When you dine at Beacon in Culver City, maybe you also get a little piece of the legendary restaurants Spago, Ma Maison and L’Ermitage – all places Beacon’s Kazuto Matsusaka has worked.
And that’s true at many restaurants, as newcomers make their way from entry-level positions to chefs and owners of their own spots. To mark its winter 2010 restaurant week promotion, dineLA is highlighting those relationships in a “family tree”.
“There is just so much inter-connectedness between the chefs and the restaurants of Los Angeles. We wanted to show how far back the lineage really goes,” said Carrie Kommers, director of dineLA.
Viewers can look by restaurant at which chefs cooked there, or by chef to see all the places a person worked. Take a look at Spago, for example, and you’ll see that its alumni include Mark Peel of Campanile, Neal Fraser of Grace, Matsusaka and Govind Armstrong of 8 oz. Burger Bar. Look at Fraser, and you’d find his resume includes not only Spago but Rox, Checkers and Pinot Bistro.
Patina, Kommers said, “lights up the whole tree,” with such alumni as Eric Greenspan of the Foundry on Melrose, Joe Miller of Joe’s Restaurant, Octavio Becerra of Palate Food + Wine, Josiah Citrin of Cache, Mark Gold of Eva and David Myers of Comme Ca.
Kommers said there are some anecdotes and biographical information, too, as well as photographs planned for the page, including some posted here.
DineLA has more than 200 restaurants offering specially priced three-course lunches and dinners Jan. 24 to 29 and Jan. 31 to Feb. 5 (two weeks minus Saturdays). Among them are Jar, Ortolan, Eva, the Foundry on Melrose and the Bazaar by Jose Andres.
With tiered price categories – from $16 to $44, depending on the meal and the place – restaurants hope to attract diners who might not otherwise show up, especially in light of the economic woes many face. The participating restaurants are listed on dineLA’s website.
The family tree is a work in progress, Kommers said, and people and places will be added. Let us know if you find some missing links or some names that should be added.
-- Mary MacVean
Photos: Top, chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken; middle (from left) Jonathan Waxman, Michael McCarty, Mark Peel and Ken Frank in 1979; bottom, Josie Le Balch. Credits: Center photo courtesy of Michael McCarty. Top and bottom photos courtesy of dineLA.