Eric Greenspan began his foray into the restaurant business as a dishwasher at the Berkeley breakfast establishment Café Med. Only two weeks later he became its head chef, and for the next three years served as both head chef and general manager for the café, generating over $1 million in revenue.
Following his graduation from the UC Berkeley’s prestigious Haas School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Eric attended the acclaimed Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris. He went on to train in New York with such celebrated chefs as Alain Ducasse, David Bouley and Rocco DeSpirito, as well as apprenticing at three-star Michelin chef Ferran Adria’s El Bulli in Rosas, Spain.
As executive chef for almost two years at Los Angeles’ world acclaimed Patina, Eric garnered critical acclaim for his imaginative and bold cuisine and was named one of Angeleno Magazine’s “Eight Hot Chefs” in 2003. His kitchen scored a 27/30 in the 2004 Zagat Guide for food quality and was the top-ranked French restaurant in the same publication.
In the fall of 2004 Eric teamed up with Tim Goodell and Domaine Restaurants to open Meson G on Melrose Avenue. Eric was involved in all aspects of the project, including restaurant and kitchen design, menu formulation, initial staffing, budgeting, and acquisition of restaurant assets and equipment. Meson G opened to rave reviews and a profitable business, receiving 2 ½ stars from the Los Angeles Times, 4 stars from Angeleno Magazine, and achieving $250,000 of monthly sales revenue after only 12 weeks of operation.
In Spring 2007, Eric opened The Foundry on Melrose to similarly rave reviews and resounding success. The Foundry was awarded 2 ½ stars from the Los Angeles Times and was runner-up for Los Angeles Magazines “Best New Restaurant.” With its swanky bar, live music and unsurpassed cuisine, the restaurant has earned a swath of accolades. Condé Nast Traveler named it Best New Restaurant; it made Los Angeles Magazine’s Top 75 as well as the “Essential 99” restaurants of LA Weekly Pulitzer-winning food critic Jonathan Gold. The Foundry was also a semi-finalist for The James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant in America.
Eric Greenspan has been profiled by such publications as The New York Times, Wine Spectator, Art Culinaire, Los Angeles Confidential, Angeleno and Los Angeles Magazine. Named 944 Magazine’s “Most Buzzworthy Chef in America,” he was a finalist on the Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef” and recently defeated bobby Flay on “Iron Chef America.” He also won the 2008 Grilled Cheese Invitational, and that award winning sandwich is featured nightly at The Foundry on Melrose.
Eric recently formed The Foundation Hospitality Group with partners Jay Perrin and Jim Hustead, as the umbrella for all their operations, including The Foundry on Melrose, the recently opened The Roof on Wilshire (in the newly constructed Hotel Wilshire), and the upcoming Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese, a sandwich concept adjacent to The Foundry on Melrose.
Jay’s experience began 26 years ago at the young age of 14 during a summer job as a dishwasher for a local Italian restaurant. Working his way out of the kitchen and into the dining room, he spent the next few summers as a busboy. There the spark was ignited. A love of customer relations called him back to the floor time and time again. Eventually he worked his way up the ranks becoming a food runner then a waiter. During this progression he was also asked to become the cellar boy, moving bottles of wine day in and out from the cellar to the floor. This peeked a new curiosity and passion—and he found a new love of wine. In 1989 Jay was offered a waiter position at the famed Nicky Blair’s on Sunset. For years he worked around Hollywood’s elite. Oscar parties and private concerts from artists like Frank Sinatra became the norm. In search of a more serious focus on cuisine Jay accepted a position on the opening team of La Cachette in Santa Monica. After a year with La Cachette, he desired an even deeper knowledge and more intense wine program. This drew him to Campanile Restaurant. Spending the next three years as a waiter, Jay’s depth of palate grew as he learned many of the worlds great Italian and Austrian wines. Wanting to widen his experience of vintage Burgundy and Bordeaux, Jay was lured to Patina. Throughout the next 12 years of his life he earned positions as General Manager at Patina, La Terza and Campanile. Jay helped Patina orchestrate the move from Melrose to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. In addition, under his watch Campanile was nominated for and won numerous James Beard Awards. Sharpening his skills at operations and cost management Jay has continued to educate himself in the restaurant business. Most recently during his position as General Manager and Wine Director of Campanile, he was asked to become a managing Partner and over see the opening of The Tar Pit on La Brea. Effective the first of this year, Jay has left his post as managing partner to focus his total attention on his current venture with The Foundation Hospitality Group.