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Chef Bio: Vartan Abgaryan

Vartan Abgaryan began his career late compared to most in the field. At the age of 20, his hunger for food and love for cooking lead him to the kitchen. Educated at Le Cordon Bleu and after working at the famed Andre Soltner restaurant, Lutece, at the age of 25 he became the chef at Red Pearl Kitchen in Los Angeles and then, at 26, ‘A’ Restaurant in Newport Beach; The Sultry speak-easy style venue that was ‘The Arches’ for some 80 years, was reinvented and given a fresh start, where Chef Abgaryan’s cooking became the heart and the soul of this intimate es- tablishment. After 3 years in Newport, he relocated to Los Angeles, this time to Public Kitchen and Bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. With Vartan Abgaryan as executive chef, Public re- ceived 2 stars from the LA Times’ S. Irene Virbila, and was mentioned as a ‘Restaurant To Watch’ in Esquire magazine by John Mariani.

In 2012, Abgaryan joined Cliff’s Edge as Executive Chef . His cuisine is best described as Modern American, and he sums it up thus – “I am driven by flavor and I want to cook with flavors that evoke emotion.” At Cliff’s Edge he became known for his highly seasonal approach to in- gredients, and his stunning presentation of dishes, called by Eater LA’s Matthew Kang “among the most beautiful plating in the city.” In 2014, Cliffs Edge, under chef Vartan, was awarded three stars by LA Weekly’s restaurant critic, Besha Rodell. In summer of 2015, chef Vartan an- nounced that he would be leaving Cliff’s Edge in October of that year, to begin preparing for the opening of 71Above a soon-to-open restaurant on the 71st floor of the US Bank Tower in Down- town Los Angeles. 71Above opened in July 2016, with Executive chef Vartan Abgaryan. Since opening, the restaurants has seen great critical acclaim, and was awarded three stars by the LA Weekly restaurant critic, Besha Rodell. Los Angeles Magazine named 71Above one of the Top Ten New Restaurants of 2016, with their critic, Patric Kuh remarking that “the experience is luxury that reflects on-point execution”, while Los Angeles Times Restaurant critic Jonathan Gold called his Suckling Pig dish “something out of a charcuterie dream”.

At Yours Truly, with an 85-seat main dining room and bar, plus a 12-seat private dining space, Abgaryan is partnered with hospitality veterans Dave Reiss and Paul Pruitt. Abgaryan, who moved to L.A. from Armenia when he was nine, says he plans to open a couple other restaurants with this crew.

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