KING CITY — Kurt Walker has been hired as the new executive chef at The Cork & Plough in King City, overseeing restaurant operations from hiring of staff to training to menu development.
Walker has 30 years of restaurant management and culinary skills, including working for such well-known companies as The Cheesecake Factory and NBC/Universal. In addition to food and beverage experience, he also brings pastry expertise, which could contribute to the future menu.
“I really hope we build up our dessert offerings more,” said Susan Childers, co-owner of The Cork & Plough.
Walker’s first day at the restaurant, which has a staff of 16, was Aug. 21.
“I like to produce great items for the guests to enjoy,” he said in reference to his aims in the kitchen.
Walker said he will take time to see what guests enjoy, not only the local regulars, but also the tourists, and make seasonal additions to the menu to enhance it over time rather than overhaul the existing offerings.
“I want to do things that will make people happy, so I need to learn through the process what’s liked here,” he said.
Childers added, “We really appreciate the experience Kurt brings to this position and we feel fortunate to have someone of this caliber coming to King City and really helping us to move to the next level.”
The prior management duo, Travis Childers and Anna Timoshenko, recently moved to Austin, Texas, after he got a job offer from a restaurant company there.
“We love the history of The Cork & Plough and all the work that’s been done up to this point,” Susan Childers said. “Travis and Anna did a great job developing a high-quality restaurant here. We wish them well in their endeavors. It’s good to have someone new come in.”
She added, “You have the benefit of all the work that’s been done up to this point and the benefit of someone bringing in new ideas.”
Overseeing the wine program will be Jessica Garcia and Ron Childers.
“We’re really blessed to have people with strong experience here,” Susan Childers said.
Walker said he likes to make everything in house, even the breads that are used as part of dishes. He noted his appreciation for getting to use local ingredients that he can see growing in fields within 18 miles of the restaurant.
Walker came from Glendale, Calif., and said he likes the positivity of the people in South Monterey County.
“It’s very nice here because I can hear; it’s not just cars running by,” he said.