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A Love Letter To LA Chefs On Culinarians Day


  First Posted: 07/25/11 03:30 PM ET Updated: 09/24/11 06:12 AM ET

No one in Los Angeles honors culinarians, or chefs, more than My Last Bite's Jo Stougaard. If you are one of her 78,224 followers on Twitter (that number, of course, is reflective of press time; it's likely increased by, like, a 1000 now), you're well aware of Stougaard's innumerable chef crushes, her insatiable appetite for bacon and her all-caps gushing for all things cooking in Los Angeles. It's a safe bet to say that Stougaard's blog,, is more well-known than today's arbitrarily-dated holiday, National Culinarians Day. You might wonder: Why July 25th, right? But why pontificate it when all 365 calendar days in Stougaard's life -- and now ours, too, thanks to her -- is an ode to chefs.

Was it fair of us to ask Stougaard to name just five of her favorite chefs in Los Angeles? Probably not. But the enigmatic 47-year-old Scottish-Japanese woman was quick to the challenge, and with confidence, she named the handful of top chefs in the city that keep her happily fed--that's her mugging like a super fan with each chef in the photos below.

All photos courtesy of Jo Stougaard

Suthiporn "Tui" Sungkamee of Jitlada
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Stougaard, of course, is the formidable woman who's tasked herself with completing the entire menu at Jitlada, the Hollywood Thai Town kitchen hotly helmed by chef Suthiporn Sungkamee (call him Tui). Of the 300-something items of mostly Southern Thai specialties, she's completed 227 dishes. Most are notoriously spicy. But is it ever too spicy for Stougaard? "No," she said. "Sometimes I take home an extra order of Dynamite -- the spiciest dish on the menu -- and keep tablespoon-portioned bags of it in the freezer. Then I add them to foods I'm making for myself, like an omelet, pasta sauce, or even a quesadilla."
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