Wes is the chef and owner of Guerilla Tacos. After attending California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena he went to work at L’Auberge Carmel with Walter Manske. A year later Wes was back in his native L.A. working at various restaurants including Palate Food + Wine, Marche, and Le Comptoir. Between restaurants, Wes spent time studying at Le Centre de Formation de Alain Ducasse in Paris.
Originally from Belgium, Pascal is a wild food, outdoor/self-reliance instructor and author in Los Angeles. He has dedicated the past 12 years to studying traditional food preservation methods and wild food in the Southern California region and integrating them into a sustainable lifestyle. He has been featured in numerous publications and shows including ABC News, NBC and LA Times. You can learn more about Pascal and the classes he offers at http://www.urbanoutdoorskills.com/.
Recently called one of the top 5 cover bands in L.A. by CBS and one of the 14 best cover bands of all time by InsideHook.com, Black Crystal Wolf Kids plays no-holds-barred, crowd-interactive covers of Coachella-ready indie rock. The band’s recent packed gigs at venues like the House of Blues Sunset Strip and performances at events for the James Beard Foundation and San Diego’s Barrel And Bacon festival have established them as one of the region’s premier party-starters.
A Chicago native, James has lived and bartended in L.A. for the past eight years, working in various establishments from dive bars like Coach and Horses to his current position as Head Bartender for Soho House West Hollywood. James was a southwest regional finalist in Diageo World Class Competition, as well as a second runner-up in the Los Angeles leg of GQ/Bombay Sapphire’s “Most Imaginative Bartender” competition.
David first staged at the French Laundry in 2005, parlaying that role into a position as the kitchen’s butcher and later chef de partie. In 2006, he assumed the post of chef de partie at Per Se in New York where he rose to the role of executive sous chef. In 2013 he became Chef de Cuisine at The French Laundry where he leads the kitchen and carries on the deep commitment and collaborative spirit that have made the restaurant what it is today.
Culinary Arts Kids Eat is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization created to enrich, engage and educate students through practical knowledge and hands-on experience in the culinary arts and the restaurant and hospitality industry. Through C.A.K.E.’s programs, youth are empowered to enter the workforce and to become ambassadors of health and wellness to their families and communities.
Tricia learned the craft of culinary cocktails from amazing chefs and bar business geniuses across SoCal. Since 2011 she has served as Southern California Director of Mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits where she is honored to work with a diverse community of professionals. Recent bar programs include Susan Feniger’s STREET, The Villains Tavern, Shutters on the Beach and Red O by Rick Bayless.
As the LA Times Test Kitchen director, Noelle oversees the testing of all recipes that are in The Times. In addition, she writes feature stories for The Times, the “Daily Dish” blog and the “Culinary SOS” column that gives readers their favorite recipes from restaurants and bakeries. She is also a contributor to Splendid Table. (Photo: Marie Astrid Gonzalez)
A native Californian, Jeff has embraced all his home state has to offer. His culinary experiences run from Spain’s El Bulli to Yountville’s The French Laundry before striking out on his own to develop Farmshop. Throughout his career, Jeff has cultivated relationships with farmers and artisan producers and with Farmshop he has created an arena to showcase their labors.
Michael is the chef and owner of critically acclaimed Providence, in L.A., where his cooking celebrates his passion for all things seafood. The chef and the restaurant have earned national accolades that include several James Beard Award nominations and two highly coveted Michelin stars. In 2013 he opened Connie and Ted’s, named in honor of his grandparents. (Photo: Jennifer Kelley Lublin )
A Los Angeles native, Josiah is a two-star Michelin chef and owner of the highly acclaimed Mélisse Restaurant in Santa Monica and co-owner of Lemon Moon Café in West L.A. He has been featured on various TV food shows and in numerous national food publications. His first cookbook, “In Pursuit of Excellence” was named Best Cookbook by the Independent Book Publishers Association.
As one of L.A.’s top mixologists, Julian has crafted cocktails for Comme Ça, David Myers’ Sona, John Sedlar’s Rivera and more. He received the 2010 Rising Star Award and The Jimmy Barela Award for his 1800 Tequila Cocktail. Julian also helped open Las Perlas in downtown L.A.
