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Posted By - Kate Spencer On August 29, 2015

LOS ANGELES FOOD & WINE: 22 (!) REASONS TO GO

LOS ANGELES FOOD & WINE Aug 27 - 30, 2015 Updated August 29, 2015

The line-up for this year’s Los Angeles Food & Wine is spectacular - and the women who are both local to LA and coming in from across the country make this year’s event a must:

Hannah An - The District by Hannah An, Los Angeles

“The Culinary Answer to Happiness”, The District is located at 8722 West Third Street in Los Angeles, and is an authentic Vietnamese experience - both in terms of food and the restaurant design. Think manor home century-old doors, patinated mirrors, a welcoming, harmonious staff and a menu with signature dishes such as Bo Luc Lac - Shaken Beef, and District Wok Lobster.

Barb Batiste - B Sweet, Los Angeles

As the chef/owner of B. Sweet, which includes the Lil Angel and the Lil Devil Dessert Trucks and the major news that Chef Barb’s B Sweet Bread Pudding is now available at select Target freezer sections nationwide AND she opened her first brick and mortar, B Sweet Dessert Bar, in West Los Angeles.

Michelle Bernstein - Cena, Miami

Michelle Bernstein opened Michy’s in 2006 and won a James Beard Award in 2008 Best Chef: South. It was shuttered last year and readied for a truly anticipated revamp. In May, Cena by Michy was opened and loyal fans flocked. The Miami New Times announced “Cena Marks Michelle Bernstein’s Return to Greatness.” They went on to report, “Bernstein's growing fixation with vegetables, a side effect of becoming a mother, is seen in a handful of plates that spin new flavors out of trendy flora. A meaty cauliflower steak rests atop a smooth, piquant bed of pickled garlic aioli and beneath a smattering of Marcona almonds. It's a fork-and-knife version of Spain's sopa de ajo, accented by sugary raisins and salted with capers.” Cannot WAIT to taste what she’s serving at LA Food & Wine.

Natasha Case & Freya Estreller, The COOLHAUS Truck, Los Angeles

The co-founders of COOLHAUS are as inspired by architecture as they are by their legendary ice cream sandwiches. Nicknamed “Farchitecture”, their passion is the crossing of architecture with food and after their 2009 debut at Coachella, they have a cult following for their 10 mobile ice cream trucks and carts in Southern California, New York City and Dallas. Their only store-front locations are in Los Angeles (Culver City and Pasadena) and their products are now available at 4,000+ markets nationally from Whole Foods to Kroger and Safeway.

Elizabeth Falkner - Falk Yeah! Productions, New York

As the most recent President of Women Chefs & Restauteurs (WCR), Elizabeth Falkner gave the association a freshness, sense of urgency and purpose and did more to push the agenda of not just equality for women in the culinary arts but showcasing all of the reasons why women excel in the food world: talent, growing business acumen and understanding how to pursue and lean in in a grueling career while maintaining balance. She’s an award winning leader and pioneer, loves cooking competitions, an author (Demolition Desserts and Cooking Off The Clock). Chef Falkner was a cornerstone of the San Francisco scene for more than 20 years with Citizen Cake and Orson. She moved to NYC in 2012 and has a memoir in the works. 

Genevieve Gergis - Bestia, Los Angeles

Pastry Chef Gergis, with her Executive Chef husband Ori Menashe, opened a multi-regional Italian restaurant in downtown LA in a neighborhood that now boasts some of the coolest restaurants. Critically acclaimed and loved by diners - including Alice Waters who sent the owners a handwritten note about her amazing experience, Bestia is one of the most exciting openings in recent years.

Hedy Goldsmith - Sweet Hedy, Inc.

Hedy Goldsmith was recently awarded a James Beard nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef (2012), she is the Executive Pastry Chef of The Genuine Hospitality Group of restaurants remains one of the most respected professionals in the country. Now in her 3rd season of Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets, she has appeared on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” “Iron Chef America” and “Food(ography).” Hedy and her recipes have been featured in People, The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, The New York Times, Bon Appétit, The New York Post, Wine Spectator, Huffington Post, and on numerous broadcast outlets. In Hedy’s first cookbook, Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors, you’ll find her signature in-your-face flavors like her tangerine cremsicle pots de crème, buttered popcorn gelato, and basil panna cotta, as well as playful riffs on her childhood favorites like her now legendary Pop Tarts, Snickers, Nutters and O’s. Goldsmith lends her time and support to a number of causes dear to heart like Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation which helps raise money and awareness of childhood cancer causes, primarily research into new treatments and cures. She holds a B.A. in Photography and Film from the Philadelphia College of Art and graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America’s Baking & Pastry Program in New York.

