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In 2012 they partnered together to create Workshop, and to repurpose the 1926 historic El Paseo building in the Palm Springs Design District with the help of friend Michel Abboud – a New York-based artist and architect behind SOMA. In 2015 together they won a James Beard award for Best Restaurant Design, North America.
The building was constructed in 1917 and features Queen trusses, soaring 20’ ceilings and brick walls – all elements which resonate with Workshop’s El Paseo building in Palm Springs.
The design for the Los Angeles location, as well as the menus, are progressive versions of the work elaborated in Palm Springs over the years. The linear lines of the
seventeen-foot concrete booths in Palm Springs take on a softer, organic shape in LA - that of a cocoon, or pod, or egg. The chefs opened up the kitchen in Los Angeles, inviting the drama and magic of the open fires into the dining room, and constructed a mezzanine space above the kitchen which is made for private events or communal dining, and offers an expansive view over the space.
The name Workshop is derived from the French word “l’atelier", which translates to “workshop”, “loft”, or “studio”. All of which reference a creative space for artists, smiths or craftsmen, or in our case creative minded chefs and service professionals.
Guided by the six years he spent learning the techniques and philosophies of chefs and kitchens throughout Switzerland, France, and Germany, Chef Michael draws his inspiration from California’s diversity and abundant farmer's market produce.
He has a passion for cooking over wood and the flavors of the wood-fired oven. Seafood is sourced from the Dory Fleet at the Newport pier, while poultry and dairy come from sustainable farms in Hemet. The kitchen team manages their own small gardens of herbs and flowers and house pickling, ferments, and dry aging make frequent appearances on the menu.
Helmed by Chef/Owner Michael Beckman, along with partner Joseph Mourani, the 2015 James Beard Award winning restaurant for best restaurant design features a market-driven menu comprised of seasonal food highlights harvested from local farms and offers a bar program unlike any other desert establishment.
Chef Michael Beckman was born and raised in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. A third generation Angeleno, his earliest kitchen memories are those of visiting his grandmother in Lakewood where she made...
recipes from The Joy of Cooking. Beckman’s own food journey began when he moved to San Francisco to study liberal arts at USF. There, he fell in love with the city, its diversity, and the neighborhood food scenes. After graduating, Beckman followed his interests to Europe where he studied Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management at the Paul Bocuse Institute. Over the course of six years he lived in Geneva, Lyon, Burgundy, and Berlin, cooking in kitchens varying from Japanese fish mongering to neighborhood bistros and a 3-star Michelin restaurant in the Côte d’Or.
The youngest of six girls, Jessi Lorraine was born into a hospitality family in the Bay Area. She began managing restaurants at 18 and a fascination for spirits and cocktails quickly led her to the bar side of the industry.
She has spent the last ten years influencing some of San Francisco’s best restaurant and bar programs with a penchant for hard work and a spirit of creativity. Jessi is passionate about connecting with guests and creating unique experiences. Her eclectic experience in high-volume cocktail bars, dive bars, and fine dining establishments helped her win Speed Rack California in 2019, an all-female bartending competition aimed at creating a platform for women in the bar industry. She prioritizes diversity and quality in any beverage program and loves to pull influence from art, music, and the wide ranging flora in California.
The son and grandson of French chefs andrestaurant owners, Vincent Samarco is a third-generation Parisian restaurateur who arrived in Los Angeles eight years ago. He got his start in the industry at sixteen...
years old and has never left. Along the way Vincent has cultivated a reputation as a hospitality professional taking his own style to every role from server to bartender, from chef to general manager. In 2016 the Frenchman opened his very own restaurant and wine bar Belle VieinLos Angeles which earned accolades through its final daysinto the pandemic. Vincent’s story, and that of Belle Vie’s was documented in the beautifully-shot self-titled documentary “Belle Vie” which has been called by critics “heartfelt and realistic”, and “rueful and hopeful...a perfect reflection of Vincent Samarco”. Vincent is a certified sommelier and a self-proclaimed Amphitryon, a member of the 19th century movement centered around the art of the table, inspired by the Greek King with a reputation for feasting with his men before battle. From dive bars to Michelin stars, Vincent has done it all... and with an attitude that you don’t forget.
As a Filipino-American kid growing up in Glendale, Vinson’s food-loving family inspired him toworkin the kitchen. A full ride scholarship to Johnson & Wales University and fifteen years of experience..
have driven him to present day. Working in kitchens led by the best names in hospitality have influenced a style of his own melding classic techniques, local products, and international flavors. His wife Kristine and their growing family are the motivation he thrives onto succeed and continue his path to carve a name for himself in the industry.
When it comes to events, it is truly all about the details. We understand that event planning is a lot of work, especially so for the most memorable of occasions. Workshop aims to coordinate your event with ease including our seasonally focused menus and curated libations for every style of event, working to design the perfect evening.
Hosting a wide variety of special events in our historical spaces of Palm Springs, we welcome our same expertise to our new Los Angeles location on La Brea. From our private mezzanine to our communal central banquettes, our spaces lend themselves to any style of event ranging from the smallest intimate occasion to the grandest soirée. For especially large events, reserve Workshop all to yourself for an exclusive experience.
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The modern Workshop Kitchen & Bar, where the walls are concrete and fries are cooked in duck fat.
As for the gastronomic scene, Smith favors Workshop Kitchen + Bar, featuring tantalizing American cuisine with a contemporary twist.
Chef Michael Beckman's playful, eco–conscious take on classic America fare has proven a winner with diners too.