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James Waller has served as the Executive Chef at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa since 1997. His emphasis on fresh, local, quality ingredients has defined the innovative and contemporary cuisine he has created for the Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar.
Because of his dedication to excellence, Chef Waller has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including the prestigious American Academy of Hospitality Sciences’ Five-Star Diamond Award, Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and the AAA Four-Diamond Restaurant Award.
Over the years he has prepared state banquets for numerous presidents and other dignitaries, including Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Henry Kissinger. An ardent proponent of sustainability, Chef Waller is actively involved with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a founding member of the organization’s Seafood Watch Program.