CARMEL VALLEY, CALIF., 2022 – February 1, 2022, marks the arrival of Christian Ojeda, taking the helm as executive chef of Lucia Restaurant & Bar.  Ready to fire up the stoves, Ojeda was selected following an intensive nationwide search for the 73-room lodge’s top toque.  Set to deliver on expectation, he joins the Bernardus culinary team from Montage Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, where he held the post of executive chef.

Receiving a coveted 12 Forbes stars in 2021, Bernardus Lodge & Spa has long set the standard for luxury lodging along the California coastline.  Ojeda’s strong resume and 20+ years in the culinary industry are certain to add yet another layer of luxe.  Born in Utah with Chilean roots, Ojeda has traversed key kitchens in Europe as well as sharpening his knives in Las Vegas at

Joel Robuchon and Hubert Keller’s famed Fleur de Lys.  He later transitioned to the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe and then took the reins as executive chef at Auberge Resort Collection’s Calistoga Ranch, overseeing all food & beverage operations for the award-winning inn.  Ojeda later served as executive chef at Sky Lodge, Utah before joining the Montage Deer Valley Resort in 2014 – Utah’s only FiveStar, Five-Diamond hotel property.

Rooted in classic European technique with an eye for contemporary flavors, Ojeda’s style is progressive in approach, with a fresh take on classics and integration of local influences.  “We’re extremely proud of Lucia’s legacy and look forward to chef Christian taking the dining experience to the next level,” says Sean Damery, vice president and general manager of Bernardus Lodge & Spa.  “His depth in flavor-forward techniques and presentation are a perfect fit for Lucia.  Given the rich local resources in Monterey County – from land to sea – his style and creativity will have no boundaries.”

A graduate of the Art Institute of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts degree in hospitality management, Ojeda will relocate to Monterey County with his wife and two sons.


Poised on 28 fragrant acres of lavender, olive orchards and vineyards with sweeping Santa Lucia Range views, the 90-seat Lucia Restaurant & Bar features a 2,300 sq., ft., heated alfresco dining terrace and main dining room set in contemporary design with rich white Italian leather offset with oxidized copper, marble, teak and reclaimed wood.  French wooden floors, chandeliers and stunning exterior fireplaces grace the mixed-use table layout with a focal point fireplace styled from Bagattini Oregon stone marking the main entrance.  The restaurant’s coveted two-acre organic garden and stash of 180,000 Italian honeybees round out the culinary cache.

A variety of coveted private dining venues, from the casual new Cooper’s Den to the expanded 12-seat Wine Cellar, exclusive five-seat Chef’s Table and 15-seat Magnum Room, offer extensive tasting menus backed by an extensive 15,000-bottle wine cellar.