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Staff Spotlight

FEBRUARY 2019: CLEMENTE HERRERA, ALL AROUND COOK

Homemade pie. The words make your mouth water. Now add a scoop of homemade ice cream and you have a sense of heaven on Earth. Our delectable desserts are just some of the many reasons that Edgar’s Restaurant at Quail is a local favorite. And it is the talent of pastry expert Clemente Herrera that has helped position Edgar’s as a staple of Carmel Valley.

Clemente started working at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in 2000 doubling as a server in Edgar’s and pastry cook. Over the past 19 years, he has made guests feel at home through his passionate heart, infectious smile and, most importantly, through his homemade desserts. Clemente’s reputation for his dessert and pastry work, most specifically for his pies and ice creams, is attributed in part to his own salesman skills. While working as a server, he would upsell his own desserts, convincing people to try them. “Are you sure you don’t want dessert?” He would re-affirm with that humble smile. “I made them myself.” He was so passionate and charismatic about what he had to offer that he would promise guests that if they didn’t like what he had made then they wouldn’t have to pay for it. But no one can stop after just one bite into any of Clemente’s masterpieces ...

Before Clemente was referred to Quail by a friend, he worked at multiple wineries as a winemaker and helped in the kitchen. It was at one of those wineries 28 years ago that a fellow chef inspired him to further his career as a cook specializing in pastry. This mentor took Clemente under his wing and trained him, while constantly encouraging him to believe in his natural abilities … which was something Clemente struggled with at first. However, from that training and encouragement, he felt ready to take the next step in his career at Quail.

Clemente expressed that he loves working at Quail and feels lucky to be here. Quail continues to challenge and inspire him, which makes his family proud and in return furthers Clemente’s success. He believes that simply showing a guest a smile is enough to lift their spirits. So, if you haven’t tried Clemente’s desserts, especially the seasonal pies and ice creams, then you must come to Edgar’s and request a dessert complemented by a smile.

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