12 days of christmas: cogley & moran… (2018)

– I first attended the Twelve Days of Christmas in 2012.  A few months later, in March of 2013, Justin Cogley, chef of Aubergine at the l’Auberge Carmel in Carmel-by-the-Sea, asked me to photograph an event he called Rediscovering Coastal Cuisine. In the years since, I have returned annually to photograph both events. In February […]


I first attended the Twelve Days of Christmas in 2012.  A few months later, in March of 2013, Justin Cogley, chef of Aubergine at the l’Auberge Carmel in Carmel-by-the-Sea, asked me to photograph an event he called Rediscovering Coastal Cuisine.

In the years since, I have returned annually to photograph both events.

In February of this year (2018), Justin Cogley invited Christopher Kostow to cook at Rediscovering Coastal Cuisine.  Also invited to the event was Trevor Moran, formerly the chef at The Catbird Seat in Nashville, Tennessee.

To complete the circle among them, and especially for me, who has witnessed and recorded so much of their work apart, Christopher Kostow invited both Cogley and Moran to cook together with him on Day 8 of this year’s Twelve Days of Christmas at The Restaurant at Meadowood.

  1. Humility and self-deprecation are endearing.
  2. Make it tasty.
  3. Be organized.

This would be my advice to any guest chef preparing to cook at The Twelve Days of Christmas.  And for these reasons, the Cogley and Moran dinner ranks among my favorites in the six years I’ve been photographing the series.

Funny, humble, and talented, the two guest chefs produced a delicious menu that included two canapés and three courses each.  Far from the shortest menu, this dinner had such good energy and moved along at such a steady clip (thanks to the organizational skills of sous chef Jacqueline Dasha, who ran point on this dinner) that it wrapped up nearly an hour earlier than any other dinner in this year’s series.

Moran, who is working on a beer bar with potstickers and steamers in Nashville (opening in 2019), sent out fun dishes that packed a lot of flavor.  One of my favorite canapés of this year’s series was his beef tartare, which he sandwiched between two cracker-thin sheets of toasted Wonder bread (all of it was glued together with charcoal mayonnaise).  And his pork dumplings were a crowd pleaser.  They were steamed three to a plate and served with Moran’s own chili oil.

Cogley’s “coastal cuisine” has always been moored deeply to the waters of the Monterey Bay, which surround his restaurant.  Unsurprisingly, he served tender abalone grown just a few miles from his restaurant (I have visited this amazing set-up with Cogley many times, where cages are suspended in the cold waters beneath the Monterey Bay pier).

Cogley also served fatty ribeye, triple-seared, served with local matsutake mushrooms and a bit of shiso.

With so much food, The Restaurant at Meadowood cut back its menu and prepared two courses.  The first was salt-baked capon (from Four Story Hill Farm), which was plated with some cauliflower.  The second was a terrific dessert that I got to preview at dinner the night before this year’s Twelve Days of Christmas.  This was essentially upside down cake batter filled with thin slices of butternut squash.  The best part of this cake was the caramelized crust around the rim, and the refreshingly sour kefir ice cream with which it was served.

Moran had a Japanese ice shaver shipped to The Restaurant at Meadowood (he’s planning to serve – kakigori – shaved ice at his new restaurant too). The Meadowood team prepared blocks of ice to fit in the machine’s vice. Moran hand-cranked each dessert to order: some sponge cake, an avalanche of shaved ice, a dousing of sweetened cream, and all of it topped with freeze-dried (to concentrate flavors) and then rehydrated fruit.  It was refreshing and welcomed break in the dinner.

Below, you’ll find the entire menu from the seventh night of the Twelve Days of Christmas with chefs Justin Cogley (of Aubergine in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California) and Trevor Moran (soon to be opening a restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee).  Here is a link to all of the photos.


Rice milk herbs.

Wagyu Tartare
Wonder bread, charcoal mayonnaise, horseradish.


Spot Prawn
Lemon verbena, finger lime.

Oyster Cracker


1st Course
Broccoli, shiro dash.

2nd Course
Steamed Pork Dumplings
Ra-yu broth.

3rd Course
Monterey Bay Abalone
Rosehip, fennel.

4th Course 
Potato Purée
Yeast sauce, smoked bread.

5th Course
Salt-Baked Capon
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

6th Course
Triple-Seared Ribeye
Matsutake, shiso.

7th Course
Shaved Ice
Sweet boiled milk, fruit.

8th Course
Squash Upside-Down Cake
Kefir ice cream.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

Warm Chestnuts
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

Wine pairings.

Wine Pairing

Château de Bréze, Clos David, 2015

Joh. Jos. Prüm, Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett, 2011

Qupé Roussanne, Santa Maria Valley, 2007

La Guiraude, Crozes-Hermitage, 2015

Dominus Napa Valley, 1997

Day 8: Cogley & Moran

Below are links to my posts and photos from all Twelve Days of Christmas dinners I have attended. Each chef is listed with the restaurant with which they were cooking at the time they participated in the event (some have moved on to other projects and restaurants).


