Here at the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce we are always eager to connect people with those who truly represent the best of what Manhattan Beach stands for. In that vane highlighting a chef of several of the amazing restaurants you have come to know in love seems to make a lot of sense. Please continue on to learn who Chef David is and why he chose to be here in Manhattan Beach.
Chef David LeFevre, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, and graduate of the renowned Culinary Institute of America, began his professional culinary career as an intern at Chef Charlie Trotter’s celebrated restaurant in Chicago where he steadily rose the ranks over the course of seven years – punctuated with stages in France including the late Bernard Loiseau’s restaurant, La Côte d’Or, Restaurant Jean Bardet and Roger Vergé’s Le Moulin de Mougins.
In 2002, LeFevre decided to explore new and exotic cuisines, which launched him on a two year globetrotting experience all over Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia, the Caribbean, and Europe. Upon returning in 2004, LeFevre was recruited as Executive Chef of downtown Los Angeles’ seminal seafood restaurant, Water Grill where he remained for six years, earning a coveted Michelin star.
At his first restaurant Manhattan Beach Post (M.B. Post), LeFevre returned to his roots with a highly personal and soulful restaurant offering a more rustic menu of playful, artisanal dishes complemented by artfully crafted cocktails and small production wines. Opened in April of 2011, M.B. Post was named one of Los Angeles Magazine’s 2011 Best New Restaurants, 10 Most Memorable Meals by the Los Angeles Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila, and 10 Best Dishes of 2011 by LA Weekly restaurant critic Jonathan Gold. M.B. Post was also a semifinalist for the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards in the Best New Restaurant and Best Chef Pacific categories, and 2013 semifinalist for Best Chef West.
At Fishing with Dynamite – named Best Oyster Bar by Los Angeles Magazine – LeFevre celebrates summers spent on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and SoCal’s vibrant beach communities with a menu that features only the most pristine seafood. Like M.B. Post, Fishing with Dynamite is a reflection of LeFevre’s roots, his travels and his three culinary touchstones – preparing food that is artisanal, soulful and handcrafted.
- Why did you choose Manhattan Beach as a place to start your business?
I fell in love with MB in 2005 and moved to the south bay. Eventually my partners and I thought there was opportunity down here to provide the neighborhood something that we hadn’t seen. Also I have always wanted to live and work near the ocean.
- How have you seen the local culinary scene change?
Yes, it seems to have been shaken up a bit over the last 5 years and is now getting not only attention from other LA neighborhoods, but also nationally.
- What sort of advancements or trends do you see on the horizon for restaurants?
Great food, caring service, and a fun atmosphere seem to never disappoint, but I do see people paying more attention to where their food comes from and if it is sustainably sourced.
- Tell us what drives you to continue to grow personally and professional.
The people around me are always inspiring. I have always tried to surround myself with incredible individuals that make me want to be a better leader. If you think of the people that look to us to help guide their career and who allow us to be part of their lives, it’s always inspiring to have that honor. Personally seeing the people around me grow, take on new challenges, and become better chefs, operators and leaders that are the most rewarding thing in my career. Getting a Michelin Star was fantastic but is much more rewarding to be part of someone else’s success.