Small Kingdoms: James Beard Award Winning Chef Maria Hines on her Culinary Empire

Small Kingdoms: James Beard Award Winning Chef Maria Hines on her Culinary Empire

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Our top 100 Social Chef list features an array of culinary masterminds, many of which that have been awarded other prestigious awards. The list is not editorially selected, but rather it has been curated from social data. 

Since our list demonstrates that men are still the majority heading up restaurant kitchens, there are just over 15 out of the 100 chefs that are women, we are featuring the leading ladies on the list who are conquering this male-dominated realm. 

“High-end kitchens have long been regarded as a male domain, with culinary students worshiping brutal but allegedly brilliant men, best exemplified by the “bad boy” chef Marco Pierre White and made popular by the ludicrous character portrayed by Gordon Ramsay,” writes Jen Agg for “The New York Times.”

Fortunately, there are badass ladies obliterating this male chef stereotype. 

One of these chefs is Maria Hines, a 2009 James Beard Award winning chef whose renowned skills in the kitchen have led her to start a culinary empire. 

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FoodableTV Sits Down With Stephane Bombet of Bombet Hospitality Group

Stephane Bombet  | Allison Levine for Foodable WebTV Network

Stephane Bombet | Allison Levine for Foodable WebTV Network

Restaurants in Los Angeles have been opening at an alarming rate. One of the people responsible for this is Stephane Bombet. Since 2010, Bombet has been behind some of L.A.’s most talked about restaurants, including Picca, Mo-Chica, Paiche, Faith & Flower, Terrine, Viviane, and Hanjip.

During his eight year break, Bombet noticed that L.A. was a city full of well-educated, well-traveled people with disposable income who enjoyed food and wine. There were only a handful of chefs of name in Los Angeles at the time, and Bombet felt it was a good time to open a restaurant. He was looking for a French chef, but was introduced to Chef Ricardo Zarate, who was behind Mo-Chica. Intrigued by his Peruvian cuisine, Bombet began working with Zarate to help bring his food into the city, and found the location that would become Picca. Read More

Small Kingdoms: Inside Stephane Bombet's L.A. Restaurant Empire

Small Kingdoms: Inside Stephane Bombet's L.A. Restaurant Empire

By Allison Levine, Foodable Contributor

Restaurants in Los Angeles have been opening at an alarming rate. One of the people responsible for this is Stephane Bombet. Since 2010, Bombet has been behind some of L.A.’s most talked about restaurants, including Picca, Mo-Chica, Paiche, Faith & Flower, Terrine, Viviane, and Hanjip.

Bombet was born and raised in France. Though he grew up in the restaurant business — his family ran butcher shops and bakeries — Bombet studied journalism and worked in international politics and economics. In 1996, he opened a lounge/bar in Paris. He also started the VIP Room, a popular nightlife destination with locations around the world. But in 2011, Bombet sold his portion of the business and moved to Los Angeles after visiting a friend. He invested in a few companies but was in semi-retirement.

During his eight year break, Bombet noticed that L.A. was a city full of well-educated, well-traveled people with disposable income who enjoyed food and wine. There were only a handful of chefs of name in Los Angeles at the time, and Bombet felt it was a good time to open a restaurant. He was looking for a French chef, but was introduced to Chef Ricardo Zarate, who was behind Mo-Chica. Intrigued by his Peruvian cuisine, Bombet began working with Zarate to help bring his food into the city, and found the location that would become Picca.

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Small Kingdoms: Soulful Cuisine With LA Chef Roy Choi

Small Kingdoms: Soulful Cuisine With LA Chef Roy Choi

By Courtney Walsh, West Coast Editor

Having the reputation of spearheading the food truck craze would be enough for some chefs to retire upon. Yet not for Roy Choi. Not content to rest on his laurels, after the success of the famed Asian fusion Kogi Truck which introduced Angelenos to the entirely new concept of gourmet, mobile dining, chef Roy Choi has kept busy, creating a number of unique concepts that serve a variety of cuisines ranging from late night, Asian fusion bar snacks to soulful Hawaiian inspired fare.

So how has the chef maintained success while continuously exploring new concepts and culinary styles? And what is he up to next? Read on to find out.

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Small Kingdoms: Julian Cox – Crafting a Cocktail Empire

Small Kingdoms: Julian Cox – Crafting a Cocktail Empire

By Courtney Walsh, West Coast Editor

When one thinks of restaurant empires, celebrity chefs and restaurateurs come to mind far easier than mixologists. Yes there are bartenders who have developed followings, with patrons following them to the many establishments they work their way through, but one would hardly call this an empire. So when considering the many diverse cocktail programs of Los Angeles’ master mixologist and beverage director Julian Cox, it is clear he is in a league all of his own.

Early Beginnings

Cox got his start in LA mixing up cocktails at both David Myers' renowned Comme Ca and Sona under New York head bartender Sam Ross, before joining forces with Chef John Sedlar of the recently shuttered Rivera to create his first mixology program. It was here that Cox crafted some of his more innovative cocktail creations, garnering a reputation for utilizing fresh, seasonal ingredients that were often culinary inspired. 

Rivera was also where Cox gained critical acclaim, earning three nominations for James Beard’s “Outstanding Bar Program,” an award he has been nominated for since the category was first introduced in 2012. In addition, Cox was also awarded the Rising Star award as well as received a nomination in 2012 for Tales of the Cocktail’s Best Restaurant Bar.

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