New Gastropub to Open in Manhattan Beach
Jan 23, 2015 02:41PM ● Published by DigMB Staff
Manhattan House will take over the site where Aji Sushi MB has been ( 1019 Manhattan Beach Blvd.) with Chef Diana Stavaridis of BLD fame helming the kitchen. The neighborhood eatery will focus "on serving fresh, local, artisanal food in a relaxed setting," said partner David Topkins.
"Chef D is creating a menu that is healthy, tasty and seasonal," he told DigMB. "Our goal is to make it a place where people in the community feel welcome and can enjoy sophisticated food with a casual vibe. The menu will be a mix of small plates, share plates and larger entrees. The drinks will cover an interesting range of beer, wines and spirits to compliment the food."
Stavaridis received the distinction of Rising Star Chef of Los Angeles by StarChefs and has appeared on several TV shows, including Food Networks “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”, KTLA’s morning show, the Channel 5 News and as a guest judge on “The Next Food Network Star”.
Known as "Chef D," Stavaridis traveled to France to expand her culinary skills, staging in Paris under Michelin Star Chef Giles Epie at Citrus Etoile and renowned Chef Gregory Marchand of Frenchie’s. While traveling the French countryside, she visited farms, milked cows, prepared French cheeses, and pressed walnuts into fine oils. She then prepared baguettes and pastries at an Artisanal Boulangerie.
Upon her return to the States, she consulted farms on sustainability and farm to table cooking and spent a time creating and cooking with one of her favorite seasonally market driven chefs, Chef Jose Ugalde of Café Gibraltar.
Chef D's most recent culinary adventure took her to England and the River Cottage HQ where she staged with celebrity chef and food sustainability pioneer Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. She participated in many activities, including Nose to Tail demos, mushroom foraging, soft and hard cheese preparations and smoking farm game.
Chef D's passions in the BLD kitchen included smoking various proteins: trout, brisket, pork chops and tofu. She also catered to vegetarians and vegans, creating the “Vegan Benedict” with house smoked tofu bacon and the “Vegan Chickpea Burger” with Jalapeno Cashew Cheese.