Jeff Mahin is a chef/partner at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE) and the creative force behind Stella Barra Pizzeria (Santa Monica, Hollywood, Chicago), Summer House Santa Monica (Chicago), Do-Rite Donuts (Chicago), and M Street Kitchen (Santa Monica). At just 30 years old, Mahin has accumulated several industry accolades including Zagat “30 under 30” list in 2012, Forbes “30-under-30” list of hospitality industry up-and-comers in 2012 and Restaurant Hospitality’s “13 to watch in 2013.” He was also a contestant on Season 1 of ABC’s “The Taste.”
Mahin spent much of his teen years using his natural talent and instinct to construct and deconstruct whatever foods he touched within his family’s kitchen. At age 17, Mahin began his professional training at the California Culinary Academy and later studied science and mathematics at University of California, Berkley. Mahin has had experience working in prestigious kitchens around the country from Nobu in New York City to San Francisco’s Millennium, Blackhawk Grill and Patrick David’s. In 2006, he became a laboratory assistant at the three-star Michelin rated restaurant, The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, England under chef/owner Heston Blumenthal. While at The Fat Duck, Mahin participated in BBC’s “In Search of Perfection” documentary, creating and recreating well known dishes, including pizza- which would later became his signature.
In 2007, Mahin headed back to the U.S. where he assisted famed chef Laurent Gras in opening L2O in Chicago, LEYE's Michelin-starred, modern seafood restaurant. He then started as a corporate chef within LEYE, collaborating closely with the hospitality group's partners to develop new ideas for some of the group’s most revered restaurants.
Mahin opened his first LEYE concept, artisanal pizzeria Stella Barra Pizzeria, in Santa Monica in 2011. There he experimented with more than 30 different variations to create restaurant’s signature pizza crust, using locally-milled flour and farmer’s market ingredients to make up the ever-changing menu. His California concepts also include M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica and a second location of Stella Barra in Hollywood.
In 2012, Mahin expanded to Chicago, partnering with Chef Francis Brennan to open artisanal doughnut shop Do-Rite Donuts and in summer 2014, Mahin and Brennan opened the second Do-Rite location in downtown Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. Do-Rite’s doughnuts are prepared daily in small batches and utilize seasonal ingredients like Meyer lemon in the winter and fraise des bois in the spring.
In addition to Do-Rite, Mahin increased his Chicago presence in fall 2013 with two new Lincoln Park restaurants: his third iteration of Stella Barra, as well as a new concept, Summer House Santa Monica, bringing laid-back California-style cuisine to the Windy City. In December 2014, he will expand to the Washington, D.C. market, opening locations of Stella Barra and Summer House Santa Monica in North Bethesda, MD.