Rising Star Chef David Lentz of The Hungry Cat - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

May 2006

David Lentz stumbled upon his culinary career at the age of 19, when he decided to give up a drama major and take classes at a local culinary school. He’s been head over heels in love with cooking and the demanding lifestyle of a chef ever since.

Besides those few classes at the school, Lentz never completed formal training from that culinary program. He bypassed graduation and instead went straight for the professional kitchen. Lentz is passionate about the hands-on nature of working in the kitchen. He gained attention in the kitchen at Opaline, and has been making waves at the Hungry Cat, since 2005, the seafood-focused eatery he co-owns with his wife, Suzanne Goin, of Lucques and AOC fame.

Lentz’s style at Hungry Cat has been described as redefining the minimalist. His bare-bones menu brings out his Maryland roots by perfecting East Coast classics such as the lobster roll and crab cakes from a century-old recipe out of his home state. The concept has been so successful that two additional locations have opened, in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, and the chef snagged a Los Angeles Rising Stars Award in 2006. And for Lentz, the future is clear: continuing to work in a field that doesn’t feel like work – and loving every minute of it.