What’s next for Los Angeles? We asked five successful L.A. chefs Who’s the chef who’s worked for you either now or in the past who you believe is destined for greatness, and why? Their answers reveal rising chefs to keep an eye on in upcoming years.
Ryan Costanza is a young and hugely talented chef at Willie Jane. He continues to amaze me by showing a strong culinary sense with a great understanding for ingredients- how they pair and how a dish comes together without it being overdone. Ryan is methodical in the process but shows a good sense of restraint, which is really important as a chef.
First of all, our current line-up of chefs at all of our restaurants are an extremely talented group and are on an incredible track for making a big mark.
Who’s been with me the longest and really come up from the bottom position to take on a key role in the restaurant is Kuniko Yagi at Hinoki & the Bird. She started at the very bottom of Sona and worked her way up to chef de cuisine, and eventually Executive Chef at Hinoki. Her talent, ideas, charisma and drive is so impressive. It’s great to see her constantly growing.
John Sedlar (Rivera)
Martin Duron I hired 5 years ago as Rivera’s pastry chef and for the last 2 years he’s been pulling out in front as the leader in my kitchen. He’s jockeying to be Chef de Cuisine and he’s 98% there. I think someday he’ll be delivering $200%. Hi palate, focus, imagination and skills are what serious Los Angeles kitchens need today. Let’s keep our eye on Martin. One day he’ll want to cut loose and make a BIG impression on the Los Angeles culinary map.
Jason Travi (Superba Food & Bread)
Jon Eng is our Head Baker at Superba Food & Bread. He is an unknown commodity now but not for long. I think his work ethic, desire to pay tribute to classic breads and to experiment are going to propel him to the next level. And he is pocket sized.
Our Chef de Cuisine Chris Houlihan. He’s been with us on and off for the past 8 years and is one of the most hard working and humble cooks we know. He’s fast with a knife, passionate, and always looking to better his craft by taking initiative to learn outside of our circle when he can.