Scott is an event and concert DJ who has opened for X, Paul Weller, Bryan Ferry, Madness, The Specials, The B-52s, Billy Idol, The NY Dolls, Echo & the Bunnymen, Big Audio Dynamite, The Damned, Adam Ant, Blondie, Cracker, Lily Allen, Pretenders and just about every reggae act on planet Earth. He has hosted “Retrograde” on Indie1031.com since 2008.
Alex is a former Death & Co bartender now co-owner, and the co-owner, with David Kaplan of Proprietors LLC. He and David also own and operate Honeycut in Los Angeles and Nitecap and 151 in New York City.
Betty is a deputy editor at the LA Times. She writes and edits food articles in the Saturday section and helms the “Find” restaurant review column. Formerly, she worked in the LA Times Business section and for the Wall Street Journal in New York. (Photo: Marie Astrid Gonzalez)
Jenn is a staff writer for the LA Times Food section, former host of the “Forkin’ Amazing” food radio show on TradioV.com, and a happy hour enthusiast. She’s also written for The Times’ Image, Travel and Calendar sections. You can catch her slurping boat noodles in Thai town, at a taco truck trying to pronounce al pastor in her head, or downing an order of fried chicken the size of her crush on Anthony Bourdain. But before you write her off as the worst eater ever, you should see her massage some kale.
Karen’s pastry career began not far from home at the Los Angeles Culinary Institute. Upon graduation, she quickly became a pastry chef at the venerable Spago Hollywood and Spago Beverly Hills, where she also met her future husband, Quinn. The Hatfields opened Hatfield’s in 2006, which achieved a Michelin star in 2008, and The Sycamore Kitchen in 2012. Their next project, Odys & Penelope, opens in Fall 2014.
As Chef de Cuisine of The French Laundry, Timothy led the kitchen in the evolution of its world-renowned cuisine. With nearly 12 years at the restaurant, he exemplified Thomas Keller’s commitment to mentorship and personal development. In 2013, he left The French Laundry, signing on as Chef Partner at the standalone restaurant adjacent to the Broad Museum in downtown L.A., slated to open in 2015.
Michael began his culinary career in New York City, dropping out of culinary school to do extended stages at acclaimed restaurants Daniel and Aquavit. He followed his heart to San Francisco and joined the James Beard Award-winning team at Jardiniere before going on to other Bay Area restaurants. In December of 2013, Michael became Executive Chef of downtown L.A.’s Faith & Flower.
In 2012, Orange County-born C.J. staged at the world-renowned Copenhagen restaurant Noma, working closely with acclaimed chef René Redzepi in the innovation-driven test kitchen. In July 2013 he opened his own restaurant, Girasol, in Studio City. His craft is best described as ‘rustic-refined’ and revolves around a profound respect for the hyper-seasonal, local, and wild ingredients he brings into his kitchen.
Belgian-born Daniel graduated from the Culinary Institute of Brussels in 1986 and trained at some of the finest, Michelin-starred restaurants in the city. Since coming to the U.S. he worked at Restaurant Million in South Carolina and has been elected as a brand ambassador for Stella Artois. He now owns Mirabelle Restaurant and hosts cooking demos and seminars for the Belgium beer Heritage nationwide.
While taking a break after graduating from college, Roxana found herself baking a tarte tatin in the tiny kitchen of a local bistro. Her fate was sealed. Over the next ten years she held tenures at highly acclaimed restaurants including Campanile, Bastide, Lucques, AOC and Clarklewis. Since 2011, she owns and operates Cooks County in the heart of L.A., where she’s also the head baker.
Bruce Kalman is a well-seasoned chef with numerous accolades, including a James Beard nomination for Rising Star Chef, a “Chopped” championship title and a recent win on Esquire Network’s “Knife Fight.” Bruce now continues his culinary journey as Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Union in Pasadena where he creates rustic yet elegant menus that bring his guests together in a perfect union.