Alex Guarnaschelli - BUTTER, New York

Throughout her culinary career, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli has worked in Guy Savoy’s eponymous Michelin three-star kitchen in Paris, Larry Forgione’s An American Place, Daniel Boulud’s namesake Daniel in New York City, and Joachim Splichal’s Patina restaurant in Los Angeles. Since 2003, Guarnaschelli has helmed the kitchen as executive chef of Butter Restaurant, where she brings New Yorkers a menu of eclectic American and green market-inspired fare. She is a recurring judge on the popular prime-time series Chopped and a chef coach on America’s Best Cook.  In 2012, she won The Next Iron Chef: Redemption and joined the ranks of Kitchen Stadium’s Iron Chefs. Alex has also appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef America as both a challenger and a judge. Alex is the author of of the cookbook, Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook (2013) and has a weekly column on People.com.

Elizabeth Hong - Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

Chef Hong moved up to chef de cuisine in February at the white hot Nancy Silverton restaurant in partnership with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich Osteria Mozza after running the pizzeriaa kitchen. Hong is part of Los Angeles restaurant royalty; her mother, Jenee Kim, owns the beloved Park’s BBQ in Koreatown.

Holly Jivin - The Bazaar by José Andrés, Los Angeles

Holly grew up in a kitchen rich with Southern-style cooking traditions. Moving from Savannah to Atlanta to West Virginia, Jivin was introduced to Chef Michael Voltaggio who later offered her a position in the kitchen of his next endeavor: the yet-to-open The Bazaar by José Andrés in Los Angeles. In 2010 Holly was named Head Chef of SAAM, the intimate chef’s tasting room and in 2013 was named Chef de Cuisine of The Bazaar.

Elana Karp - Plated

A Cordon Blue Paris graduate, Elana Karp is the VP of Culinary at Plated, the high quality meal delivery service that is for aspiring home chefs and foodies. With delicious new seasonal recipes each week and a dedication to work with local farmers and fishermen to address the broken food system, Plated is a healthy way to expand your own arsenal of great recipes. COOKGIRL is a huge fan and customer!

Jessica Koslow - Sqirl, Los Angeles

From pastry at Anne Quartrano’s James beard award winning restaurant Bacchanalia in Atlanta, Georgia to Los Angeles where she started Sqirl in 2011, a highly regarded preserve company that celebrates the seasonal local California produce from family-owned farms that practice sustainable, certified organic methods that are in close proximity to Los Angeles. Sqirl, the chef driven breakfast and lunch restaurant followed, Jessica was one of 100 chefs in the US to be nominated for F&W’s People’s Choice Chef of the Year.

Antonia Lofaso - Scopa Italian Roots, Studio City

As a fan favorite on both TOP CHEF and TOP CHEF ALL STARS, Chef LoFaso is living her dream while balancing her role as Executive Chef and Partner of Black Market Liquor Bar and Scopa in Los Angeles and being a single mom.With her impressive background at the French Culinary Institute in New York and kitchens in Los Angeles from Spago to Foxtail - in addition to being a private chef for some of Hollywood’s bold face names, Antonia has a passionate following a never disappoints with her skill.

Jenn Louis, Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, OR

Jenn Louis discovered cooking was her passion while preparing meals for an Outward Bound camp deep in the North Carolina woods. In 2000, Chef Louis demonstrated her innovation with the opening of Culinary Artistry, a full-service catering company that is now considered one of the top event-planning companies in Portland. In 2008, Louis and husband David Welch opened Lincoln Restaurant where Louis’ menu takes its cue from the seasons, harvesting locally-grown Pacific Northwest ingredients and transforming them into sophisticated, yet honest fare. In 2010 and 2011, Louis was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Northwest” award. In 2012, she was named one of  Food & Wine’s“Best New Chefs.” She has appeared on TOP CHEF MASTERS and her cookbook, Pasta By Hand, was released this year to rave reviews.

Bree Miller - Bree’s Cakes, Los Angeles

Briana Miller is a 26 year old Pastry Chef/Cake Artist born and raised in Southern California. Self-taught during college, Bree spent many hours watching YouTube videos teaching herself different techniques and learning how to bake.  The hobby quickly became a business after positive feedback from friends and close acquaintances.  Being a creative director at a bakery in Beverly Hills allowed Bree to perfect her craft and learn the baking industry from a business standpoint.  From the YouTube watching days of 2009, Bree’s Cakes has blessed many customers and celebrities all over the nation. 

Dahlia Narvaez - Mozza, Los Angeles

From her role as Executive pasty chef at the James Beard Award winning  Campanile to creating desserts for the Mozza empire, Dahlia Narvaez worked with Nancy Silverton on the Mozza cookbook and was nominated for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2012. Amazingly talented and absolutely someone whose desserts are a mandatory part of the experience.

Akasha Richmond - Sāmbār, Los Angeles

Akasha Richmond’s dedication to health and ingredients started during her time in India and extended while she was working at The Golden Temple, a vegetarian restaurant at which she discovered her passion for cooking. At the time, many celebrities frequently dined at The Golden Temple, which lead to being a personal chef for many bold faced names in Hollywood, including Michael Jackson. Jackson’s knowledge of the curative effect of ingredients.“There’s a very happening food scene in India,” she says, “I’ve had my mind set on opening a restaurant with an ‘Indianish’ menu that incorporates Indian spices and flavors from India as well as utilizing the abundance of fruits and vegetables grown in California.”Sāmbār opened in May 2015 next door to her flagship AKASHA and has reimagined, including a Westernized Indian interpretation of in burger and salad form, as well as traditional dishes. It’s food inspired by home-cooked meals served by Indian families with a nod to street food/food carts as well as those dishes that might be served at an ashram. Delicious and inventive….and super healthy.

Nancy Silverton - Mozza, Los Angeles

Nancy Silverton is the co-owner of Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles with partners Mario Batali & Joe Bastianich, as well as Mozza2Go and Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. Silverton also founded the world-renowned La Brea Bakery and Campanile Restaurant, an institution that Angelenos cherished for decades.Throughout her celebrated career, Silverton has served as a mentor to numerous others who have gone on to become award-winning chefs and restaurant owners themselves. One of Food and Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chefs” in 1990, she was also named “Pastry Chef of the Year” and “Who’s Who of Cooking” by the James Beard Foundation tat same hear. In 2014, she received the highest honor given by the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Chef” and her many cookbooks have won award from both the Julia Child and James Beard Foundations. She has served as a member of the Macy’s (formerly Marshall Field’s) Culinary Council since 2003, and is also heavily involved in the Meals-On-Wheels programs in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

Mariah Swan - ICDC, Los Angeles

ICDC is a small batch ice cream and doughnut shop and as Pastry Chef/Partner, Mariah Swan brings back memories of classic and childhood treats, with a surprising element of the modern and an emphasis on seasonality and purity of flavor. She graduated from the culinary program at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena and worked for the renowned Pastry Chef Elizabeth Belkind. Her Wednesday night Doughnut Shoppe and National Doughnut Day menus at Grace and its sister restaurant, BLD received coverage in the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly.

Toney Tibay - Marti chocolatt

Toney Tivay is Chocolatier and Founder of Marti Chocolatt, a Los Angeles based chocolate company. She started this sweet venture after studying at l’Ecole Lenôtre in Paris from 2004-2005. She left 15 years of corporate finance to fulfill her chocolate endeavors. It is her pragmatic business style and artistic proclivities which give Marti Chocolatt a unique personal taste, one that fuses the finesse of French techniques with Asian and contemporary flavors.

Dakota Weiss - Estrella, Los Angeles

From TOP CHEF 2011 in Texas, Dakota Weiss was recruited to helm the W Hotel restaurants NINETHIRTY and The Backyard. In 2013 she opened Dakota’s POP Parlor, her own brand of innovative gourmet popcorn. In early 2015, Dakota became the founding consulting chef and part owner of Choice Hospitality Group’s Sweetfin Poké in Santa Monica, CA. Most recently, Dakota debuted Estrella, located in the heart of the Sunset Strip and inspired by the bohemian rock-and-roll days of Laurel Canyon in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Dakota’s menu contributes to the restaurant’s atmosphere of “hippie home” by focusing on shareable items, including small plates and family-style dinners. 

Cook On!

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