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Serena McClain
4 years Ago

Last year, IfOnly presented 12 of our Michelin-starred and James Beard Award-winning chefs with a challenge: create a caramel that represented their unique culinary voice through one confection. As the creative flavor combinations rolled in – from pomegranate molasses to maple black truffle – each caramel distilled the chef’s culinary point of view and provided a glimpse inside the restaurant’s lauded kitchen.


A favorite project of IfOnly's team, we asked them to do it again this year. Michael Murphy, our Director of Culinary Development, collaborated with the chefs to unleash their creativity and build a distinctive and unique collection of caramels, each one handcrafted by the pastry chefs of each illustrious restaurant.


Today, we’re sharing with you the inspiration behind a few of these one-of-a-kind caramels.


Chef Joshua Skenes of the newly awarded 3 Michelin-starred Saison cultivated a recipe using grilled butter from Saison’s personal pasture of cows to create a sumptuous caramel that flawlessly portrays the restaurant’s commitment to honoring the best of each season.


Michelin-starred Chef Justin Cogley, who forages from the Carmel sea each week in order to create his award-winning menu at Aubergine, worked with Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza to craft a delicious caramel that truly celebrates the tastes of Monterey Bay, using foraged candy cap mushroom and maple.


Inspired by their new-age Moroccan restaurant Aziza, perennial favorite Chef Mourad Lahlou and Pastry Chef Melissa Chou highlighted preserved lemon to create a salty yet sweet confection that perfectly represents the flavors of traditional Moroccan cuisine while also showcasing the fresh local ingredients of Northern California.


Food & Wine “Best New Chef” in 2014 Matthew Accarrino of San Francisco’s Michelin-starred SPQR made his own nocino, a popular Italian black walnut liqueur, to incorporate into his caramel and blended it delicately with sea salt, while across the bay Chef Daniel DeLong of Sir and Star took inspiration from the Marin terrain, crafting an exquisite caramel of brown butter and Bolinas beets.


The Constellation Caramel Collection is the perfect way to experience the culinary genius of many of the world’s most legendary chefs, while also supporting a worthy cause. Great care has been taken into creating a truly fitting presentation box, and the result is the ultimate gift for you or your loved ones this holiday season.

Preserved lemon caramels from Aziza pastry chef Melissa Chou.

Aubergine pastry chef Ron Mendoza shows off the first batch of Candy Cap Mushroom & Maple caramels.

The chefs and kitchens featured in the Constellation Caramel Collection.