JON SHOOK AND VINNY DOTOLO
James Beard award winning chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are the owners of Joint Ventures Restaurant Group, which includes animal, Son of a Gun, Jon & Vinny’s Fairfax, Jon & Vinny’s Brentwood, helen’s Fairfax, helen’s Brentwood, Trois Mec, L’Original Petit Trois, Petit Trois le Valley, Kismet and Kismet Rotisserie. The duo has been credited with innovating and changing the dining scene in Los Angeles through their roster of critically acclaimed restaurants.
Their partnership began over a decade ago when they met in culinary school at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. While at school, they worked for Michelle Bernstein at The Strand and Mark’s Place by Mark Militell. After graduation, they traveled west and worked at The Wildflower in Vail, CO. In 2002, they landed in Los Angeles and worked at Chadwick for Benjamin Ford and Govind Armstrong, which would inspire them to launch their initial catering company, Carmelized Productions.
Carmelized Productions was a complete success but Shook and Dotolo aspired for more. In the spring of 2008, they opened animal followed by Son of a Gun in 2011. These two progressive restaurants put them on the map as culinary all stars in Los Angeles. Two years later, Shook and Dotolo partnered with French chef Ludo Lefebvre, and together they opened the highly-acclaimed Trois Mec. The success of Trois Mec inspired the trio to open Petit Trois next door in 2014.
Each restaurant concept reflects a different stage of life for Shook & Dotolo. In 2015, each with kids, they set out to create a neighborhood joint where they could enjoy meals with their families. They opened Jon & Vinny’s, an all-day Italian American diner with a casual and welcoming vibe. In tandem with Jon & Vinny’s, they partnered with Helen Johannesen and opened helen’s, a wine shop that focuses on naturally-driven and organically farmed labels with small production.
In 2016, inspired by Middle Eastern flavors, they opened Kismet with chef duo Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson.
They later opened their second locations of Petit Trois, Jon & Vinny’s and helen’s. Petit Troise le Valley opened in Sherman Oaks in spring of 2018 and the second location of Jon & Vinny’s and helen’s opened in Brentwood in the start of 2019.
Located on the same block as Kismet, Shook, Dotolo, Kramer and Hymanson opened Kismet Rotisserie their everyday chicken and veggies spot for lunch, dinner, take-out, delivery and catering. The Rotisserie menu is your classic chicken spot seen through fresh eyes.
Shook and Dotolo have received many nominations and awards including Food & Wine’s 2009 Best New Chef, StarChefs’ 2008 Rising Star Chef, and nine James Beard nominations including 2009’s “Best New Restaurant” for animal, 2011’s “Best Chef Pacific”, 2015’s “Best New Restaurant” for Petit Trois, “Outstanding Restaurant Design” for Jon & Vinny’s in 2016 and for Kismet in 2017, and “Best Chef West” in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. The duo took home their first jointly won James Beard Award in 2016 for “Best Chef West”.
In 2013, Shook and Dotolo formed a culinary partnership with Lexus and were named Culinary Masters. In 2015, Shook and Dotolo joined the All-Clad Chef Ambassadors team. A dream come true for Shook and Dotolo, they partnered with Vans and released a Chef Shoe Line collaboration for animal, Son of a Gun and Jon & Vinny’s in 2016.
In 2017, Shook & Dotolo partnered with the Delta Airlines Culinary Team to offer their menu with fresh and local produce for domestic and international Delta One flights.