Haute Dining: Amanda Baumgarten Appointed New Executive Chef at Famous Water Grill

Water Grill’s brand new executive chef, Amanda Baumgarten

On the brink of its 20th anniversary, Water Grill, located in Downtown Los Angeles’ theatre district, has said goodbye to a dear member of its team and in return has received a newly appointed executive chef.

The highly-acclaimed David LeFevre, who acted as the Michelin-rated establishment’s executive chef for the past six years, has passed the baton onto his former co-worker/right hand woman, Sous Chef Amanda Baumgarten, who you might remember from Bravo TV’s “Top Chef Season 7.” LeFevre, an alumnus of El Bulli and Charlie Trotter, is amicably departing so he can open a place of his own by spring of this year. “This is a bittersweet end,” David LeFevre said in an interview with Los Angeles Times.

“After rounds of interviews and menu tastings, it became crystal clear that the best chef for the job (Amanda Baumgarten) was already in our kitchen,” says Jeff Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of King’s Seafood Company; the company that owns and operates the restaurant.

A Le Cordon Bleu graduate in London, the Los Angeles-born Baumgarten has worked at Patina and Josiah Citrin’s famed Melisse, two well-respected, fine dining establishments that have undeniably had a hand in preparing her for her most prestigious and challenging position yet.

With some serious shoes to fill, including those of Providence’s Michael Cimarusti, who boosted the establishment to star status right before LeFevre, Baumgarten will finally get the chance to put her spin on the various seasonal seafood specialties and diverse assortment of more than 14 raw bar items.

Water Grill is located at 544 South Grand Ave. Los Angeles. 213.891.0900.

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