To celebrate the launch of our new brand, OpenTable is giving away 100 dinners, in 30 cities, all on one unforgettable night — learn more about the giveaway here. We asked a select number of participating restaurants to share responses to 10 questions about the passions we all share: food and dining.
As the chef and owner of Los Angeles’ Lucques, Tavern and A.O.C., Chef Suzanne Goin is known for her beloved restaurants and seasonal, locally sourced California French menus. In 2006 she won the James Beard Award for Best Chef – California, and she’s been nominated for the foundation’s Outstanding Chef award no less than six times (including this year). Here are Suzanne’s 10 questions for #100opentables.
1. A meal that changed your life
Lunch at Moulin de Mougin (Roger Verge) in the south of France when I was about 14. For me that meal had it all — the setting was gorgeous, the service was super friendly and unpretentious (but perfect), the food was unbelievably delicious but also somehow stunning and approachable and welcoming and satisfying all at the same time.
2. In good company: Your dream dinner guests
My old friends — some from college, some from high school, some from work. I think I spend so much time around people I don’t know that well that the dream to me is settling into a great meal with my family and true friends.
3. The moment that inspired your current path
I’m not sure there is one exact moment, but cooking with my dad and enjoying time around the table as a kid.
4. Everyone’s a critic / On getting panned
I try to ignore it — well, I filter through because of course we are not perfect and I need to know how we are being perceived and received, but I don’t read the nasty/hater stuff. People can be very mean. Sometimes it feels like they don’t understand there is a living person behind the restaurant who is just trying to create a great experience and cook delicious food.
5. The advice that has meant the most to you
From Nancy Silverton: “Don’t f*ck it up.”
6. The hardest you’ve ever laughed
Listening to the things my kids say.
7. Last supper / desert island meal
Grilled rib eye steak; super ripe heirloom tomatoes and reed avocado salad; James Birch’s arugula; grilled bread slathered in olive oil; cheese platter to include Vacherin Mont d’Or and cheeses curated by Cowgirl Creamery.
8. The future of food is…
I can’t wait to find out! Actually, for me personally, I love food how it is now. I’m interested to see all the movements and changes but in the end I just want something real and delicious to eat.
9. How you want to be remembered
For making great food and creating spaces that people love and in which they have their celebrations and share life moments; for being a good boss, business partner and teacher; and for being a loving daughter, mother and wife.
10. On what keeps you sane or drives you crazy
My children — both sane and crazy.
Suzanne Goin Photo Credit: David Young-Wolff; all other photos courtesy of Aaron Cook | AACK Studio