Caroline Styne, AOC Cookbook



Caroline Styne was raised in Los Angeles and began her work in the food service industry in 1989 when, at the age of 22, she co-founded Basically Baked Inc., producing and distributing specialty foods to retail accounts nation-wide. By 1994, she was managing restaurants and teamed with celebrated restaurateur Sean MacPherson at Jones, in Hollywood. While there, she was introduced to Suzanne Goin. The meeting was life-changing for both and led to the opening of their flagship restaurant, Lucques, in 1998. With Goin’s culinary talent and Styne’s business acumen they made a formidable creative team.

The restaurant met with instant success and their efforts helped her partner to be recognized as one of Food and Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs” 1999. Lucques received praise from Condé Nast Traveler, Gourmet, Bon Appétit and Saveur, including a prestigious 3 star review by the Los Angeles Times. Styne has served as the restaurant’s sommelier and wine buyer from the beginning, and has received multiple Awards of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine.

The partners’ second endeavor was A.O.C., the ground-breaking wine bar and restaurant located on West Third Street in Los Angeles. The restaurant features 50 wines served by the glass and small plates of food served family-style. A.O.C. and its wine list have received numerous favorable reviews, receiving three stars from the Los Angeles Times and named one of Conde Nast Traveler’s“50 hot tables.” Styne’s wine list was named “best new wine list” by Food & Wine magazine for 2003. As at Lucques, the wine list at A.O.C. has received awards from Wine Spectator.

In 2009, Caroline and her business partner Suzanne Goin opened Tavern in the Brentwood area of the westside of Los Angeles. Tavern serves as a casual neighborhood meeting place, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner including the more casual The Larder at Tavern --a retail market selling all the ingredients from Goin's "larder" or pantry, including many prepared foods to take home. Styne and Goin opened The Larder at Maple Drive, an offshoot of their retail business at Tavern, in fall of 2011.

2013 has been a busy year for Styne and Goin, with stunning growth. A.O.C., which is celebrating its tenth anniversary, moved to a new location in February 2013 with an added cocktail program and new menu. The Larder at Burton Way, their third larder concept is scheduled to open in April 2013 at Rick Caruso's high-end apartment complex on the edge of Beverly HIlls. The Larder at Tavern will also open a branch in the newly renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, later in the year.

The Maple Drive location is also the commissary for the growing catering arm of their businesses, Lucques Catering. Goin and Styne have been the official caterers for the annual SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards for the past three years. In 2011 and 2012, Goin and Styne were honored to have been selected to prepare fundraising dinners for both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. 

Styne continues as the sommelier and wine buyer for all of the restaurants and talks about her interests in wine through Styne on Wine, her wine and lifestyle blog. She has her hand in producing her own wines: Jules Harrison, a Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, J&H, a un-oaked chardonnay from Napa Valley and BTG, a project in collaboration with winery owner Mark Tarlov from Evening Land Vineyards producing approachable chardonnay meant to be served "By The Glass" at her restaurants.

Caroline Styne has been covered in GQ, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and appears regularly on wine panels for her expertise, including Food & Wine Aspen, Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, Zagat, and ABC television. She received a coveted nomination as a James Beard Foundation finalist for Restaurateur of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Goin and Styne are among the most respected restaurateurs in California, and continue to receive praise for their food, beverage programs and service from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, L.A. Weekly, Daily News, Condénast Traveler, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Saveur, Los Angeles, Angeleno, Zagat and Gayot.com.  They are co-founders, with David Lentz, Goin’s husband and owner of The Hungry Cat, of L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, their fundraiser benefiting research for childhood cancer which has raised over $1.5 million since its inception in 2010.

Caroline Styne is married to Michael Kohn, a contemporary art dealer and owner of the Michael Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles. They have a daughter, Olivia and a son, Jules.