Chef Cal Stamenov
A graduate of California Culinary Academy, Stamenov began his career in 1982 at New York’s famed Four Seasons restaurant. He is steeped in the European tradition of culinary artistry, and has spent years in the most demanding kitchens of the world’s most renowned chefs, including Alain Ducasse, Pierre Gagnaire, Masa Koboiashi, Jean-Louis Palladin and Michel Richard. Stamenov worked as Executive Chef for the Highlands Inn in Carmel, and served as Chef de Cuisine of the highly regarded Domaine Chandon Restaurant in Napa Valley.
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Stamenov’s philosophy and style of cooking is built on three central pillars: the relationship between food and terroir (the environmental conditions under which food is grown that give it it’s unique characteristics), the superiority of handcrafted, artisanal products over mass-produced, and the common sense of glorifying food when its flavor is at its peak. The Central Coast provides him with access to an inspiring range of ingredients whose essence and flavor is appreciable in every bite. These come to him by way of the relationships he has forged with growers, fisherman and foragers. He also has his own organic herb and vegetable gardens, and vineyards at Bernardus Lodge. With a treasure trove of impeccable products, Stamenov is able to cook with the seasons and rarely has to look further than his own backyard for inspiration.