Justin Cogley, New Chef de Cuisine at AuberginePosted: Jan. 21st, 2011 | By JustLuxe Team
Justin Cogley, has been appointed as chef de cuisine of Aubergine restaurant. Cogley replaces executive chef Christophe Grosjean, who returned to his home-country of France. In his new position Cogley oversees Aubergine and all of LíAuberge Carmelís
Cogley comes to Carmel from Chicago, Illinois. For more than four years he worked at critically acclaimed Charlie Trotter's Restaurant, the last two of which he was chef de cuisine, responsible for the entire culinary staff, menu creation, special events and instructing the culinary team in all duties. Most recently he was the executive sous chef at the Elysian Hotel in Chicago, where he was instrumental in opening the new hotel's kitchens.
"Iím thrilled to be living and cooking in Carmel," shares Cogley. "Itís great to be so close to the Pacific Ocean, and the local farms and wineries. This position at Aubergine gives me the opportunity to bring new influences to an award-winning restaurant. I enjoy presenting a diverse palate of flavors on the menu. As an example, on the current menu weíre offering an abalone dish with seaweed sauce, abalone mushrooms, an emulsion of sea water and puffed rice."
"If I had to describe my food, I would say each plate has a purpose. My goal is to inspire our guests to enjoy a broader combination of flavors and textures, foods that pair well with wines. A diner may discover a vegetable prepared three ways on his plate, but each of the flavors will be unique and pure. My style of cooking is based upon the philosophy of not masking ingredients," states Cogley.
In his early childhood years, Cogley recalls being intrigued by the smells of spices and breads in his hometown of Mescaleroa, New Mexico. Later, inspired by a neighbor who had extensively traveled the world, Cogley at age 12, began assisting in cooking for and catering dinner parties.
Prior to his career as a chef, Cogley was a professional figure skater performing in ice shows worldwide with "Disney on Ice." Traveling and touring with the show for four years in Asia, Australia and Europe Cogley was exposed to new flavors, cultures, food markets and international techniques. These culinary experiences confirmed his passion for food, travel and good wines. When he returned to the United States he enrolled at the Western Culinary Institute, graduating with top honors while cooking at select restaurants in Portland, Oregon before joining the team at Charlie Trotter's Restaurant in 2005.
When Cogley heard about the search for a chef de cuisine at Aubergine, he knew it would be an ideal fit and was determined to make his mark at the cook-through tasting, a chefs equivalent of an audition.
"I would personally like to invite diners to come in to experience what weíre creating. Aubergine has a sophisticated and well-traveled clientele, who seem so far to be enjoying the new menus," states Cogley.
For further information or to make reservations telephone 831-624-8578.
Aubergine is located at Monte Verde & Seventh Streets in the heart of Carmel.