The fourth part of four parts, please start here with Part One
One huge lesson Chef Feniger teaches her crew at her restaurants Border Grill and Street is the importance of giving back to the community. Feniger says, “we support the community because the community is where we live and who supports us. Plus it’s a really great way for the team to see the importance of giving back. If you can teach young kids the importance of giving back, it’s really great.”
Feniger and her team give back in a variety of ways especially through participation in a number of events as both the “headliner” providing all the food or as one of many restaurant participants. As a long time member of the Gay and Lesbian Center, Feniger co-chairs the upcoming fundraising event for this center called “Simply Divine”, a food and wine event on Sunday April 7th that takes over Melrose Pace with twenty restaurants, twenty vendors, numerous wineries and local breweries. Feniger’s Street restaurant this year is also providing the food for the Scleroderma Research Foundation’s “Cool Comedy - Hot Cuisine” hosted by Bob Saget at Beverly Wilshire Hotel with great comedy and music. Feniger has been on the Scleroderma Research Foundation’s board for over twenty five years. Additionally a Border Grill food truck will be present at an upcoming event for Planned Parenthood.
So again community involvement is paramount for Chef Feniger and is a value she strongly instills within the staffs of her different restaurants. This value is shared by her business partners. Mary Sue Miliken, for example, sits on the board of Share Our Strength actively supporting this group’s events.
Another community with which Susan interacts is the community of chefs in Los Angeles. Feniger feels that this community of chefs makes the Los Angeles restaurant world special. This community has always been supportive rather than competitive. This camaraderie, along with the natural bounty of produce in this region, is one of the most significant things that Feniger feels distinguishes Los Angeles from other restaurant cities in the U.S.
So whether it’s with other chefs, her staff, her patrons, outreach to her community or interactions on her travels, Chef Susan Feniger is always connecting with other people through her generous and gregarious nature and with her food. Her passion is contagious. Plus her language is unambiguous and sincere. As Feniger opens additional locations of her concepts, and does additional culinary adventures, she’ll have even more opportunities to connect with even more people. And for Feniger the restaurant business is a people business, for her there isn’t anything more important than people, whether it’s the staff who works with her, or the customers coming in. As Feniger definitely stated “it’s all about people.” Yes, indeed it is.
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