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Five Chefs to Watch
Lesley Balla | Photo: Jessica Sample | July 8, 2013
Meet five of L.A.’s need-to-know culinary mavens.
L.A. has its fair share of Top Chef toques, but Elia Aboumrad hit the scene with a subtle grace and a way with saucisson. Having worked at Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas, she has mastered the French technique of pig ear tartine and silky chicken liver parfait. Gorge is one of those whispered-about places, partly because people don’t want to give up their new favorite secret spot. 8917 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., 310.657.6328, gorgela.com
Starting at the tender age of 13, Miles Thompson worked in the kitchens of L.A.’s Nobu, Animal and Son of a Gun. After his The Vagrancy Project pop-up, Bill Didonna and Charles Kelly gave the 25-year-old chef a (teensy) permanent stage for his intricate plates like ankimo (monkfish liver) in ponzu with sea grapes. 1320 Echo Park Ave.,L.A., 213.935.8787, allumettela.com
Jeremy Fox, who made magic with ultraseasonal vegetables and unique grains at Ubuntu in Napa, teamed up with Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan to breathe new life into 7-year-old Rustic Canyon with meaty dishes like roasted lengua with morels, pork belly terrine with rhubarb mustard and (of course) seasonal veggies. 1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.393.7050, rusticcanyonwinebar.com
When Jeff Mahin was tasked with creating pizza dough for Stella Barra in Santa Monica, he experimented with more than 30 different variations and techniques before getting the crust airy, chewy and crispy, all at once. With a second Stella Barra in Hollywood, the pizzerias are rising up as quickly as the dough. 6372 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., 323.301.4001, stellabarra.com
Ari Taymor’s culinary path wove through the kitchens of Lucques and San Francisco’s Flour + Water and Bar Tartines before he turned his L.A. pop-up into a stationary spot on a remote strip of Broadway in downtown. Taymor serves dishes that employ delicious texture and taste contradictions like summer corn soup with vadouvan and nasturtium and addictive seaweed and tofu beignets. 952 S. Broadway, L.A., 213.244.1422, alma-la.com