Speakers

Dakota Weiss

Executive Chef/Partner, Sweetfin Poke

About

Since being named “Best New Chef” by Angeleno Magazine in 2006 as the Executive Chef at Jer-ne at the Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey, Dakota Weiss has become a tour-de-force in Los Angeles’ culinary community. In 2011, Dakota appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef Texas,” while that same year she joined forces with Alan Nathan of Choice Hospitality Group who recruited Dakota to helm its W Los Angeles – Westwood restaurants NINETHIRTY and The Backyard. In 2013 she opened Dakota’s POP Parlor, her own brand of innovative gourmet popcorn, recognized by The Food Network as one of the “Top 30 Popcorns to Try in America” and CBS Los Angeles as “Best Popcorn in LA.” Dakota debuted Estrella, located in the heart of the Sunset Strip and inspired by the bohemian rock-and-roll days of Laurel Canyon in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Dakota’s menu contributes to the restaurant’s atmosphere of “hippie home” by focusing on shareable items, including small plates, the viral ‘rolling stone,’ family-style dinners, as well as her popcorn, which is now a staple of Estrella’s adjoining MA Theater and Lounge. Prior to opening Estrella, Weiss became consulting chef and part owner of Choice’s Sweetfin Poke, a fast-casual concept serving California-spun Hawaiian soul food that opened in 2015 in Santa Monica, and has been named by LA Weekly the Best Poké in LA in 2015, and again in 2016. Rapid expansion ensued with additional outposts in Woodland Hills (October 2016), Larchmont (November 2016), Westwood (February 2017), West Third (March 2017), and more are in the works (Silver Lake and DTLA), making her one of the most commercially successful women-owned restaurateurs in Southern California. She is also very involved in charitable organizations, including No Kid Hungry, which works to end childhood hunger in America. Most recently, she was Chef Co-Chair at the June 2017 Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry in Los Angeles.
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