Valerie Gordon has a work schedule that would confound even the most seasoned L.A. commuter.
"There are many days now where I'm going to three different kitchens in the same day," says Gordon, who runs Valerie Confections with her partner Stan Weightman Jr. "I'll go into one shop and work on a blood orange panna cotta," she says. "I'll go to HQ to mold chocolates, and go over jams and farmers markets menus. Then I might go downtown and deal with whatever it is - a club sandwich or how the eggs are being cooked. It's like this every day."
Last year, the couple added Valerie Echo Park and Valerie at Grand Central Market to a list of locations that includes a shop on the edge of Westlake and various farmers market stands across Los Angeles. Gordon also published her first cookbook, Sweet, which was nominated for a James Beard Award.
Read more about Valerie Gordon
Koreatown is all about juxtapositions these days - with K-pop - attuned, 24-hour nightlife colliding with old-school barbecue joints and mom-and-pop storefronts. If you want to get a sense of how this can work in microcosm, take a seat (or try to) at Monica Lee's Beverly Soon Tofu.
Lee has been serving bubbling cauldrons of spicy soon (which means both soft and pure in Korean) tofu stew since 1986, when she opened on Beverly Boulevard. That first incarnation of Beverly Soon Tofu (she later moved to Olympic Boulevard) was Koreatown's first tofu restaurant.
Read more about Monica Lee
And check out our entire People 2014 issue.
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