CHIEF CULINARY CRAFTSMAN
Executive Chef Tim Wood keeps it simple: “I like to cook and give people what they like and watch them enjoy it." Chef Wood, the laid-back culinary mastermind behind The Ranch’s fresh-to-table philosophy and locavore cuisine, finds many of the ingredients for his seasonally inspired dishes within walking distance of the kitchen—in our organic garden, hen house, honeybee hives, and salt house.
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.
SULTAN OF SALT
Also known as Salty Bob, this salt-of-the-earth (well, ocean, technically) guy produces The Ranch’s clean, renewable sea salt from the nutrient-rich waters of Monterey Bay. He brings the water to The Ranch, where it evaporates in our very own salt house. Then he hand-harvests the crystals, adding seasonings to create signature blends—think rosemary-sage and Thai dragon chili—that bring out the flavors of Chef Wood’s recipes.
There’s something fishy about Jerry—and that’s why we like him. Jerry, a long-time fishing buddy of Chef Wood, supplies The Ranch with daily deliveries of fresh wild sea bass, halibut, salmon, swordfish, tuna or other seasonal gifts from the sea to satisfy seafood-lovers’ cravings. What’s the catch? Only locally sourced, sustainably caught fish from the Monterey Bay.
With a background in beekeeping, western herbalism, mycology (a.k.a. mushrooms), microbiology and hospitality, Mariah knows a few things about the world. But it’s the tiny society inside a beehive that gives her the biggest buzz. Mariah, our Queen Beekeeper, oversees honey production and takes guests bee-hind the scenes, waxing poetic about the role our Italian honeybees play in pollinating the plants that grow on our property.
THE GOAT GUY
You could say goat cheese saved Charlie’s life—literally. In 2016, when a wildfire swept through Big Sur and destroyed most of the cheesemaker's farm and livelihood, he had just enough time to evacuate his Swiss nanny goats and seek shelter in his cheese cave. Today, Charlie and his goats make unique, creamy cheese blends for The Ranch and invite guests to meet the adorably spunky “ladies” who supply the milk for his creations.
As The Ranch’s steward of sustainable wildcrafting—the ancient practice of harvesting potent and unusual wild plants in a way that maintains the health of their native habitat—Spencer teaches guests about nature’s abundant gifts. You may spot him cultivating the medicinal herb garden or hiking the hillsides in search of wild plants, mushrooms (no, not that kind) and other ingredients beneficial for health and wellbeing.