Suzanne Goin was born in Los Angeles to food-obsessed Francophile parents. A graduate of Brown University, Suzanne’s background includes positions at some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the United States, including Ma Maison, L’Orangerie in Los Angeles, Al Forno in Providence, Olives in Boston, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and Alain Passard’s Arpège in Paris. Her work as Executive Chef at Campanile put her on the culinary map in Los Angeles and laid the groundwork for her first restaurant.
In 1998, Suzanne opened Lucques in West Hollywood with her business partner Caroline Styne. The restaurant met with instant success and Suzanne was named one of Food and Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs” in 1999. Lucques received praise from Condé Nast Traveler, Gourmet, Bon Appétit and Saveur, including a prestigious 3 star review by the Los Angeles Times. A second restaurant, a.o.c., the groundbreaking concept of inspired wines by the glass with a small plates menu, opened in 2002 and was met with enthusiasm from the public and the press.
In 2005, Suzanne and her husband Chef David Lentz opened The Hungry Cat, an eclectic market-inspired seafood restaurant, which has since expanded to locations in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara.
Suzanne first received two coveted awards from the prestigious James Beard Foundation in May 2006. Her cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2005 won Best Cookbook from a Professional Viewpoint. Moments later that evening, Suzanne’s culinary achievements were recognized when she was awarded Best Chef California. Ten years later, she was recognized by her peers as the best chef in the nation, winning Outstanding Chef of Year 2016 at the James Beard Foundation Awards. In 2017, Suzanne was inducted into the Foundation’s esteemed Who’s Who of American Food & Beverage in America. She became the 11thchef, and first woman in the United States to win the GAYOT.com Restaurateur of the Year 2019.
Suzanne and Caroline ventured to the Westside of Los Angeles in 2009 when they opened their largest and most glamorous restaurant, Tavern, in Brentwood. Designed by Jeffrey Alan Marks, Tavern brings together a trio of concepts under one roof – a full service dining room, a marketplace and a bar with craft cocktails and artisanal wines. Tavern is a beautiful yet casual neighborhood meeting place, open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as providing pastries, coffees and prepared food to go for the hungry locals.
Inspired by the success of their more casual Larder section of Tavern, Suzanne and Caroline opened The Larder at Maple Drive in the Fall of 2011. Only two years later, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a.o.c., Suzanne and Caroline moved their beloved restaurant a mile west on 3rd Street to the iconic restaurant space that formerly housed Joe Allen and Orso. With one of the most beautiful outdoor garden settings in Los Angeles, a cozy wine room upstairs, a new cocktail program and a wine list of sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines, the new space is an absolute hit and has been embraced by the public.
Suzanne’s second book, The A.O.C. Cookbook, also published by Alfred A. Knopf, debuted in October 2013 to glowing reviews in both the United States and Canada. The cookbook is a collection of seasonal recipes from the restaurant with wine notes by Caroline Styne and a complete section devoted to cheese, a major component to the a.o.c. menu. The book received top honors in the Chefs and Restaurants category by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) in 2014.
In December 2013, Suzanne and Caroline launched The Larder Baking Company, a new wholesale operation for the breads and bakery goods developed with partner and master baker Nathan Dakdouk. The expanded production services all of their restaurants and retail operations in addition to supplying other restaurants and retail markets throughout greater Los Angeles and California.
Suzanne and Caroline are among the most respected restaurateurs in California, and continue to receive recognition for their food, beverage programs and service from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, L.A. Weekly, Daily News, Condé Nast Traveler, Gourmet, Food and Wine, Bon Appétit, Saveur, Los Angeles Magazine , Angeleno, Zagat and Gayot.com. They are co-founders, with David Lentz, Suzanne’s husband and owner of The Hungry Cat, of L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, a fundraiser benefiting research for childhood cancer which has raised over $8 million since its inception in 2010.
In 2011, she became a member of the International Culinary Panel of distinguished chefs for Singapore Airlines, developing her recipes for in-flight dining. Over the past few years, Suzanne and her business partner Caroline Styne have been honored to prepare several fundraising dinners for both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Passionate about healthy sustainable food for children, Suzanne is also a founding member of Lunch Matters, the organization working to create a partner school lunch program to Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard project. Since October 2013, Lunch Matters has been proudly serving its healthy, local and delicious school lunch menus at the Larchmont Charter School in Los Angeles.
As part of a partnership with the LA Phil and Sodexo Leisure, Suzanne Goin and Caroline’s parent company, The Lucques Group, oversee the new Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine operations at the famed Hollywood Bowl which began in summer of 2016. The newest venture for Suzanne and Caroline is the debut of food and beverage services of the highly anticipated Proper Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, slated to open in fall 2019.
Suzanne Goin and her husband David live in Los Angeles with their three children, two cats, one dog and multiple fish.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award