Former Top Chef chefbian extraordinaire Jamie Lauren has a new gig. The former executive chef at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in San Francisco is relocating to helm Beechwood Restaurant in the oceanfront Southern California city of Venice. Jamie will start her executive chef duties in October.
Jamie has been at Absinthe since 2007 and left late last month. She made a good showing in the fifth season of the popular Bravo reality competition, making it to the final six out of 17 contestants before being eliminated. She remains one of the most popular chefbians to have competed on the series and a celesbian in her own right.
Yesterday after the announcement of her new appointment, I conducted a quick Twitterview with Jamie (@ChefJamieLauren) about her new job, her fans and why she loves L.A.
AfterEllen: So, what made you want to relocate to SoCal?
Jamie Lauren: I was looking for a change. Wanted to be in a new city and wasn’t ready to go back to the east coast yet.
AE: How is the LA-area food scene different than SF? What attracted you to Beechwood?
JL: There seems to be more diversity in LA, which I’m attracted to. And Beechwood enticed me because I literally can go in and do whatever I want food wise, which really is any chefs dream. Plus I really dig Venice, it had a cool factor to it.
AE: With that freedom, what do you hope to do with the Beechwood menu? What strengths do you bring to the table, so to speak?
JL: I just want to make good food. I know that sounds silly but it’s true, plus it’s a great chance for me to show a whole new city what I am good at and try and really make a mark on the LA food scene.
AE: Have you found your lesbian following has stayed loyal, since your time on TC. And you expect to connect with the LA scene?
JL: Oh my god yeah! Those ladies are hardcore!! And if time allows I’ll go out once or twice in LA, but I have a feeling I’ll be pretty busy for the first few months at Beechwood!
AE: So are you saying we can’t expect to see you on the next version of The Real L Word: When Chefs Get Cooking?
JL: Um, highly unlikely…I think I’ve had enough of reality shows!!
AE: You don’t start at Beechwood until October, what will you be up to until then? Taking time off or other projects?
JL: I’ll be traveling a bit and working a bit. Spending some time in Austin where my gf is shooting a TV show and moving!!
AE: OK last Q. So does that mean you’re still with @keener18 (former The L Word actress Elizabeth Keener)? Inquiring lesbians want to know. Thx for being such a good sport!
JL: I think it’s pretty easy to put two and two together there, right?
Congratulations on the new job, Jamie. And if you’re in the Los Angeles area, be sure to check out her culinary concoctions at Beechwood. Who knows, tell them Dawn Denbo sent you and maybe you’ll get a better table. Just don’t bring up lover Cindi.