Thomas Keller is the only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings from the prestigious Michelin Guide. Other accolades include The Culinary Institute of America’s “Chef of the Year” award and the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurateur” awards. Among his many acclaimed restaurants are The French Laundry in Yountville, Per Se in New York City, and Bouchon and Bar Bouchon in Beverly Hills. (Photo: Deborah Jones)
Evan is a chef, author, radio host, restaurateur and sought after speaker. Also known as ‘the Fairy Godmother of the L.A. food scene,’ she has been KCRW’s Good Food host since 1997. Evan is also the founder of L.A.’s Slow Food Chapter and the author of eight books on Italian food as well as Easy As Pie, the video app.
Jessica worked in pastry at the James Beard Award-winning Bacchanalia in Atlanta. Upon returning to California, she was attracted to the diversity of local produce. She started Sqirl, a preserve company that focuses on using produce from family-owned farms that practice sustainable, certified organic methods. Sqirl, the acclaimed chef-driven breakfast and lunch restaurant followed, which LA Weekly placed at #9 and LA Magazine slotted as the #7 best restaurant in Los Angeles for 2014.
Mikki is a pastry chef and bartender, working at The Varnish for the past three years. Her pastry garnishes have been featured on the menu at The Varnish and she recently had a cocktail written up in the New York Times, as well as highlighted food and cocktail parings in Icon Magazine. Mikki was also the winner of the Repeal Day competition last year with her cocktail, Ruin My Day.
Margaux has spent 15 years in the fine dining and hospitality industry in Southern California, New York and Philadelphia. She graduated from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine, Advanced Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and teaches a wine course at San Diego State University.
Since first opening The Tasting Kitchen in late 2009, Casey has continued to build on his reputation as a talented chef committed to the heritage of his craft and a belief in the beauty — and necessity — of creating as much on the menu as possible by hand. His four consecutive James Beard nominations, most recently in 2013 as “Rising Star Chef of the Year,” are evidence of the praise his style his has garnered.
Before becoming Faith & Flower’s chief mixologist, Michael helped open the James Beard-nominated Restaurant 1833 in Monterey and Rose.Rabbit.Lie in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. In 2013, he was named as one of Zagat’s “30 Under 30″ and San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 5 Bar Stars. His cocktails have been featured in GQ, Robb Report, Wine Enthusiast and many other publications.
Steve joined the LA Times staff in 2001 after four years at Time Inc in New York. His work has won many national journalism awards and he is the author of The Soloist: A Lost Dream, An Unlikely Friendship, and The Redemptive Power of Music. Steve is married, has two sons and a daughter.
After honing his craft in Europe, America and Australia, Vincenzo took his passion for mixology to Providence in Hollywood. The next venue for his cocktail philosophy was Santa Monica’s Copa d’Oro where his approach to natural, market-fresh drinks is unique to Los Angeles, and continues to garner praise as one of the only serious cocktail bars on the Westside.
Melisa has devoted her life to exposing people to fresh, healthy and delicious food — and to making that food accessible in every neighborhood. She is the president of Culinary Arts Kids Eat (C.A.K.E.), a philanthropic nonprofit formed to enrich, engage and educate students through the culinary arts. She has co-owned four L.A. restaurants and is currently part of the creative team at Nic’s Beverly Hills.
Ira has worked in retail, as a sommelier and, since 1983, at Southern Wine & Spirits as Director of Education and Events. In 1999, he became a Certified Wine Educator with the Society of Wine Educators. He holds a diploma from the Bordeaux Wine School, is a certified International Bordeaux Educator and is a certified Cognac Educator. He is a past President of the Society of Wine Educators.
Russ has been an LA Times food editor and columnist for 20 years. He wrote the cookbooks How to Read a French Fry (a finalist for two Julia Child cookbook awards) and How to Pick a Peach (named one of the best 100 books in 2007 by Publisher’s Weekly and Amazon). In 2008, Russ was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage.” (Photo: Marie Astrid Gonzalez)
Born and raised in Pasadena by her hardworking chef mother, Amelia’s enthusiasm for the culinary arts eventually led her to the Hudson Valley for an apprenticeship at Fleisher’s Meats. Soon after, her eyes were opened to the issues of factory farming. She dug deep into the facts as a journalist and an academic, and became committed to teaching America how to eat. She puts this experience to work as co-owner of Lindy & Grundy, her sustainable butcher shop in Los Angeles.
