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Our Story

Cultura is a restaurant inspired by friends and travel.  Sarah Kabat-Marcy & Chef John Cox met while working at the world renowned Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur.  They became friends over their shared passion for travel and hospitality.  Their vision for Cultura was a restaurant that would be a unique Carmel experience that reflected their passion for the foods and Mezcal of Oaxaca.  With the support of Chef Michelle Estigoy and Michael Marcy they brought this vision to life inside a historic courtyard in Carmel-By-The Sea in 2016.    Join these friends for a dining experience you won’t soon forget. 

 The Rabbit or "Conejo," is a sacred animal in Aztec mythology, due to its connection to Mayahuel (goddess of the Maguey/Agave plant and goddess of fertility. It is said in a fit of passion, Mayahuel consummated her relationship with Petactl (god of healing and fertility and "lord of the root pulque"). From their consummation, Mayahuel became pregnant with the Centzon Totochtin, "400 rabbits", each of these individual rabbits/conejos had a different name and different representation of a level of intoxication. Thus the saying, "drunk like 400 rabbits" describes reaching the highest level of "enlightenment" as possible.

Rabbit portrait by 

Beau Bernier Frank

(see below)

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Cultura’s featured artist, Beau Bernier Frank has brought the

culture of the restaurant to life

with his "Las Mezcallíerras" series.

Learn more about Beau at:

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Chef Michelle Estigoy grew up in the Central Valley and was inspired by the wide variety of culture and food that it offers.  Watching and helping her Grandma Rosa use fresh ingredients to create delicious food without written recipes planted the seeds of Michelle’s future career. Michelle gained experience at Casanova and Bicyclette in Carmel, before moving on to the highly acclaimed Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn, in Big Sur where she first worked with Cultura partners, John Cox and Sarah Kabat Marcy.


Chef Partner, John Cox is well known for his acclaimed ventures in micro-regional cuisine. Chef Cox earned accolades for his work at Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur and La Bicyclette in Carmel creating Cultura and The Bear and Star in Los Olivos.


Managing partner, Sarah Kabat-Marcy comes from a background of fine-dining as both a restaurant manager and sommelier.  She has long been captivated by the culture of Oaxaca and her love of Mezcal. 

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