Chef Zoe Nathan of Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

October 2011

Finding the right person to share your life with is one thing; finding a business partner is another; finding both in the same person is nothing short of extraordinary. Restaurateurs and husband and wife team Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan started their careers on opposite coasts and with dissimilar goals.

Nathan was going to art school when she realized that she wanted to work with something tangible—specifically food. She packed her bags, moved to New York, enrolled in culinary school, and fell in love with butchering. She landed her first job at Mario Batali’s Lupa, honing her butchery and sausage-making skills. Nathan then moved west to San Francisco and worked in Traci Des Jardin’s Jardiniere, before finding a home at Tartine, one of San Francisco’s top bakeries. Nathan found her calling as a baker at Tartine. She then moved to Los Angeles and worked as the opening baker for Neal Fraser’s BLD and also spend time at Joe Miller’s landmark Joe’s in Venice.

Josh Loeb grew up in Rustic Canyon, what he calls a “small tree house of a neighborhood in Santa Monica.” He began his career in the publishing world in New York City before returning home and landing in the restaurant world. Loeb’s culinary pursuits initially were in the form of underground supper clubs; the more dinners he cooked, the more he wanted to do it for a living. He learned the ups and downs of the industry working alongside LA restaurateur Bruce Marder, and before long he transitioned his informal dinner club concept to a legit business, Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen, which opened in late 2006.

Loeb and Nathan met when Nathan was hired as the pastry chef of Rustic Canyon. What started as a business relationship turned personal after a fateful tango lesson; they’ve been at full speed ever since, opening Huckleberry Café and Bakery in early 2009. They are working on a cookbook based on Rustic Canyon’s cuisine, will open an ice cream parlor, Sweet Rose Creamery in the coming months, plan to open multiple additional concepts, and have a crew of kids, to boot.