Ben Spungin is Partner and Chef for the Alta Group.

Alta Bakery is located in downtown Monterey at the Historic Cooper Molera Adobe.

Ben’s cooking- hinged on the philosophy of locally grown, seasonal ingredients, and bright flavors – has a creative balance of savory and sweet. On the Monterey Peninsula for over a decade, Ben has worked up and down the coast from the epic Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur to the Bernardus Lodge under Chef Cal Stamenov. Corporate Pastry Chef and a part of the opening team for Faith and Flower in L.A.,

and Rose Rabbit Lie in Las Vegas, along with Pastry Chef coordination for Pebble Beach and L.A. Food and Wine events. He has been featured in Art Culinare Magazine, Patisserie & Desserts, Wine Spectator, and photographed in the French laundry Cookbook. Ben has been involved with a number of charities including the Youth Arts Collective, Meals on Wheels, Autism Speaks and Big Sur Health Center throughout the years.

Originally from from upstate Geneva, New York, Matt Somerville has worked for up to 17 years in an array of restaurants all across the country, humbly learning all aspects of the food industry and cooking. While in Seattle, Washington Matt felt a need to inundate himself in bread making.

In 2010, Matt moved back to Big Sur to oversee the daily workings of the Big Sur Bakery and the creation of pastries, bread and desserts for seven years. Now he is the Head baker at Alta and oversees all aspects of leavened affairs.

Living in beautiful Cachagua in Carmel Valley, he is a true craftsman who creates beautiful pottery pieces, enjoys working in his garden and has an extreme fondness for creating chocolate from “bean to bar”.

Working and managing multiple coffee shops in Sonoma Valley, Kali’s passion for coffee has developed into full blown obsession.

“To me, coffee isn’t just a beverage. It’s the driving force that gets me up in the morning, the outlet for allowing me to make someone’s day better that it was before I found them and the commodity that forces me to think about my part in the global community.”

Kali is head of the Coffee and Beverage program here at Alta Bakery and she is the one who comes up with the unconventional coffee beverages each month such as the Lemon Poppyseed Latte and Garden Strawberry Shakerato. You can also thank her for the house made chai and house made syrups! Kali believes that when it comes to syrups, flavor should dominate over sweetness.
When not working or dreaming of coffee, you can usually find her nose buried in a book or watching Harry Potter for the 9th and 3⁄4’s time.