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A Slew of Big New Names Added to This Year’s Packed LA Chef Conference

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Plus more Tenants of the Trees allegations, and the return of The Burger

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Enrique Olvera
Enrique Olvera
Courtesy Cosme
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.

The LA Chef Conference is coming back to Los Angeles this spring, with plans to drop a whole day of educational panels, demos, and food on Santa Monica. It’s the third year for the industry conference, which focuses on everything from minimum wage laws to cannabis to sustainability, and this time around the event will feature talks from big restaurant names like David Kinch (Manresa), Chris Kostow (Restaurant at Meadowood), and Enrique Olvera (Pujol), along with loads of local talent.

The March 30 conference was formerly part of the LA Times Food Bowl series, but now producing partner Brad Metzger Restaurant Solutions is branching out solo with the full-day series, to be held at Santa Monica Place and the ArcLight Cinema and Gourmandise School there. Reps for Metzger tell Eater that the stacked series will also now include a James Beard Foundation culinary scholarship, with 15% of ticket sales going to sponsor an LA-area culinary arts student. Tickets are on sale now.

In other news:

The Los Feliz Ledger has reported on allegations of anti-Semitism at Tenants of the Trees in Silver Lake, after a Jewish patron says that he was told hide his Star of David necklace before entering. Tenants of the Trees has previously come under fire for multiple credible allegations of women being drugged at the bar.

— Chef Bryant Ng is bringing back his beloved burger from the old Spice Table days in Downtown. Find it now in Santa Monica at Cassia, available Sunday through Thursday in the bar and lounge only.

Salt & Straw is officially confirmed for the Culver Steps development in Culver City. Expect an opening for the 1,200 square foot space this spring.

— Chef Michael Treanor is in at Hotel Bel-Air, and will oversee the Wolfgang Puck restaurant there as well as the bar and lounge and in-room dining options. Treanor was previously at the Montage Beverly Hills.

— Chef Antonio Mure (Barrique) seems to be bringing back his Santa Monica restaurant Piccolo, having picked up a space at 2127 Lincoln Boulevard.

Needle in Silver Lake has started up a weekly weekend brunch, with dishes ranging from congee to a pork chop bun.