These Are the Star Chefs Every L.A. Food-Lover Needs to Know

Celeb chefs come and go, but these four define the city’s cuisine

This piece originally appeared as part of our Be A Tourist in Your Own Town guide, in the December 2017 issue of Los Angeles magazine.

You’ve seen them on TV. You’ve read their cookbooks. But have you watched them make culinary magic in person? Celebrity chefs abound in L.A.—here’s where to spy a handful of them in their natural habitats.

1. Wolfgang Puck

Photo courtesy of Wolfgang Puck

Best known for his eponymous airport cafés, erstwhile frozen pizza line, and Oscar-party catering, the Austrian-born legend exemplified the “celebrity chef” long before the term existed. He’s even got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Rogue Experience: Puck’s semisecret test kitchen inside the Pacific Design Center—run by guest chefs—offers an intimate (and pricey) tasting menu.

CUT by Wolfgang Puck: The airy steakhouse in the Beverly Wilshire has Getty Center vibes (they share an architect). Don’t miss the 35-day dry-aged rib eye.

Spago: Puck still holds court at this Beverly Hills flagship. Order the off-menu smoked salmon pizza, a star from the 1982 menu.

2. Nancy Silverton

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Decades after launching bread juggernaut La Brea Bakery, the Valley native partnered with Mario Batali to open a string of genre-defining Italian restaurants. Watch her Chef’s Table episode on Netflix for a deep dive into her storied career.

Osteria Mozza: Silverton works the mozzarella bar most nights (except Thursdays and Sundays). Book a counter seat to see her in action.

Chi Spacca: The “meat speakeasy” next door to Mozza is all about bistecca fiorentina and salumi platters over-flowing with house-cured prosciutto.

Pizzeria Mozza: Mozza’s pizza-slinging sibling shows off Silverton’s mad bread skills. Get those puffy-edged pies delivered via Mozza-2Go.

3. Curtis Stone

Photo courtesy of Ray Kachatorian

The Australian-born heartthrob and cooking show vet (remember Take Home Chef?) is now a full-time Angeleno. Since opening his first restaurant in 2014, he’s consistently proven that his fine-dining prowess extends far beyond the soundstage.

Gwen (Restaurant): Stone’s got a thing for theatrics: whole animals are roasted over open flames in the kitchen. Get three, five, or ten courses

Maude: The tasting menu once focused on a single ingredient each month; now it highlights different wine regions a few times a year.

Gwen (Butcher Shop): Power lunchers can grab a steak sandwich or Italian grinder at the meat counter while eyeing the T-bones and fresh-baked pastries.

4. Ludo Lefebvre

Photo Courtesy of Lionel Deluy

Most Angelenos know him as the tattooed chef whose mini-empire is making French-inspired cooking cool again. The city’s slickest Frenchman has made a few appearances on Top Chef and No Reservations, but they pale in comparison to his off-camera stove work.

Trois Mec: Ludo goes full-tilt experimental at his counter spot, where dishes like smoked beet tartare and grilled pork with prunes reign.

Petit Trois: It’s a perfect Parisian bistro crammed into an imperfect L.A. strip mall. Expect escargot, baguettes, and French onion soup.

LudoBird: Buttermilk fried tenders and honey lavender biscuits at Universal CityWalk? Yup. Scarf from the sidelines at Staples Center, too.

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