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Award-Winning Chef Liz Johnson Steps Away From Freedman’s

The rising star is heading in a new direction

The Freedman’s Team. Liz Johnson is the second person from the right.
Louis DeCaprio
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Well-regarded chef Liz Johnson has moved on from Freedman’s, the modern Jewish deli restaurant she helped to open only last November. It’s unclear at the moment what’s next for Johnson, but given all her recent accolades the future certainly seems bright.

Johnson first came on the local Los Angeles scene last fall as the chef behind Freedman’s, an unassuming strip mall Jewish deli operating off Sunset Boulevard between Echo Park and Silver Lake. The restaurant landed in November with a bang, garnering a fair bit of early press and, more recently, a stellar review from Jonathan Gold, who raved about Johnson’s cooking and her fun tableside brisket presentation.

Now the 27-year-old is going out on her own, though Eater was unable to confirm permanent plans for what’s next. She’s got a strong wind at her back though, thanks to a recent Food & Wine Best New Chef win and a James Beard Foundation semifinalist nod for Rising Star Chef of the Year.

Reps for Freedman’s owners Jonah Freedman and Nicholas Papadatos send along the following statement regarding Johnson’s move:

After working together for a year and a half, Freedman’s is saying goodbye to Liz Johnson. We wish Liz the best in her future endeavors. We are proud of what our talented team has accomplished so far and remain committed to delivering our take on a Jewish-ish dining experience.

There’s no word yet on who, if anyone, will take over the kitchen at Freedman’s, so the restaurant is continuing to run with its opening team.