Chef’s Corner with Chef Craig Von Foerster
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean with a spectacular view of the California coast, the award winning Sierra Mar Restaurant serves world-class cuisine in an awe-inspiring setting. This Big Sur restaurant at the legendary Post Ranch Inn features an innovative, four course, prix fixe menu, which Chef Craig Von Foerster changes daily and utilizes organic, seasonal fare.
journeyPod enjoyed an tasting and our favorites included the Harmony raised abalone, and the roast axis venison. Chef Craig then talked to us about the celebrities he has coked for and the lessons he has learned from them.
What age did you start cooking?
I started cooking at Burger King when I was 14. In no way was that an indication of my career. I was one of six kids, and seemed to always be hungry so I worked in restaurants. I dropped out of college at 19, and found myself in Monterey, CA. And I’ve been here (on and off) ever since.
What would we find in your fridge at home?
Lots of farmer’s market produce…and cheese!
What do you look for when you first enter a restaurant?
I consider how I am greeted. I like to see pride of ownership in a place –the way it is kept clean, nice; like you’re being hosted in someone’s house.
Who do you admire in the cooking world?
The “working chefs” (i.e., the non-celeb chefs) Chef Eric Ripert from NYC’s Le Bernadine and Chef Tom Colicchio formerly from Gramercy Tavern.
What advice would you give to cooking enthusiasts?
Read the book, “Culinary Artistry.” It will give you inside scoop on what flavors go together. For example, pair salmon with dill, mustard. And pair crab with vanilla. Use this knowledge as a basis, but don’t be too cautious. Don’t be afraid to find your own style.
Who is the most memorable celeb you have cooked for?
Julia Child. I remember her being kind and gracious to all. She wanted something simple, so I made her a lamb dish with black truffles. Serving her, I learned a lesson in grace and class. She certainly had a presence!
For more information on Post Ranch Inn, check out our podcast on Big Sur, California.