Who Makes Great Los Angeles Chefs Nervous?

Chef Los Angeles

Curtis Stone’s former boss and mentor is a tad bit intimidating. [Ray Kachatorian]

Leading chefs must have composure in their kitchens in order to turn out consistently great food. However, they can still get rattled. I recently asked 10 of L.A.’s best chefs, Who was the last person you were nervous to cook for, and why? Their answers might surprise you.

Josef Centeno (Bäco Mercat, Bar Amá, Ledlow, Orsa & Winston)

The last person I was nervous to cook for was Alice Waters. Why? Because she is Alice Waters. I knew things must have been ok when she ordered a second order of the hand-torn egg noodle because she said she enjoyed it so much.

Chad Colby (chi SPACCA)

I have been happy and honored to cook for some real icons in our industry, people who I look up to. I’ve been able to meet and cook for Thomas Keller, Gordan Ramsay, Alice Waters, Dario Cecchini as well as food writers Frank Bruni, Ruth Reichl, and Michael Bauer (San Francisco). I always feel excited to cook for people like this and excited to share our food with them at the restaurant. On the other hand, I get the most nervous cooking for the people closest to me. It is really important to me that they have a great experience because of their support in my career.

Suzanne Goin (A.O.C., The Larder, Lucques + Tavern)

President Obama. Why? Uh, cuz he’s the President.

Quinn Hatfield (Odys + Penelope, The Sycamore Kitchen)

Mickey Rourke was in last night, so I was kind of nervous to cook for him…We’re in the restaurant industry, where you’re always on the verge of falling apart, so it’s probably good to be nervous.

Walter Manzke (Republique + Petty Cash Taqueria)

The last person I was nervous to cook for was about a year or so ago, it was Daniel Boulud. Who wouldn’t be nervous to cook for Daniel?



Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Leave a Comment