February 10, 2014 – Just days after Bernardus chef de cuisine Abigail Burk accepted a new job as executive sous chef at Sierra Mar in Big Sur and before she even had a chance to start, she was given the job of leading Coastal Luxury Management Group’s Restaurant 1833 as its executive chef.
“I’ve always loved Abby. I have the utmost respect for her talents,” says say CLM partner David Bernahl, who also snagged ex-Bernardus Pastry Chef Ben Spungin as the property was being sold last November.
“We are very excited. There was a lot of interest in the position from chefs around the country and we’ve been really slow in filling it, but this seemed like the right time for Abby to make a career move,” added Bernahl, who said Burk tried out for the job a few months back. In addition to Bernardus, Burk also previously cooked at Andre’s Bouchée, Citronelle and Shadowbrook. (see Feb 4 blog post below)
That sends Sierra Mar Executive Chef John Cox back to square one in lining up a new sous, although he still has a deep bench of talent, including chef de cuisine Elizabeth Murray. He says, “It was a bit of a shock—but sounds like a good opportunity for her [Burk].”
“We love our friends John [Cox] and Mike Freed,” Bernahl said of the chef and Post Ranch Inn owner. “We should be able to solve this over a bottle of burgundy down the coast.”
Prior 1833 executive chef Levi Mezick took on added responsibilities last year as corporate chef, supervising the kitchen of Cannery Row Brewing, as well as menu development and opening of CLM’s new Las Vegas restaurant Rose.Rabbit.Lie and their soon-to-be opened Los Angeles restaurant Faith & Flower.
Spungin, CLM’s new corporate pastry chef, oversees the pastry program at all the CLM restaurants. CLM’s two annual glitzy food events—Pebble Beach Food and Wine and LA Food and Wine—are supervised by chef Mark Ayers, who also formerly served as CLM’s corporate chef, the position that Mezick has taken over.
Deborah Luhrman is publisher and editor of Edible Monterey Bay. A lifelong journalist, she has reported from around the globe, but now prefers covering our flourishing local food scene and growing her own vegetables in the Santa Cruz Mountains.