L.A. Weekly rounds up a bunch of notable locals this week in its annual People Issue and offers a few profiles of those who feed us along the way. For example, we learn that Mozza's James Beard-nominated pastry chef Dahlia Narvaez is a daughter of Highland Park who "fudged" her resume to get into the Conga Room's kitchen before boosting Team Silverton's dessert sales with her butterscotch budino. There's also news that radio shock-jock Tom Leykis is substituting his advice for skirt-scammers and calling women "bitches" with wine appreciation lessons and interviews with chefs like Eric Greenspan. What else did we find out?
Elsewhere, George LaGuerre, the owner of TiGeorges' Chicken, reveals that he started his culinary career with a controversial post-college job working at Church's and is currently still fighting to reopen after a fire and simultaneously support a rebirth of fruit trees in Haiti. What else? San Antonio Winery, which is still in the same family after 150 years, apparently survived Prohibition by getting cozy with the clergy.
The there's Norbert Wabnig, the owner of Cheese Store in Beverly Hills, who had his car stolen after arriving in L.A. to "be the next [John] Lennon." The vehicle was later found in a Safeway parking lot, albeit with a corpse in the trunk. Bad luck with cars, apparently, as James Caan almost ran him over in a Porsche, too. Similar bad omens befell BabyCakes' Erin McKenna, who had a fever of 100 before the store opened in L.A., though she now plans an expansion throughout the city.
Lastly, and on a lighter note, there's Kiss My Bundt's Crysta Wilson, who lets her sense of humor shine. The baker regularly tells her students, "Go say bundt hole to someone you know tomorrow." Evil laugh, evil laugh. It's always awesome to get to know our chefs and owners a little better, just as it's a complete surprise a baker said something dirtier than Tom Leykis.
People Issue 2010 [L.A. Weekly]