Carmel Valley Ranch Executive Chef Ritchard Cariaga has always had deep cultural connections surrounding food—bonds that only became stronger during his 15 years leading culinary efforts at resorts in Hawaii and the Bahamas. In addition to earning several Hyatt awards, he has had the honor of cooking at the famed James Beard House in New York. Ritchard and his wife, Sarah, just welcomed a baby girl—and while they are new to California, they’re already feeling the love. “We are grateful to be a part of The Ranch,” he says. “This is a magical place, and everyone has been incredibly welcoming.”
DIRT WHISPERER & BOOKWORM
As overseer of The Ranch’s two-acre organic garden and orchard, Mark grows the fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs that provide the resort’s kitchens with the freshest, highest-quality seasonal ingredients. Have you ever wanted to see the flower of an artichoke or smell hops growing on the vine? Just ask Mark. When he isn’t tending the earth or geeking out with guests on garden tours, the self-proclaimed bookworm can be found digging into a good read. Read More.
Bees’ Best Friend
As manager of the resort’s apiary, Chris oversees honey production and enlightens guests about our tiniest artisans. “Bees pollinate our gardens and give us medicine for allergies and infections,” buzzes Chris. “Their relationship with humans was meant to bee.” Chris first found his way to the hive when he was looking for a natural alternative to white sugar for his homemade elderberry wine recipe. He has been a true bee-liever ever since.
SOURCE-RER OF SALT
“It’s all about blending a taste of Big Sur with the flavors of The Ranch,” says Carlo. He hand-harvests salt from the magical waters of Big Sur and infuses it with organic ingredients that capture the essence of the coast. He adds everything from fragrant California sage and wildflowers to award-winning red wine from the Santa Lucia foothills. “What grows together, goes together,” says Carlo, making him a perfect fit for our culinary program.
THE GOAT GAL
The new manager of both The Ranch’s Creamery and our livestock, including the Swiss Saanen goats that produce the milk for our delicious cheeses, Lauren is an agriculturist and culinarian dedicated to both sustainability and sublime culinary experiences. She knew from a young age that her work would involve with the land and animals in some form—Lauren’s roots are in the Salinas Valley, the heart of produce, and she is a former member of Future Farmers of America.“Making artisan cheese is a time-honored practice,” she says. “To learn from someone like Charlie Cascio is a rare privilege.”
Robert G. Magnelli, PH.D
Robert has a lifelong love of horses—and a passion for continuing to discover how they can help us be our best selves. A clinical psychologist with nearly a half-century of professional experience in private practice, as a professor, and for public agencies, he was certified by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association in 2003. Since then, he has crafted programs that utilize the emotional intelligence of horses to strengthen teams, families, and individuals. Along with his wife, Nancy, he co-authored “Power Tools for Living,” which is available in 49 countries and used around the world.