Juliette Rossant: LA Business Journal

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Los Angeles Business Journal talked to Superchefblog's Juliette Rossant in June about the continued influx and flourishing of chefs and restaurants in Los Angeles.

The articles includes chef who have opened recently or are talking about opening on the Los Angeles scene: Kerry Simon (with partner Elizabeth Blau), Mario Batali (with the LA-based Nancy Silverton), Gordon Ramsay, David Burke, and Tom Colicchio. It also visits those still new on the scene such as Norman Van Aken. And it revisits some of Los Angeles' long-time greats, such as Wolfgang Puck, Joachim Splichal, Mark Peel, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger as well as rising stars.

Changes afoot

So, what’s driving chefs to shift their sights westward? Are restaurateurs compelled to come to L.A. because there simply too many upscale restaurants with big-name chefs in Vegas?

Whether Sin City’s ebbing appetite for restaurants is a factor in the burgeoning L.A. scene is up for debate. Fairchild said she’s begun to wonder if the market for ultra-fine dining in Vegas is being overwhelmed. But Juliette Rossant, editor-in-chief and publisher of Superchefblog, hasn’t seen a restaurant slowdown there yet. “There is plenty more room,” she said.

The national market for celebrity chefs may be a better explanation for the push into L.A. As these chefs become increasingly popular, they have to continue to feed their customers’ desire to keep growing. For example, Ramsay’s Food Network television show, “Hell’s Kitchen,” and his L.A. restaurants go hand in hand. The show brings in an audience, which he can direct to his restaurants to generate revenues long after the television program ends. Same goes for Batali with his shows, appearances and books.

And the restaurants themselves become relatively straightforward additions as chefs expand outside their home base. Rossant explained that as chefs build up infrastructure, they hone efficiencies so the next restaurant can be more profitable than the last. “Until you get to about five restaurants, your back office is not financially viable. Once you get all that in place, it is financially easier to open up another restaurant,” she said.
(Click here to read the full article.)

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