Kate Green may be famed chef Nancy Silverton's right hand but she's a culinary powerhouse in her own right. Her day-to-day includes overseeing VIP reservations, managing off-site events and even working the floor for the Mozza Restaurant Group while at night she's a constant fixture on LA's dining scene - attending new restaurant openings, mingling with chefs and creating wakes with her radiant and infectious personality. We're privileged to call Kate a close friend and recently sat down with her to chat about her favorite seasonal ingredients, dining at the bar, and the best advice she's received from chef Mario Batali.
How’d you get your start at Mozza Restaurant Group? What’s been your proudest accomplishment thus far?
I started working at Mozza a little over eight years ago, when I first moved to LA. I had never worked at a restaurant before, and was hired as a reservationist answering phones. My old GM David Rosoff definitely had a poll on how long I would last, because I was always in the office wearing last night’s make up and eating junk food. My how times have changed!
My proudest moment thus far, would have to be the Zagat 30 under 30 honor I received last September.
As an assistant, there aren’t many awards or recognitions around. It was great to be included on that list with so many other people I admire who are doing wonderful things in the culinary world. And I’m also proud my Mother was able to attend the Zagat party and get a small glimpse of the craziness that is the LA restaurant scene.
What’s the best piece of advice the founders (Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich) have given you?
The thing that sticks out in my mind, “If you aren’t moving forward, you are doing it wrong.” Over lunch at Casa Mono years ago, Mario asked me what I wanted to do. Then he told me to work backwards from that, and that everything you do should be moving you in the right direction towards that goal - (even the small things) It has worked for me thus far, and I am thankful for that advice.
It’s June! What are some of your favorite seasonal ingredients and preparations?
When I was little, it freaked my parents out that I loved vegetables so much. Chef Michael Hung is doing a killer seasonal pea salad with ricotta at Faith & Flower in downtown LA, I could eat that every day.
What’s the most important thing to throw a perfect dinner party?
Good wine, good music and most importantly great friends to share it all with. If you have those components, you can have a perfect dinner party just about anywhere.
Countless huge personalities and famous faces frequent the restaurants and hold private events. What’s one of the craziest experiences you’ve had while with Mozza group that you’ll never forget?
A few years back, I had the pleasure of meeting both President and First Lady Michelle Obama during private work events. I don’t think I will ever forget how down to earth and humble they both were. (And I am lucky enough to have a photo to prove it!)
It’s Happy Hour. What’s your drink of choice?
Our bartenders at Osteria Mozza have perfected the art of the White Mezcal Negroni, also known as the KG. The recipe is a delicious secret, and in my opinion no one around town does it better. It is a perfect start to any evening.
Do you have a favorite local artisanal treat?
I do! Hoxie Spritzer by Josh Rosenstein. Most people will say, “Wine spritzers? Really?” The answer is yes. He has somehow managed to make a delicious, bubbly product in a cute colorful bottle. Plus they carry them over at Domaine LA, which is a stone’s throw from my office, easy to pop over and grab one for a last minute BBQ.
If you could choose one of June’s featured ingredients to cook with, what would you choose and what would you make?
Anyone who knows me knows that my cabinets are filled with clothing vs. pots and pans. (this is not a joke) However, on Sundays our friends get together to cook over at my friend Alan’s house, so if I had to choose one of those ingredients, hands down it would be the Porchetta Rub from BK Spice Blends. I am super into Bruce Kalman’s flavor profiles, and who doesn’t love a perfectly seasoned piece of meat?
Midnight snack of choice?
This is a daily occurrence for me… after a night of drinking good wine at my local watering hole aka Bar Covell, the next stop for a midnight snack is tacos from Taco Zone. It’s the only time I don’t mind eating standing up in a random grocery store parking lot.
What’s the most underrated dining experience in LA?
Dining at the bar! I think there is a huge misconception in LA that you need to have a table reservation to have a better dining experience. I love just popping in and grabbing a stool at the counter, where you can people watch, make friends with the bartender, and stay as long as you want .
Any hidden gems you’re willing to share?
If I told you my secret spots, they wouldn’t be hidden any more ;)
What’s up next for you?
Any exciting culinary travels or ventures? Travel wise, I am itching to get back down to Mexico. I’ve had a few friends recently explore their Wine country and have some wonderful taco pairings along with their travels. Who wants to join?
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