- Ben Spungin, Marinus Restaurant
Appearances at Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2011:
Ben Spungin is the Pastry Chef at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, California. For the past five years, Ben has been working alongside Chef Cal Stamenov to develop pastry creations that compliment Stamenov's signature California natural cuisine.
Ben started his culinary career at sixteen working at the acclaimed Fosters Market. This experience of 'simple harvest food' gave Ben a foundation to base his ideals and ambitions. In 1996, Ben attended the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont earning his Associates degree. Ben's school internship was at the Magnolia Grill in Durham under James Beard award winning Chefs Ben and Karen Barker. After finishing school in 1998, a spontaneous opportunity opened at the French Laundry to work under Pastry Chef Stephen Durfee and Pastry Sous Shuna Lydon.
Two years later, inspired by the coast and the micro climates around the Monterey Peninsula, Ben took the Pastry Chef position at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, quickly developing an interest in wild and foraged ingredients.
In 2005, Ben became the Pastry Chef at the Bernardus Lodge under Chef Cal Stamenov. Chef Cal, a former Pastry Chef himself, and Ben have a collaborative relationship anchored by their passion for quality ingredients. Chef Cal's relationship with local foragers and farmers keeps an ever-changing menu alive in the kitchen and provides Ben with the ability to create without any limitations.