French Wine Import Manager for Southern California for Southern Wine & Spirits, Stewart has worked in the wine industry for over 20 years. Among the many accolades he has earned, he is a Level 2 Certified Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers), Certified Wine Educator (Society of Wine Educators, CWE) and French Wine Scholar (The French Wine Society, FWS).
As head barman at Lucques, a.o.c. and Tavern, Christiaan has been lauded by the LA Times, Eater LA, People, Los Angeles, Details, and Food and Wine, among others, for establishing thriving bar programs at some of Los Angeles’ most-watched restaurants. “He continues to create head-turning, palate-pleasing craft cocktails to pair with the James Beard award-winning cuisine,” said Los Angeles Magazine blogger, Caroline on Crack.
An internationally renowned chef, bestselling author, and the 2013 VegNews Person of the Year, Tal has pioneered an entirely new cuisine that pairs a sophisticated sensibility with a focus on plant-based foods. His newest venture, Crossroads, emphasizes both a refined setting and an exceptional menu, which reflect his belief that healthy eating is a main course, not an afterthought.
Rosie started her career at Los Feliz’s Big Bar @ Alcove Cafe, where she was mentored by some of the industry’s top professionals. After only two years of honing her craft, Rosie was asked to become the beverage/cocktail director for 1886 in Pasadena. Today you can find Rosie at 1933 Group’s new bar Harlowe.
Naomi served as the Beverage Director at The Spare Room, a gaming parlor and cocktail lounge inside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel through mid-August 2014. Under her direction, this program is currently nominated for Best American Hotel Bar at the prestigious Spirited Awards. In addition to winning several cocktail competitions, the LA Times has praised her “seriously adept and inventive cocktail craftsmanship.”
Max has worked in the Los Angeles restaurant and bar industry for 13 years as a host, busser, expeditor, line cook, server, bartender and manager. He was maître d’ and wine director at Fraîche in Culver City, and maître d’ and bar director at Comme Ça in West Hollywood. He started at The Varnish as a host in 2011 and has been their General Manager since 2012.
In 2011, this Southwest cuisine chef was named “Chef of the Year” by Esquire, and his restaurant, Rivera, received the title of “Best New Restaurants 2011.” In 2012 and 2013, John was nominated for “Best Chef Pacific” by the James Beard Foundation. Currently, he’s developing Museum Tamal, a museum devoted to food in the Latin world.
Nancy is the co-owner of Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, Newport Beach and Singapore, as well as Mozza2Go and Chi Spacca in L.A. She also founded the world-renowned La Brea Bakery and Campanile Restaurant, an institution that Angelenos cherished for decades. This year she received the highest honor given by the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Chef.” (Photo: Tom Caltabiano)
Carole is Vice President, Business Development for Heritage Link Brands a California-based company that imports and markets wine to consumers in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe. She is certified, with distinction, by the UK-based Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET), travels extensively as a wine educator and serves on the Executive Board of Center Theatre Group Affiliates.
Nina is the official West Coast representative of the Rioja wine region of Spain. She has several wine certifications under her belt, and travels the West educating consumers about the beauty of the Rioja region and its wines.
Devon designs, implements, and oversees beverage programs with Proprietors LLC. When she’s not out in the field, you can find her playing in our test bar and contemplating the Wall of Booze. Be prepared for a Cognac shortage if she comes to your city.
Ari is the chef and owner of Alma in downtown Los Angeles, which has received nummerous accolades including being named in 2013 by Bon Appetit as “The Best New Restaurant in America.” Previously, he worked at flour+water, Bar Tartine, Plate Shop and La Chassagnette. LA Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold reviewed Alma and wrote, “Nobody is cooking quite like this in L.A. at the moment.
Melding kitchen ingenuity and immaculate technique with his distinct Peruvian flair, Ricardo serves as an ambassador of Peruvian cuisine in the U.S. and has earned praise from critics across the country. The 2011, Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef” made waves with his modern Peruvian food at his L.A. restaurants Picca and Mo-chica. He opened his third establishment, Paichẽ, in April 2013 and in November, 2013 Zarate branched outside of Los Angeles for the first time, opening his fourth restaurant Blue Tavern in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara.