Susan Feniger is a celebrated chef, author, and entrepreneur. Her professional collaboration with Mary Sue Milliken has led to the groundbreaking Border Grill empire, with locations in Santa Monica, Downtown LA, LAX Airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal, Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay and Las Vegas at The Forum Shops.
Feniger is a trail-blazer and, with Milliken, has had a huge impact on dining in LA. Included in the journey were many firsts that paved the way for women in the culinary world: they met as the first women ever to work in the prestigious Le Perroquet in Chicago. They are founders of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. They were the first women ever to receive the California Restaurant Writer's prestigious "Chef of the Year" award (1988). They were two invited in 1993 to cook with the legendary Julia Child in her PBS series "Home Cooking With Master Chefs” and are featured in the companion cookbook. Susan and Mary Sue were awarded the prestigious California Restaurant Association’s Elizabeth Burns Lifetime Achievement Award (2013), joining just a handful of other women who have made history in the restaurant industry. In 2014, they were inducted into the Menu Masters Hall of Fame.
Susan Feniger contributes real leadership and time to numerous charities, she is on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, the board of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and is involved with Share our Strength and the Human Rights Campaign. She is an active leader in the Chefs Collaborative, sits on the advisory board of the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission and continues to serve as an active member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.
Susan has co-authored six cookbooks, including her latest, Susan Feniger’s Street Food. She co-starred in nearly 400 episodes of The Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales” and “Tamales World Tour” series and competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” in 2010. She is a classically trained chef with a passion for ingredients and flavors found in the best street food in the world, bringing global flavors influenced by travel at each of her ventures together with Milliken (CITY, Ciudad, Border Grill) or in her solo ventures: STREET, which was ahead of its time - while it closed as a restaurant, it remains as a catering business.
In 2013, the STREET location was reopened as Mud Hen Tavern, a gastro pub that is the perfect neighborhood spot. With Executive Chef and Partner Kajsa Alger, Feniger created MUD HEN, offering seasonal, gourmet pub and comfort food in a relaxed setting. The bar program is vibrant with a curated list of international wines, local craft beers and artisanal cocktails that complement Mud Hen Tavern’s cuisine.
Coming up: August 19th is the Top Chef Masters Reunion Dinner at Border Grill Mandalay Bay with Susan and Mary Sue joined by Hugh Acheson (Five & Ten, The National, Empire State South, and The Florence) and Rick Moonen (RxBoilerRoom and RM Seafood), cocktails created by The Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, and a panel discussion with the chefs about their experiences on Top Chef Masters. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Border Grill Downtown LA hosts Tuesday Night Latin Street Food Fights every Tuesday from August 4 through September 1st. Be there to taste amazing street food from around the globe for the "tastiest battle in history."
And earlier this summer, Feniger and Milliken showcased their signature Latin flair with their Green Corn Tamales flavored ice cream in partnership with the LA outpost of Portland’s ice cream operation Salt & Straw. The Salt & Straw Street Food series ran June 4 - July 2. For more than 30 years, Susan Feniger has been both of the moment and creating the future.