With an alarming increase of media attention on chefs, restaurants, and food culture in general, one would think that the path to chef-dom is paved with glitz and glamour. The reality is that behind those kitchen doors, cooks face a very long road of discipline, physical and mental exhaustion, little pay, and a life solely dedicated to the craft and the comrades who are crazy enough to join them.
It’s hard work. Really hard work.
For many, working at a fine establishment under a seasoned chef might be enough, but for sous-chefs Joseph Johnson (Melisse) and Gary Nguyen (previously: Melisse, Alma), they’re scheming creative ways to stand out and make a mark for themselves in a chef-y chef world. From making aprons to hosting pop-up dinners, the life of a cook has become more about building a personal brand, while also being able to execute flawlessly in a society whose palate and expectations have become a bit more savvy.
On a summer evening in the Arts District of Los Angeles, Life & Thyme, Cocktail Academy, and Joseph & Gary came together to host a Life & Thyme Pop-up Dinner consisting of a multi-course meal, lively conversation among friends, and a loft kitchen converted to a miniature restaurant kitchen fully equipped with a makeshift pass for plating.
On the Menu
- Amuse: Cherry Tree & Soda
- Oyster: Green Gazpacho, Sea Foam, Green Tea
- Plums: Green Strawberries, Arugula, Burrata, Prosciutto
- Salmon: Courgette, Tomato, Ricotta
- Chicken: Amaranth, Spring Onion, Potato
- Peach: Mascarpone, Honey, Bacon, Mint