Susan Feniger ‘77

Susan Feniger

Susan Feniger ‘77 is an iconic culinarian, author, and entrepreneur who may be best known for her Modern Mexican concept, Border Grill restaurants, trucks, and catering. After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York, she made a groundbreaking move in joining the nearly all-male kitchen at Chicago’s Le Perroquet—serendipitously meeting the only other woman in the kitchen, Mary Sue Milliken, who later became her partner in Border Grill. Susan and Mary Sue brought their innovative approaches to The Food Network with nearly 400 episodes of the Too Hot Tamales and Tamales World Tour series. They also were the original co-hosts of the popular food-centric radio show, KCRW’s Good Food, in L.A. Susan has co-authored six cookbooks, including Susan Feniger’s Street Food, and competed on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters in 2010. In 2018, Susan and Mary sue were named the recipients of the fourth annual Julia Child Award from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, marking the first women to be honored. The distinction complements additional accolades, including a James Beard Award and the Elizabeth Burns Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Restaurant Association in 2013; induction into Menu Masters Hall of Fame in 2014; and the 2018 Gold Award from the Los Angeles Times for culinary excellence and innovation in Southern California. Susan is an active member of the community, and currently sits on the boards of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, L.A. LGBT Center, and L.A. Tourism and Convention Board; works closely with Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Share Our Strength, and Human Rights Campaign; and co-founded Chefs Collaborative. (Los Angeles, CA)

Photo courtesy of Josh Kaplan.