The rôtie team
Larry (Lorenzo) Nicola and Claud Mann began working together in Los Angeles more than 25-years ago. In 1992 they were asked to lead a team to revamp all food outlets at the Palmilla Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. Long before farm-to-fork was adopted as a marketing phrase, Larry and Claud forged relationships with local farmers and food producers with the goal of developing a world-class food program that allowed the hotel to free itself from out-of-season and unsustainable ground shipments from far away. Their improved menu ultimately reflected the bounty of Baja: almejas chocolates (giant sea clams), sea urchins, huitlacoche (corn truffles), verdolaga (wild beach purslane) and damiana (a slightly sweet native herb purported to have aphrodisiacal properties). Around that time, they began brainstorming on future projects; Ojai Rôtie is one of the concepts percolating since those days in Mexico. During the ensuing years, the two chefs went on to pursue numerous other projects, always hoping to reunite one day in a very special restaurant. As Lorenzo says about Rôtie, "This one's for love".