Jitaek started his first job as a dishwasher in LA when he was just 16 years old. He worked his way to become an executive chef at age 24. After 12 years in the restaurant world, he went on to open two sushi restaurants with little success.
Fortunately he decided to give it one last try in Silverlake, but this time he decided to focus on the food he loves the most: Ramen. The result is Silverlake Ramen!
Thomas moved to Japan with his family when he was 4 years old, and his favorite childhood food was ramen.
One day his heart followed his stomach and he decided he wanted to become a ramen master, to create his own ramen, one that blended the traditional with the contemporary. After knocking on the doors of almost every restaurant he was finally hired by a true ramen master, with 45 years of experience in the craft.
Thomas spent 5 years studying and learned how to make both broth and tare (sauce) from scratch. Once he had mastered the art of Ramen, he moved to LA teamed up with Jitaek to become part owner / ramen creator of Silverlake Ramen.
Chef Kat grew up in Nanjing, China, where she learned to make traditional noodles and bao side by side with her two grandmothers. Kat’s career began with culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu, where she honed the skills which would pave the way for her to serve as Chef De Partee for The Ritz Carlton and the JW Marriott Los Angeles at LA LIVE, Sous Chef for Café Pinot, and Chef de Cuisine at Roots & Rye in San Jose.
Carter has been in the kitchen since day one, literally. She came into the world as her mom prepped for a catering event, arriving just in time for the party. Her earliest memories include being propped up on the counter, touching and tasting everything.
She trained in the kitchens at Lucques, AOC and Grace under inspiring and award winning chefs who have built careers highlighting the abundance of vibrant ingredients here in Los Angeles.
This experience is paired with a lifelong cooking education from her grandmothers. Today, She wears multiple hats, all knit together by a passion for social activism, cultural curiosity and bringing people together around delicious food.
Chef Nguyen Bui hails from Northern California. He never planned on becoming a chef. Rather, he became an EMT with a goal to eventually work in medicine. After his EMT shift, for fun, he’d help out his friend at a food and wine bar in San Francisco. Eventually, a few days a week of cooking wasn’t enough so he left medicine altogether to work full time as a chef. Nguyen is currently the sous chef at Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica, who just received their first Michelin star. He's been with Rustic Canyon for 3 years and prior to that, trained under 2 Michelin star chef James Syhabout at Chef Syhabout’s supperhouse in Oakland. This past March, Nguyen hosted his very first pop-up called ‘Anise’, where he showcased his passion for the food from his own culture, updated with new techniques and flavors from his culinary training.
Joe Sasto brought his pasta prowess and attention-to-detail to Lazy Bear (SF) and continued to honor Bay Area product and producers with great reverence. At both Quince and Lazy Bear, Sasto has been an integral member of the team, impacting the rise from one to three, and one to two Michelin stars, respectively. When not in the kitchen, he can be found foraging along the nearby coast, rolling out pasta “fatto-a-mano,” fine tuning his mustache, or sharpening his winning skills on such competition shows as; The Food Network’s “Chopped." Most recently, Joe relocated to Los Angeles focusing on fresh handmade pasta, with influences from coastal Italy and the bounty of California.Last August, Joe left his post at Cal Mare, in Beverly Hills, to pursue his personal goal of opening his own restaurant, and is currently traveling the country hosting private events, cannabis dinners and pop-up feasts.
Leo Lamprides is a Portuguese Greek American who was trained under chef David LeFevre when both were at the Water Grill, and was sous-chef for Michael Hung at Faith & Flower. Helen Li is an architect from Beijing who brings her home recipes to the business. The two combine and incorporate their backgrounds and experiences into their one-of-a-kind dishes, incorporating a pantheon of cuisines, from Hainan chicken to Uighur-style meat to Chinese risotto. The couple believe strongly in providing authentic dining experience by making almost everything from scratch, including tortillas, fermented chile sauce, stocks, and pickles.
Pat Saphyakhajon is personal chef and caterer under his brand name Another Pat Creation, Chef Pat has been immersed in the Pop Up dining scene all over Los Angeles for the past 4 years which includes Pop Up dining events such as Feastown Session: Dinner & Story Series, To Live & Dine In LA hosted by Drunken Devil, Grassfed’s Taste Buds series ‘Hummus and Hashish’ as well as ‘Tapas and Tokes’ just to name a few. One of Pats’ favorite past catering experience was cooking an Puerto Rican inspired menu for Louie Vega and EOL Soulfrito Band for Fusicology’s 15 year anniversary concert at the Ford Theatre. Another Pat Creation is about creating a memorable dining experience through food and culture presented in a fun and innovative way.
Mike McCollough is a California native that has a passion for bringing a creative flair to any dining experience. A graduate of the International Culinary School at The Art Institute Of California in Los Angeles, Chef Mike has worked and trained in some of the best kitchens in the Los Angeles Culinary Arts scene. While spending a period of time in Barcelona, Madrid, and other parts of coastal Spain Chef Mike deepened his knowledge of Spanish and North African cuisine. Chef Mike has found creative ways to integrate the Spanish, North African, and Middle Eastern palates as well as other indigenous cultures into the LA food scene. Creating magnificent dishes using seasonal ingredients and high quality proteins Chef Mike brings the farm to table experience to your dining enjoyment.
"Being from the south, I love southern food. One day, to my chagrin, I was taken to a French restaurant. Reluctantly I looked over the menu and with the help of a few others I made my selection. In that moment my life was changed for the better. I discovered a whole new cuisine I didn’t know I would love. This discovery lead to interest in French culture and eventually ended with me going to a French culinary school. From something as simple as ordering coq au vin I became encouraged to learn more about the world, to travel, and lead a more enriched life. That moment is what I want to share with people. A transformative experience that centers around food."