Vinny Dotolo & Jon Shook
Why they won Because the duo have created a no-holds-barred meat-centric restaurant that has made L.A. excited to eat fried chicken livers.
Born (VD) 1979 (JS) 1981
Raised (VD) Clearwater, FL (JS) South Miami, FL
Education (BOTH) The culinary program at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
Experience (BOTH) The Strand, Miami Beach; Wildflower, Vail, CO; Chadwick, Los Angeles.
How they got their start (JS) “[Chef] Ben Ford hired us to cook lunch at Chadwick. But then the restaurant went out of business. So he hired us to paint his house—we hated painting, all we cared about was lunch. Soon we were cooking for Ben’s dad [Harrison Ford].”
On the L.A. food scene (VD) “People out here eat like kids: hamburgers, hot dogs, doughnuts. You can tell that so much fast food started here.”
Advice to aspiring chefs (JS) Eat out. “When we were 22, 23, we went to see our accountant, and he said we’d spent $150,000 on dining that year. Imagine. But it’s worth it—you get turned on to so many ideas.”
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.