The Bear and Star
Chef John Cox's passion for food and restaurants began as a teenager when he would save money from his paper route and take a bus into Santa Fe to dine at one of the many restaurants he had highlighted in the local dining guide. By 18, he was enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont.
John served as Executive Chef at Sierra Mar, the celebrated restaurant at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur from 2012-2016. There he developed a personal style that showcased the Big Sur Coast, drawing heavily on indigenous ingredients and reflecting his passion for micro-regional cooking.
In 2017 he teamed with siblings Eli and Ashley Parker of the famed Fess Parker family in Santa Barbara County to open The Bear and Star, a concept of "refined ranch cuisine" inspired by Texan family recipes and a California sensibility. Cox and the Parkers combined resources to realize their dream of creating a true ecosystem on the 710 acre family ranch designed to supply the restaurant. Shepherded by John's passion and vision, the ranch and its ecosystem is exceeding expectations of sustaining the restaurant with responsibly raised Wagyu beef, pork, rabbits, quail, chicken, bees and organically grown vegetables, herbs and fruits. Integral to preparing the menu is John's creation and design – a 30' custom reverse-flow Texas smoker housed on the property, the source for slow smoking and barbecuing many of the dishes.