Scott Anderson (Elements; Princeton, New Jersey)
John & Karen Shields (Formerly of Townhouse; Chilhowie, Virginia)
Phillip Foss (EL Ideas; Chicago, Illinois)
Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski (State Bird Provisions; San Francisco, California)
Jason Franey (Canlis Restaurant; Seattle, Washinton)
Matthias Merges (Yusho; Chicago, Illinois)
Mori Onodera (Formerly of Mori Sushi; Los Angeles, California)
James Syhabout (Commis; Oakland, California)
Nick Anderer (Maialino; New York, New York)
David Toutain (Agapé Substance; Paris, France)
Josh Habiger & Erik Anderson (The Catbird Seat; Nashville Tennessee)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Andy Ricker (Pok Pok, Portland, Oregon & New York, New York)
Rodolfo Guzman (Boragó; Santiago, Chile)
Carlo Mirarchi (Blanca and Roberta’s; Brooklyn, New York)
Tim Cushman (O Ya; Boston, Massachusetts)
Ashley Christensen (Poole’s Diner; Raleigh, North Carolina)
David Chang (Momofuku; New York, New York)
Matthew Accarrino (SPQR; San Francisco, California)
Mark Ladner & Brooks Headley (Del Posto; New York, New York)
Rasmus Kofoed (Geranium; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Nicolaus Balla & Cortney Burns (Bar Tartine; San Francisco, California)
David Kinch (Manresa; Los Gatos, California)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Matthew Orlando (Amass; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Frank Castranovo & Frank Falcinelli (Frankies 457, Prime Meats; New York, New York)
Kobe Desramaults (In de Wulf; Dranouter, Belgium)
Alexandre Gauthier (La Grenouillère; La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, France)
Blaine Wetzel (Willows Inn; Lummi Island, Washington)
Joshua McFadden (Ava Gene’s; Portland, Oregon)
Virgilio Martinez (Central; Lima, Peru)
Grant Achatz (Alinea; Chicago, Illinois)
Corey Lee (Benu; San Francisco, California)
Esben Holmboe Bang (Maaemo; Oslo, Norway)
Ignacio Mattos (Estela; New York, New York)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park, NoMad; New York, New York)
Nenad Mlinarevic (Focus; Vitznau, Switzerland)
Christian Puglisi (relæ; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Jorge Vallejo (Quintonil; Mexico City, Mexico)
Joshua Skenes (Saison; San Francisco, California)
Matthew Wilkinson (Pope Joan; Melbourne, Australia)
Kim Floresca and Daniel Ryan ([One]; Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
Isaac McHale (The Clove Club; London, The United Kingdom)
Kyle Connaughton (Single Thread; Healdsburg, California)
Atsushi Tanaka (A.T. Restaurant; Paris, France)
Justin Yu (Oxheart; Houston, Texas)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Mark Lundgaard Nielsen (Kong Hans Kælder; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Manish Mehrotra (Indian Accents; New Dehli, India; New York, New York; London, U.K.)
Jeremiah Stone & Fabián von Hauske Valtierra (Contra & Wildair; New York, New York)
Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon & Tallula’s; Santa Monica, California)
Ben Sukle (birch & Oberlin; Providence, Rhode Island)
Sean Brock (McCrady’s, McCrady’s Tavern, Husk, & Minero; Charleston, South Carolina)
Yoshiaki Takazawa (Takazawa; Tokyo, Japan)
Thomas Keller (The French Laundry; Yountville, California)
Eric Werner (Hartwood; Tulum, Mexico)
Jock Zonfrillo (Orana; Adelaide, Australia)
Alexandre Couillon (La Marine; Noirmoutier, France)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Jose Enrique (Jose Enrique; San Juan, Puerto Rico)
David Pynt (Burnt Ends; Singapore)
Jessica Largey (Simone; Los Angeles, California)
James Lowe (Lyle’s; London, The United Kingdom)
Kamilla Seidler (formerly of Gustu in La Paz, Bolivia; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Byung-jin Kim (Gaon; Seoul, South Korea)
Wojciech Modest Amaro (Atelier Amaro; Warsaw, Poland)
Justin Cogley (Auberine; Carmel, California) & Trevor Moran (Nashville, Tennessee)

Day 8: Cogley & Moran

Photos: Sea urchin-filled kuih pie tee; Moran steaming pork dumplings; Kostow plating salt-baked capon; Cogley plating triple-seared ribeye; John Hong pulling capons out of salt crust; Monterey Bay abalone; Moran’s wagyu tartare sandwiched between two, thin crackers made from Wonder bread; Moran shaving ice for dessert; Jacqueline Dasha serving squash upside-down cake with kefir ice cream; wine pairings; Cogley and Moran with the team at The Restaurant at Meadowood; menu and amenities for Day 7; Daniel Kim mounding salt crust over capons before baking.

Salt-Baked Capon

Categories 12 days 2018 restaurant

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