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May 21, 2014

Chefs in Rotation at Fifty Seven

By Sasha Levine | Restaurants

Chefs in Rotation at Fifty Seven
Eric Wolfinger

Diners typically select their favorite restaurants based on consistency. But the newest offering from Los Angeles hospitality group Cardiff Giant throws that idea to the wind, prioritizing variation above all else. Fifty Seven—named in honor of the converted Heinz 57 loading dock that now houses the bi-level, industrial-chic restaurant and performance space for local artists and musicians—hosts a rotating roster of chefs, featuring an original menu for the duration of each residency. (The length of stay is flexible.)

“The concept is really about introducing Los Angeles to the great talent around the country,” says Beau Laughlin, CEO of Cardiff Giant. “We also look at it as an opportunity to introduce these chefs”—whome will include, he says, both rising stars and boldface names—“to the amazing ingredients that we have at our disposal here in California.”

The lineup began with Eleven Madison Park alumnus David Nayfeld, who has been Fifty Seven’s executive chef since it opened in late March. As the first in residency, he trained the staff, designed the kitchen and helped determine the cocktail and wine program, and he will offer his seasonal American menu (diver scallops, heritage pork, pickled vegetables) through May. Josh Drew, who has cooked at Quince in San Francisco and The French Laundry, will take over in June. 

“It seemed like an interesting way to introduce myself to Los Angeles,” says Nayfeld. “It’s also cool to think that, hopefully, for years to come there will be other soon-to-be-great chefs walking through our doors and that we’ll all be linked by that. In short, it’s creating legacy.” 712 S. Santa Fe Ave.; 213-816-8157; fiftysevenla.com.

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