Wednesday 1st February 2017

Justin Cogley


L’Auberge Carmel
Monte Verde at Seventh
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California 93921
+1 831 624 8578

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About Justin Cogley

Justin Cogley is the king of Californian coastal cuisine. Since taking over the reins at Aubergine, the fine dining restaurant of the luxury L’Auberge hotel in the picturesque beach city of Carmel-by-the-Sea on the Monterey Peninsula, Cogley has scooped up numerous awards for his modern, inventive cooking. Not bad for a former professional international figure skater.

Cogley skated away from touring Asia, Australia and Europe with Disney on Ice with a wealth of culinary experiences, picked up from visits to restaurants and food markets during his travels. On his return to the US, he enrolled at the Western Culinary Institute and began working in restaurants in Portland, Oregon. After graduating with honours in 2005, he went to work for the late Charlie Trotter at his fine dining restaurant in Chicago, one of the most acclaimed and influential in the history of American cuisine, where he rose to the position of Chef de Cuisine. Cogley went on to become executive sous chef of the high-end Elysian Hotel in Chicago (now the Waldorf Astoria) before relocating to Carmel.

Cogley’s contemporary and sophisticated seafood-led dishes served in the hotel’s intimate and smartly appointed dining room might include oyster with seawater and caviar; crab with green strawberry and mussel ‘frost’ and abalone with lettuce and white tea. Forbes Travel Guide describes a meal at Aubergine as a gastronomic adventure’ in which Cogley displays ‘artistry and imagination’ while Travel and Leisure said dinner at Aubergine is a ‘Don’t miss’ on a trip to Carmel.

Cogley’s numerous accolades include Grand Chef Relais and Châteaux, Food and Wine magazine’s Best New Chef and James Beard Foundation Awards Best Chef nominee. Under Cogley’s direction Aubergine has won Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence and Forbes Travel Guide’s highest ‘five-star’ rating.

Ben Spungin

Sierra Mar Restaurant

Post Ranch Inn, 47900 Highway 1, Big Sur, California 93920
+1 831 667 2800

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About Ben Spungin

Ben Spungin is one of the leading pastry chefs on America’s West Coast. His wildly inventive, playful and surprising desserts that have included ice cream infused with oak wood and bark, ‘illicit sweets’ (chocolates that resemble recreational drugs) and candies modelled after lipsticks have graced the tables of some of California’s best restaurants. 

He started his culinary career at 16 working at Fosters Market, an acclaimed gourmet food market and cafe in North Carolina before attending the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. His first job after culinary school was in the pastry section of the world famous three Michelin-starred French Laundry in the Napa Valley.  

‘He started his culinary career at 16 working at Fosters Market’

Spungin developed an interest in wild and foraged ingredients while working as pastry chef at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, something that has influenced his work ever since. During his eight year stint as pastry chef at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, California, Spungin built relationships with local foragers and farmers in order to create dishes that better reflected the region. 

Following a stint as Corporate Executive Pastry Chef of Coastal Luxury Management, working within the company’s portfolio of restaurants that includes Restaurant 1833 in Monterey, Spungin has returned to the Post Ranch Inn where he serves his signature glass dome-covered Chocolate Terrarium made with chocolate mousse cake, garden mint ice cream, edible plants, herbs and flowers and a chocolate streusel made to resemble earth.

Tony Barker

Montrio Bistro

414 Calle Principal, Monterey, California 93940
+1 831 648 8880


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About Tony Baker

British-born Tony Baker wears not just the executive chef of Montrio Bistro in Monterey but has carved out a niche for himself as the baron of Californian bacon, supplying Baker’s Bacon to the food service industry since 2011. He’s also known locally as the ‘Artichoke Chef ’ because of his long-standing relationship with
artichoke growers Ocean Mist.

Baker graduated culinary school in Bristol in 1989 and went on to work at Hintlesham Hall and Lucknam Park Hotel before moving to America in 1994, where his first job was with Downtown Dining Group. Since 2000, Baker has celebrated local produce as Chef and Partner at the award winning Montrio Bistro, set in an historic converted firehouse in Monterey. The seasonal menu puts the focus on sustainable ingredients supplied by the area’s local farmers, ranchers and fishermen in dishes such as wild Salmon with carrot and potato confit and beer braised veal cheeks.

‘Baker has celebrated local produce at the award winning Montrio Bistro’

Baker’s many awards include the United Fresh Produce Excellence Award, the American Culinary Federation’s Celebrated Chef of the Year Award and Edible Magazine’s Chef of the Year-Monterey. Baker is a popular figure on local Californian radio and television and has appeared on national television as the face and voice of the Ove Glove and the Pogo Whisk.

Evening Details

7.30pm for 8.00pm

Louis Roederer Brut Premier and canape reception

Five-course signature menu

£130 per person

Wines to complement every dish are carefully selected by Craig Bancroft and the wine team.

Please enquire for exclusive wine package price