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Why We Love Suzanne Goin

Suzanne is a chef of impeccable pedigree; she got her start cooking in some of the best restaurants in the world– including Olives and Chez Panisse where she acquired top-notch skills to match her already flawless culinary instincts. As Alice Waters observed: “A great many cooks have come through the kitchen at Chez Panisse, but Suzanne Goin was a stand-out. We all knew immediately that one day she would have a restaurant of her own, and that other cooks would be coming to her for kitchen wisdom and a warm welcome.” Suzanne has received five nominations for Outstanding Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation.

Suzanne Goin and her business partner Caroline Styne, are among the most respected restaurateurs in Los Angeles. They opened Lucques in 1998 and Suzanne was named to the list of FOOD & WINE’s Best New Chefs in 1999. In 2002, they opened a.o.c., which launched the small-plate concept with wine pairings that is now ubiquitous in restaurants across the country. With one of the most beautiful outdoor garden settings in Los Angeles, a cozy wine room upstairs, a cocktail program and a wine list of sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines, a.o.c. is one of COOKGIRL’s favorites in LA. In fact, we hosted our party for The Los Angeles Project there earlier this summer. In 2005, Suzanne and her husband Chef David Lentz opened The Hungry Cat, an eclectic market-inspired seafood restaurant, which has since expanded to locations in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara.

Starting as a small Larder section at Tavern, Suzanne and Caroline opened their more casual concept, The Larder, at Maple Drive in 2011 followed by Burton Way in 2013. The Larder at LAX opened in the renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles’s airport in December 2013. In 2014, The Larder Baking Company was launched as a wholesale operation for the breads and bakery goods in addition to servicing all of Goin’s restaurants and retail operations.

Suzanne’s cookbooks are a testament to the fact that she is a born teacher and more than anything, she wants you to understand her techniques so you can enjoy yourself in the kitchen and achieve restaurant-quality results right at home. She won a James Beard Award for her first cookbook Sunday Supper at Lucques, which is full of menus tied to the season and then wrote a book about her sophomore project, The a.o.c. Cookbook, which was released in 2013.

She is a prolific philanthropist. Suzanne and Caroline are co-founders, with David Lentz, of L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, a fundraiser benefiting research for childhood cancer which has raised over $1.5 million since its inception in 2010. Her fundraising efforts for Alex's Lemonade include a celeb-chef-studded that will be held this year on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 12pm - 4pm in the Royce Quad at UCLA. Get your tickets now - with an option for a Chef Meet-and-Greet!

Passionate about healthy sustainable food for children, Suzanne is also a founding member of Lunch Matters, the organization working to create a partner school lunch program to Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard project. Since October 2013, Lunch Matters has been proudly serving its healthy, local and delicious school lunch menus at the Larchmont Charter School in Los Angeles.

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