Chef Marc Cohen is a thoughtful and imaginative chef, who makes sure every dish leaving the kitchen is exquisitely plated, making the food as pleasing to look at as it it to eat. With each plate serving as a blank canvas, Cohen's culinary presentations were lauded as edible work of art. As noted by the LA Times "...every dish bears chef and co-owner Marc Cohen's distinctive stamp, one informed by a particular love of Mexican and Pacific flavors and an artist's flair." Originally from Baltimore, Cohen shows his allegiance to his hometown by bringing fresh fish and seafood to the forefront of his menus.
Cohen received his culinary training at Johnson & Wales University. The accolades started while he was still in school, when Cohen was honored with an invitation to be a part of the Chaine des Rotisseurs Culinary Olympic team that went to Frankfurt, Germany. While competing on the world stage, the team earned gold medals for their outstanding culinary skills. Upon graduation, he stayed on the east coast moving to Washington, D.C. where he was recognized as one of Washington's Top 100 Chefs for his work at Sutton Place's Blue Point Grill. In 1994, he was lured to the west coast by his current partners to be the opening chef and partner of 230 Forest Avenue. With the opening of 230, Cohen created the perfect stage for his distinctive cuisine. Showcasing ingredients indigenous to the Pacific coast, Cohen developed a modern American cuisine where seafood rules. Since day one, 230 and Cohen were a success. In 1993, Cohen and his partners launched Opah Restaurant & Bar, where he has been delighting diners with his creative California cuisine, taking advantage of locally grown and harvested ingredients. With its sleek modern design and well-appointed martini bar, Opah, named for the moonfish viewed by the fisherman as a symbol of good luck, has also become a popular dining destination. His restaurant have consistently received praise from reviewers, including Zagat's, the LA Times and the Orange County Register, among many others, for their "artistry" and "refreshing new appeal to what are termed starters, green plates, ocean and land plates and famed pasta bowls."
In 2005, Cohen received the prestigious national Silver Plate Award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association and is continually named among the Best Chefs in Orange County.
Cohen is the executive chef/co-owner of Opah Seafood Grill (Aliso Viejo and Irvine), 230 Forest Avenue (Laguna Beach) and Watermarc. Watermarc is his newest venture, a bistro featuring grazing plates and offering more than 30 wines by the glass, also in Laguna Beach.