As Owner Aaron Robins increasingly shifts his energy towards forthcoming second restaurant SOCA, Erica Abell (former Chef de Cuisine) is taking over as Executive Chef. Robins can rest assured that his beloved Sherman Oaks barbecue bistro will be in exceptionally skilled hands; after all, the Boneyard Bistro vet started as a line chef in 2010 and has worked her way up since. Judging by the dishes she already has on the menu—including the fan favorite loaded potato potstickers—2017 can expect more of her inventive twists on classic comfort foods.
After years spent working in St. Barts, Italy, and NYC, Nina Clemente kicked off 2017 by returning to LA as the Executive Chef at newly open The Smile’s di Alba, the first West Coast outpost from NYC’s The Smile. Clemente connected with The Smile team during her pizzeria residency (#dreamjob) at The Standard in NYC’s Meatpacking District; the Arts District focacceria is the delicious result of the marriage between The Smile’s fresh focus and Clemente’s Italian roots. We have a feeling she’ll thrive amongst the freedom of di Alba’s farmer’s market-driven menu, and can’t wait to see what she will cook up this year.
The 2015 winner of the extraordinarily prestigious James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year is poised to solidify her status as one of the greats. She’s set to open her highly anticipated first restaurant in the Arts District, Simone, this summer. The new concept will build on the culinary foundation laid during her time as Chef de Cuisine at Manresa, including a commitment to sustainable sourcing. Despite this fundamental similarity, Simone will mostly be a striking departure from her fine dining-focused former home, and will feature unique amenities like a cold butchery room and intimate chef’s counter that will be open a few days a week.
With the ease of an LA native and finesse of years working at local legend Josie, Jill Davie is quietly redefining California cuisine on an almost daily basis at newly opened The Mar Vista. Alongside her co-Executive Chefs, Davie is constantly on the move; when she’s not in the kitchen, she’s saving ugly fruit from the farmer’s markets and turning them into frozen magic “Cranked Bowls” (a highlight of The Mar Vista’s menu) made on the spot. Now that the restaurant is up and running, we’re looking forward to seeing what else makes her to-do list for 2017.
In 2016, her first year of tenure as Executive Pastry Chef at The Peninsula Beverly Hills’ Belvedere, Stephanie Boswell established herself—and the dessert course—as a force to be reckoned with. In 2017, she’ll face a new set of challenges when Jean-Georges Beverly Hills opens almost directly across the street at the Waldorf Astoria hotel—but, luckily, Boswell isn’t one to shy away from a challenge. We’re looking forward to seeing how the extraordinarily creative chef continues to push the boundaries between visual and culinary arts in 2017—and draws inspiration from the competition across the street.