10 Q’s with Nancy Silverton

Photo:  Fast Company

When Nancy Silverton couldn't attend a little ladies-only party at HLAY on International Women's Day, she agreed to delight our guests with a Q&A, as told to HLAY co-owner Lien Ta. And thus, Nancy partied with us in printed spirit.

1. Please describe your job in an unobvious way.

I am the mother to dozens of needy — and very curious — children who are creative and eager to show off their skills.

2. When is your favorite part of the work day and why?

Shift drink at the 'enoteca' table. This drink sort of symbolizes getting through the day in fine fashion. Originally it was known to the bartenders as a “10 o’clock Nancy.”

3. How many hours a week do you work?

When I am in town, I am there every day. It varies, but I might put in 10, 11, 12 hours a day; rarely do I put in less than eight.

4. When you "let your hair down," what does that look like?

Kinda like Ruth Reichl.

5. Who is your most valuable team member, the person who allows you to do your job BEST? 

Joel, our maintenance supervisor. He fixes everything that is broken, he makes sure our parking lot is maintained, and he supervises our garbage pick-up.


6. When your restaurants experience a slow period (does this ever happen?!), what is the first thing that you do to combat this?

I agree to judge cooking competitions on television.

7. What have been some successful tactics you’ve implemented to bring bodies in? 

Making delicious food.

8. Describe the impact of your appearance on "Chef's Table." 

Well, I've never even see that episode of "Chef's Table" ... but the amount of photo/selfie requests has blown up.


9. Tell us about a time you almost felt like giving up, but you didn't. How did you do it?

That would be fiction. 

I don't give up.

10. What is your favorite red wine?

Either the 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc or the wine usually already open that my boyfriend Michael pours for me in a rocks glass when we get home around midnight.

Nancy Silverton is the Chef/Owner of Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza and Chi Spacca. She is the founder of La Brea Bakery. Nancy is fond of wearing Marni, Comme des Garcons and Issey Miyake threads while working behind the Mozzarella Bar at Osteria Mozza, and without hesitation, we've voted her Best Dressed Chef in the world. Her favorite thing to eat at HLAY are the frog's legs.

Story photos: Oriana Koren.


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