The TT 46

Travis Lett

Gjelina and Gjusta, Venice, CA
Photo: Stefan Kocev

Why he killed it in 2015: If you've tried the cult baklava croissant, paged through the stunning vegetable-centric Gjelina cookbook or simply tore into a puffed crust and nettle-scattered pizza at Gjelina, then you understand why Lett is on this list. The Jersey-born chef celebrates California produce and producers at his laid-back restaurants, and they're turning heads, making Venice a destination for more than just the beach.

How would you describe your food? "Farm-to-table, grain-and-vegetable centric, globally inspired cuisine."

What's the dish you would cook for the rest of your life? "Beans and rice. To me, cooking with 'simple ingredients' means fundamental, soulful cooking. I have always found purposeful cooking more interesting. My favorite is with heirloom beans, dried chiles, oregano, crushed garlic and a mixed variety of long-grain wild rice."

Rank pancakes, waffles and French toast from favorite to least favorite. "I love all breakfast doughy creations equally!"

Favorite way to cook an egg? "Fried in olive oil and super runny."

Find Gjelina and Gjusta on DINE.

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