Cantinetta Luca’s new executive chef Eddie Moran plans to return the Carmel restaurant to its roots. But this is more than a PR soundbite – Moran was part of the crew that opened the restaurant in 2006. “It’s a homecoming of sorts,” Moran says. He recalls working as a sous chef at Aubergine under Chef Walter Manzke – now chef/owner of nationally renowned République restaurant in Los Angeles – then getting recruited by Manzke to help open the hip Italian sister concept.
Moran would eventually move on to work on the East Coast. Most recently, he served as culinary director for Palm Springs hospitality group F10 Creative, which frequently saw him cooking for celebrity clientele.
Weekly: What’s your recipe to success at Cantinetta Luca?
Moran: An authentic menu of great Italian food. A sustainability ethos, of course. And making as much as we can by hand: pasta, pizza, charcuterie. It’s elevated casual fare.
What are your plans for it?
We’re keeping the same concept, really. We’re making some tweaks here and there, like playing around with the dough and introducing more shareable dishes. But don’t worry, the favorites won’t be going anywhere.
What are you most excited for?
Using all of our great local products. Just today our local forager, Paul Huntington, brought us some amazing chanterelles. They’re so beautiful and I can’t wait to put them on the menu.
Who’s the most famous person you’ve cooked for?
Well, I’m not at liberty to say because of non-disclosure agreements.
We cooked a backyard barbecue with [activewear brand] Ivy Park during Coachella, but that’s all I’m allowed to say [laughs].