Chef Diana Stavaridis of BLD - Biography
Los Angeles, CA.
Staring your career knuckles deep in pizza dough at Domino’s might not seem like the most auspicious beginning, but for Diana Stavaridis it was the first foray into the food world which would eventually be her professional home. A BA in Marketing and Advertising from the University of Massachusetts led Stavaridis to a brief tenure in the Boston financial software sector, an important career step in that it taught her exactly where she didn’t belong.
Perhaps recalling those formidable days of dough-kneading, Stavaridis left the relative security of advertising for a culinary education across the continent, at LA Trade Tech. After cooking at several popular LA restaurants (including Axe, Joe’s, and Grace) Stavaridis eventually landed a job on the line at Grace. She must have impressed Chef Neal Fraser, because in 2006 he named her sous chef to his newest LA restaurant, BLD.
Diana proved such an integral part of the BLDkitchen that in only two short years she became the chef de cuisine, guiding the menu planning for the entire restaurant. In addition to executing Chef Fraser’s vision and honing her own style, Stavaridis is currently obsessed by the seemingly divergent pursuits of smoking proteins and attending to vegetarian and vegan needs on the BLD menu. Being welcoming and accommodating, after all, are the key elements of Stavaridis’ earliest food memories.
And while she hopes to someday own her own restaurant, preferably with beach-front views, Stavaridis is eager to keep expanding her already impressive repertoire in the kitchen at BLD.