Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Winter-Spring 2019

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Page 209 of 243

208 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • W I N T E R 2 0 1 9 TWENTY YEARS OF CHEF CAL AT BERNARDUS Two decades ago, a rising star on the global restaurant scene took a career detour into Carmel Valley. Seduced by an upscale new resort, Cal Stamenov transformed bucolic Bernardus Lodge into a culinary destination. The more things have changed at Bernardus—the sale of the resort, the transformation of fine-dining Marinus into the more casual Lucia—Stamenov's creative California country cuisine has been a comforting constant. "The whole goal was to be a bit off the grid," he says. "That's why I came here, to be able to work in a more rustic, natural environment." Stamenov's culinary resume includes learning at the chef shoes of the great Alain Ducasse and Jean-Louis Palladin, in world-class kitchens from the French Riviera to the Loire Valley. Stamenov did not toil in obscurity at Bernardus, becoming widely known for tactical use of the wood-fired grill, foraged food and local olive oils and wines from Monterey County. Now he's expanded his sustainability message, working his two-acre chef garden and tending to thousands of bees in his honey-rich aviary. He's a man and a chef content with his decision to put down roots. "No regrets," he says. Lucia Restaurant & Bar is located at the Bernardus Lodge at 415 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley. For more information, call 831/658-3400 or go to PALACE OF PORK ON COAST GUARD PIER A carnivore and a vegetarian walk into a sandwich shop called PigWizard. No joke. It's not that Monterey's new palace of pork does not live up to its name. Porkaliciousness abounds. It's just that the restaurant's namesake dreamed of owning his own place for so long that he can't stand to let anyone leave hungry. A former cult favorite who once sold cured meat out of the trunk of his car, craft butcher Jonathan "PigWizard" Rober ts is making waves next to the Coast Guard Pier at Breakwater Cove. "We're all about doing something different and high quality, focused on making sure we can reproduce over and over again what we hope is delicious food," he says. The focus centers on five proprietary sausages—Sicilian, hot Sicilian, caraway bratwurst, orange-poppy chicken and Manchego-artichoke chicken. Customers choose an appropriate "ves- sel" for the sausage, then a "slop" sauce (garlic- lemon aioli, beer mustard, herb yogurt and more), and toppings (grilled onions, veggies, housemade pickles). Sides include bacon-egg potato salad, kimchee, roasted cauliflower salad, Jonathan "PigWizard" Roberts serves sausages of special variety—including Sicilian, orange poppy chicken and Manchego-arti- choke chicken—next to the Coast Guard Pier at Breakwater Cove. Creative sauces, toppings and sides round out the experience. Photo: Kelli Uldall

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