, Balfour opened a new concept in the historic Pearl’s brewhouse in San Antonio, Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery. The restaurant, which is Balfour’s modern take on Texas’ cross-cultural cuisine, is influenced by the coastal classics of Chef Balfour’s upbringing in Galveston married with the comfort of southern cuisine. Southerleigh also houses a custom manufactured brewery designed by Portland Kettle Works, brewing up to 21 different beers on tap. Since Southerleigh’s opening, Balfour’s cuisine has been praised in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Eater, and more. Chef Balfour was invited back to the James Beard House in 2016 for a special dinner on National Beer Day, where Southerleigh’s food was paired with its custom beers for the occasion.