Patti Peck, Beachwood Cafe Owner
Patti Peck, a native of Indianola, Iowa, began cooking almost as soon as she could walk. Raised on her grandparents’ working farm (cattle, hogs, corn, soybeans), as early as age 5, Peck helped make breakfast, lunch and dinner for 30 farmhands. Years later, she honed her culinary skills in the San Francisco Bay Area, training under world-famous Alice Waters at Chez Panisse. As co-owner and executive chef, she was responsible for the stylish Edendale Grill in Los Feliz, revamped from a run-down firehouse into a charming local hangout. Peck was also owner and chef of the much-beloved Millie’s Cafe in Silver Lake, which served healthy, hearty food with a punk-rock sensibility. In 2002, she was recognized as Small Business Woman of the Year by California State Senator Jack Scott. For the Edendale Grill, the Los Feliz Architectural Society honored her for “Best Adaptive Re-Use Building.” She was also recognized by the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly as a talented chef and restaurateur.
Minh Phan, Chef
Chef Minh Phan was raised in Southern California and received a formal culinary arts education from Le Cordon Bleu. However, she credits her life experiences, Vietnamese mother’s cooking, and childlike-curiosity as her greatest influences. A passionate food activist, she promotes sustainable agricultural and culinary practices through her work at Beachwood Cafe and personal projects such as the uber-local Hollywood Orchard and national Culinary Corps. Through Echo Park Artisanal (currently on hiatus), Chef Minh engages in a variety of culinary initiatives including education, co-op gathering and foraging, private cooking, and underground dinners. Additional professional food-related experience included a position as Pastry Chef at Axe in Venice, one of the original farm-to-table restaurants. She has also honed her craft at Gotham Tavern (Portland, OR) and at Inn of the Seventh Ray (Topanga Canyon, CA). Further back on her rich resume, Chef Minh was a commercial director and documentary ethnographer, and held professional positions in advertising, including stints with Warner Independent Pictures, Focus Features, and ad firm TBWA/Chiat/Day. This early career in film and advertising also very much informs Chef Minh’s aesthetic and artistic approach to food. Chef Minh holds a BA degree from New York University in Theatre and Political Science.