Los Angeles is the land of celebrities. Seems like everyone in Hollywood is opening a restaurant these days and I would naturally place these restaurants into two categories (to give these celebrities the benefit of the doubt, of course). The first category is the celebrities that open a restaurant as a business venture. These places do lure in other celebrities, so if you’re into celebrity sightings Im sure this is a good place to start. The second category which I find a tad more credible is the celebrities that just so happen to be famous but in fact have a passion for food. Ok to be honest I have yet to discern who these celebrities are, so the list below is a mishmash of both (Im saving my butt here).
(warning: please continue reading below this section for the purpose of the article)
Beso Restaurant – Eva Longoria and Celebrity Chef Todd English
Dolce – Ashton Kutcher,Wilmer Valderrama, Danny Masterson, and others
Taste Chicago – Joe Mantegna
Ago – Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken, Harvey & Bob Weinstein, and Ridley Scott
Mulberry Street Pizza – Cathy Moriarty
The Milky Way – Leah Adler, the mother of Steven Spielberg
Tagine – Ryan Gosling
Boa – Ryan Seacrest
Ketchup – celebrity investor Ashton Kutcher
SweetHarts – (okay not a restaurant but…) Melissa Joan Hart
Dominick’s – Laura Dern and Rose McGowan
Villa Blanca, Sur, and Pump – Lisa Vanderpump
Hinterland – Joe Jonas
Ok the purpose of the article… is to actually list the restaurants that are run (completely or in part) by celebrity chefs. Again these celebrities fall into two very delicate categories – those that are just a face and those that are on the line. Im not even going to begin looking into which is which. But for foodies like myself, the list below encompasses restaurants run by celebrity chefs. And hopefully within this list are chefs who own the restaurant. Why I care, you ask? Because when the owner is the chef, there is a boatload of passion that overflows from the line and onto the floor. The flavors, the ingredients, the love: these things are passed on from the chefs and into the front-of-house staff as well. Ok enough about that… The list:
Ink – Michael Voltaggio was the winner of Top Chef Season 6.
Spago – Wolfgang Puck. Enough said
Maude – Curtis Stone has a laundry list of television credits, including The Celebrity Apprentice, Iron Chef America, Top Chef, and Take Home Chef.
Culina – Mette Williams won her position on Chef Wanted With Anne Burrell
Border Grill – Susan Feniger has co-authored several cookbooks and appeared on Too Hot Tamale and Cuththroat Kitchen. She also competed on Top Chef Masters.
Red O Restaurant – Rick Bayless stars on PBS’s Mexico: One plate at a time.
M.A.K.E – Matthew Kenney is a plant-based enthusiast and will be hosting Entertaining in the Raw.
Hudson House – Brooke Williamson claimed the runner up position on Top Chef Season 10.
Grub – Betty Fraser was on Top Chef Season 2.
SweetSalt Food Shop – Alex Eusebio was on Top Chef Season 5.
The Gorbals – Ilan Hall was a champion on Top Chef Season 2.
Wolfslair – Jamie Lauren was on All-Stars Season 5.
Black Market Liquor Bar – Antonia Lofaso was a strong contender on Top Chef Season 4, and returned for Top Chef All-Stars.
La Siene – Alex Reznik was a strong player on Top Chef Season 7.
LA Farm – Stefan Richter was on Top Chef Season 5.
Firenze Osteria – Fabio Viviani was on Top Chef Season 5.
And somehow I need to tackle this list with an iron fist and a handful of coins. Wish me luck!