Justin Cogley’s BBQ Celery Root

Chef Justin Cogley cooking on the EGG

Prior to his career as a chef, Justin Cogley was a professional international figure skater performing with “Disney on Ice.” Traveling and touring with the show for four years in Asia, Australia and Europe, Cogley was exposed to new flavors and cuisines, as well as a myriad of food markets and international techniques. These culinary experiences confirmed his passion for food, travel, and good wine, and when he returned to the United States, he enrolled at the Western Culinary Institute. After graduating with top honors in 2005, he launched his culinary career on the team at Charlie Trotter’s, claiming the position of Chef de Cuisine for the last two.

Cogley recently became an avid triathlete and long-distance runner and competed in numerous West Coast races. He also created a culinary event: Rediscovering Coastal Cuisinewhere he invites talented chefs from around the country to come together and collaborate on a twelve-course tasting menu that explores and celebrates the unique biodiversity of California’s Central Coast.

Justin Cogley joined Aubergine restaurant in January 2011. As Executive Chef he oversees Aubergine and all of L’Auberge Carmel’s culinary programs which, under the direction of Chef Cogley and his team, has enjoyed substantial acclaim.

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  • 4 large celery roots, peeled of outer skin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel seed
  • 1 tbsp ground celery seed
  • 1 tsp ground black peppercorn
  • ½ tsp ground white peppercorn
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 3 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fine sea salt
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil


Trim the celery root so they are spherical and roughly equal in size. In a pot of water, simmer the celery root until they are just cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Mix all of the spices together with a whisk to make your BBQ spice blend. Combine ¼ cup of the spice blend with the grapeseed oil to make a BBQ oil. Reserve any remaining spice blend for another use.

Set up the EGG for direct cooking without the convEGGtor at 225°F.

Once the celery roots are cooked, remove them from the water and pat them dry. Brush the celery roots with the spice oil and place in the EGG to smoke. Brush the celery roots with the spice oil every ten minutes and turn them so they smoke and char evenly. The celery roots are ready when they develop a nice smoky flavor and aroma, and have developed an even char around the outside, about 2-3 hours.

To serve, slice the celery roots in to quarters, brush with more spice oil, and serve with your favorite grilled vegetables and BBQ sauce.

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