About Caroline Styne
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.
Tavern, the newest venture by Suzanne and business partner Caroline Styne, opened in 2009. The Brentwood location serves as a casual neighborhood meeting place, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a full retail market from the Tavern Larder. Goin and Styne opened The Larder at Maple Drive, an offshoot of their retail business at Tavern, in fall of 2011.
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 April 2011, Goin and Styne were honored to be selected by the Obama fundraising team to prepare a dinner for the President Obama at Tavern, a momentous career achievement.
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.
Styne is a dedicated contributor to her community and continues to be recognized for her talents and generosity. Along with partner Suzanne Goin and Chef David Lentz, Styne launched the L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade cookout fundraiser in 2010, contributing over $600K to date in funding research for childhood cancer.
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.