slow down and come to your senses
For many years this exhortation has graced our Bakery dinner menu in the tiniest font under the words “bill of fare.” It began with us urging guests to “come to their senses” but we realized quickly the impossibility of doing that without first slowing down—a necessity on the 90-mile stretch of curvy Big Sur highway on which sits our tiny, converted ranch house. In all respects, Big Sur forces you to change gears, with its twists and turns and rockslide signs alongside breathtaking views; the epic beauty, grand scale and unique smells conspire to open every one your senses.
We honor this awakening through our approach to creating our food. We savor a slowed-down lifestyle, taking time to develop flavors worthy of enhancing the natural beauty of this place. Every detail of our dining experience is conceived to fill one’s newly opened senses, and nothing we do happens fast: from the care put into procuring and prepping our ingredients, to the long fermentation of our sourdough breads and pickles, to the low-and-slow process of braising our meats and vegetables, to the fire we build to heat our wood-fired oven. Everything we create requires time and patience. We embrace slowing down to appreciate the beauty of food and the wonderful process of its preparation.
Which is the home of the Bakery was built in 1936 by Frank Post’s daughter Alice and her husband Steve. Over the years, the building has continuously been used as a place to restore weary hungry travellers and it is our pleasure to keep the tradition alive today.
Hatched on the sand of an L.A. county beach town, Mike became a Junior Lifeguard, a Cub Scout Webelo and an Indian Guides Tribe Member—all the while dreaming that such a place as Big Sur might exist. He was a waiter-by-night/landscaper-by-day when he lured Michelle Rizzolo and Philip Wojtowicz up north to co-found the BSB. Mike looks after the front of the house and libations, enjoys bird-watching, watch repair and overseeing his sizable collection of overalls.
Was born and raised in New Jersey. She attended culinary school at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where she earned her Associates Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. After an internship at the Fenix Restaurant at the Argyle Hotel, she worked at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, as well as La Brea Bakery and Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles. Michelle oversees the bakery, pastry, desserts, and bread making. Her hobbies include cross fit , drinking lavender chamomile tea, everything rhubarb, all things fruitcake and her son Henry Weston, “the Bean”.
From the Iron City where the six-time World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers reside, Jacob migrated slowly to Wilmington, NC. Along the way he attended New England Culinary Institute and was eventually compelled to go west before the west fell in the ocean. Jacob is the calm in the eye of the kitchen storm, and has never told a soul that he is Big Sur Bakery’s chef. He enjoys family, dogs, archery and slow jams on accordion.
Raised on California’s central coast, Chris was dubbed “the dark master” at fifteen when he began his schooling in coffee. He spent twenty years mastering the art, from perfecting espresso to roasting his own brews. He’s responsible for BSB’s caffeinated beverages, rigging all bakery equipment, applying his OCD to receiving and organizing goods, and brewing our housemade chai. Hobbies include alchemy, hiking into the heart of the Ventana wilderness, African drumming with son Everette and perfecting ‘hurricane’ shaped cappuccino patterns.
Born in an abalone shell just off the Big Sur coast, Mariah reached our shores, dusted the sand from her eyes and began facilitating our festivities – patiently planning, preening and perfecting our private parties. Locally sourced and organic, she appreciates long walks, yoga, vegan cuisine in a mason jar, and the growing and arranging of flowers.
From upstate New York to Seattle and all points in between, Matt held every conceivable bakery and restaurant job for 15 years, learning all aspects of the industry before realizing all he wanted was to bake bread. The rest is history: Matthew helps oversee the daily workings of the bakery and the creation of pastries, bread and desserts. He enjoys all things leaven, a good piece of chocolate and living in paradise.
Was born on the bayou—of eastern Pennsylvania. By fifteen he was washing dishes at a retirement home in rural Virginia. En route to Big Sur, he spent years bartending and serving and bussing tables in New York, Portland and San Francisco. A published writer and championship pole-vaulter, he loves to swerve a motorcycle up and down Highway One.