Chef Bios: Suzanne Goin

Staff Writer
This native Angeleno is one of America's prized female chefs

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Native Los Angeles chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Suzanne Goin is celebrated as one of the country’s most talented and innovative contemporary chefs. Her culinary style takes an original approach to the American and French traditions she mastered through extensive training.

While still in high school, Goin got her start at Ma Maison in Los Angeles, just after Wolfgang Puck's departure. As an undergraduate at Brown University Goin knew her passion truly lay in cooking and she began looking for jobs, landing one at Al Forno in Providence during school, and at L’Orangerie in Los Angeles, and the Le Mazarin in London during her vacations. After graduating with honors, Goin began working at Chez Panisse under Alice Waters, her eventual mentor. After a few years with Waters in San Francisco, Goin eventually left to pursue her dream of cooking in France. While there she worked under Didier Oudill at Pain Adour et Fantaisie, Patisserie Christian Pottier, and then under Alain Passard at L’Arpège.

In 1996, Goin went home to Los Angeles and began working at Campanile, where she quickly became the executive chef. Two years later, Goin partnered with restaurateur Caroline Styne and together they opened up Lucques in West Hollywood. In 1999, Food & Wine listed Goin amongst their rankings of Best New Chefs. Gourmet named Lucques one of America’s Best Restaurants, and the Los Angeles Times awarded three stars in 2002. Their partnership later gave rise to the Los-Angeles based A.O.C. tapas and wine bar in 2002 and the L.A. hotspot Tavern in 2009. Goin also opened a casual seafood restaurant called The Hungry Cat with her husband, fellow chef David Lentz, which currently with has locations in Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

Goin has been nominated for six James Beard Foundation Awards. In 2006 she was named Best Chef: California and her cookbook Sunday Suppers at Lucques won Best Cookbook from a Professional Viewpoint. For two consecutive years (2008—2009) Goin was nominated for a national Outstanding Chef Award. 


Culinary Style: French, California
Restaurants: Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, The Hungry Cat L.A., The Hungry Cat Santa Monica
Born: 1966

A natural born entrepreneur, at just 10-years-old Goin opened up a crêpe station in her family's kitchen, takings orders from the other kids in the neighborhood.