Best known for her roles on such Food Network hits as Guy’s Grocery Games, Tournament of Champions and Cutthroat Kitchen, as well as Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars, Antonia Lofaso is one of America’s most beloved chefs. She is currently the Executive Chef and Owner of Black Market Liquor Bar (Studio City, California) and Scopa Italian Roots (Venice, California) and DAMA (Downtown Los Angeles, California).
Lofaso apprenticed under culinary legends and absorbed their sophisticated techniques, but she was not afraid to take extraordinary risks to honor her instincts. She rose quickly through the ranks at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, and went on to transform several high-profile kitchens of Los Angeles.
In 2011, Lofaso partnered with Sal Aurora and Mario Guddemi to debut Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City. In Black Market and the business partnerships she formed, Lofaso found a home. This collaboration would foster the creative freedom Lofaso longed for. Black Market is not constrained by one definitive direction and that is the intention. A course might begin with dill potato chips and shishito peppers, followed by a lobster roll, Korean wings, and a succession of meatballs. What anchors this bold array of flavors, is Antonia.
Inspired by her Italian-American heritage, Lofaso opened Scopa – Italian Roots in 2013 to rave reviews. Lofaso’s interpretation of “old-school Italian” is hailed as one of the most compelling restaurants for Italian cooking in Los Angeles. Patrons describe Scopa as an essential neighborhood staple where Lofaso consistently serves food that is inviting, authentic, and undeniably satiating.
Lofaso opened DAMA in July 2018 – a Latin inspired restaurant and cocktail bar with her interpretation of dishes she’s explored during her travels throughout many Latin-American cities. Through her diverse menu, she has allowed guests to escape on vacation for a few hours through her whipped beans topped with crispy pork, corn drenched with cilantro aioli and crema, whole snapper with vibrant escabeche vegetables and her Pacific Banana Co. Sundae, an homage to the building’s history.
Lofaso insists that the drive behind all her accomplishments comes from the heart of the kitchen, and it is through this vein that she continues to have a firm finger on the pulse. She is revolutionizing her industry’s aesthetic by creating concepts that she sees opportunity to improve and positively change including Antonia Lofaso Catering and Chefletics where she is redesigning classic chef wear into active wear for chefs that include style, fit and function, including her patent pending technology, ChefDry™.