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Chef Josiah Citrin

Los Angeles, CA

Mélisse

Los Angeles native, Chef Josiah Citrin discovered his passion for food from his mother, a caterer, and his grandmothers, both excellent cooks. Citrin moved to Paris after graduating from high school, worked at Vivarois and La Poste for three years, and explored his heritage while learning the rules of traditional French cooking.

He returned to Los Angeles in 1990, working at the city’s finest restaurants—notably Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois on Main and Granita. After two years, he moved to Patina and Pinot Bistro, cooking alongside famed chef and restaurateur Joachim Splichal. Citrin then became chef at Capri in Venice and Jackson’s in West Hollywood.

In 1996, he partnered with Raphael Lunetta to launch JiRaffe, specializing in California French Bistro food. His lifelong dream of opening his own fine dining establishment led him to sell his interest in JiRaffe to Lunetta. In 1999, he opened Mélisse. In 2004, he and Lunetta opened Lemon Moon, a casual New York-style eatery with an eclectic menu

His recent honors include: Two Stars (Michelin Guide, Los Angeles, 2008, 2009), “No. 1 for Top Food in Los Angeles” and “No. 1 American-French Restaurant for Food in Los Angeles” (Zagat Guide, 2013), Five Stars (Forbes Travel Guide, 2013), Wine Spectator “Best Award of Excellence” (2001–2008), “Top 40 Restaurants” (Gayot.com, since 2006), “Top Ten New Chefs” (Food & Wine, 1997) and “Rising Star Chef” (Restaurant Hospitality Magazine, 1997). He was named one of the Best Chefs of the Year (Los Angeles Magazine, 2012).