JONATHAN CHRISTOPHER ROBERTS
"the Pig Wizard" - Chef
We are thrilled to have Chef Jonathan on the Sea Stars team! Chef Jonathan has been cooking with us since 2014 and his taste and cooking skills are impeccable.
Roberts, who began studying butchery 16 years ago, making sausage and doing and teaching whole-animal processing at Monte Vista Market. “I basically just started reading everything I could find on the subjects of curing and aging, and quickly discovered I had a real passion for charcuterie,” he says. Food is a central theme in his life, and he finds ways to tie together all of his working and traveling experiences into delicious and inventive food. While he rarely opens cookbooks, you can find scores of research papers on food science and nutrition stored in his laptop, and reads voraciously about the history of food.
He is also an avid mushroom hunter, spear fisherman, roadside berry picker and homesteader, raising rabbits, chickens and running a farm on his Carmel Valley ranch. Sustainability in food and water conservation are very important to Chef Roberts. He loves a challenge in cooking and excels at every type of cuisine, especially wood fired cooking, seasonal vegetables, whole grains and of course, pig roasts and charcuteries. Jonathan sources all his pork from an organic farm in the Bay area.
“Charcuterie is a meticulous process that takes a lot of work—discovering the proper cure durations, what herbs and spices work best, and so on. At the beginning it was a lot of trial and error—you can’t cure meat around any other produce or it will absorb unwanted flavors, for instance—but I really believe the quality we’re able to achieve indicates what a bad job the huge meat-processing plants in this country are doing. There’s such a huge awareness now of the importance of buying fruit and veggies from local, sustainable sources. That same awareness has not fully translated to meat yet, but I see it happening— people want to know where their food is coming from, and that’s a huge step in the right direction.”