Thanks to shows like “Top Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen”, chefs with fiery personalities far too big for the kitchen have found their way onto our TV screens. Talk can be cheap, but you’ll definitely want to put your money (and mouths) where these gourmands create their haute cuisine.
1 Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel Air
Though his award-winning restaurant, Spago, has temporarily shut its door for the summer months, Wolfgang Puck is still present and accounted for at the Hotel Bel Air. Just make sure that while you're enjoying his European and Mediterranean-influenced fare that your mouth isn't hanging open at his impressive resume. In addition to being the official caterer for the Academy Awards, the Austrian super-chef has appeared on "Frasier", "Las Vegas", "The Weather Man" as well as "Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters."
2 José Andrés at The Bazaar
José Andrés has appeared on so many television programs that some may head to The Bazaar, his restaurant at the SLS Hotel, just for a glimpse of his face. His credits include PBS' "Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie", defeating Bobby Flay on "Iron Chef America", "Made in Spain" and acted as judge on "Top Chef" in 2010. All this, and he still took home the most coveted award any American chef can achieve, winning the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Chef Award in 2011.
3 Susan Feniger at STREET
Sarah Jessica Parker's film I Don't Know How She Does It may have been referring to award-winning Street chef Susan Feniger. Not only is she an authority on Latin cuisine, but she's a cookbook author and a radio and TV personality. She's even appeared with Julia Child in the PBS series "Cooking with Master Chefs." She was the last woman standing on "Top Chef Masters" in 2010, her most brush with fame. She's now conquering the vegan world by introducing "Meatless Mondays"at her Los Angeles haute spot.
4 Mario Batali at Osteria Mozza
Mario Batali is an impossible person to ignore. In addition to his bright ginger hair and penchant for wearing Crocs in the kitchen, he's done everything from being featured on the Food Network's "Iron Chef America" series to becoming a film star in Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox to road-tripping with Gwyneth Paltrow on the PBS series "Spain...on the Road Again." Your only chance to see him in an LA kitchen is at his chic Italian eatery, Osteria Mozza. Take that chance.
5 Chris Crary at Whist
Chris Crary is a relative newcomer to the celebrity scene, but he's made a massive splash in a very short period of time. This season 9 "Top Chef" contestant is making fabulous French-inspired food as the Chef de Cuisine at Whist inside Santa Monica's Viceroy Hotel when he's not breaking hearts or winning over viewers. Plus, with a nickname like "Malibu", how could we not put him on this list?