TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Expanding its impressive lineup of culinary partners, Lexus announced renowned L.A. chef-entrepreneurs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo as the newest Lexus Culinary Masters. More than 100 diners gathered last night at Animal restaurant for "Cooking with Friends: Lexus Culinary Masters," an intimate extension of the duo's popular dinner series. Visiting Culinary Master Michelle Bernstein, a longtime mentor of Shook and Dotolo, helped craft the menu. The announcement dinner, hosted by Lexus, benefitted Common Threads, a non-profit organization that teaches children in underserved communities how to cook wholesome meals in a curriculum-based after-school program.
"When we launched the Culinary Masters program, we purposefully sought out chefs whose values reflected our own pursuit of perfection," said Brian Smith, Lexus vice president of marketing. "Jon and Vinny are an exciting, edgy addition to the Lexus Culinary Masters lineup. Their bold and provocative style of cooking echoes the new Lexus attitude, especially the performance-focused IS, and we're thrilled to welcome them to the team."
"It's pretty cool to be part of this great group of chefs. Who wouldn't want to be called a Master?" said Shook. "We're always trying to come up with new and innovative dining experiences for our guests. It's great to team up with a brand that also regards their customers so highly," Dotolo added.
Shook and Dotolo took the L.A. restaurant scene by storm when they opened Animal, a carnivore-centric small plates restaurant, in 2008. Their second restaurant, seafood-based Son of a Gun, opened in 2011, and both spots have received widespread acclaim. Recently, they helped launch the well-reviewed Trois Mec.
First unveiled in 2011, the Lexus Culinary Masters team partners with Lexus on multiple initiatives, including Lexus customer appreciation programs, charitable outreach, and multimedia productions. The roster includes: Daniel Boulud, chef/owner of DANIEL; Michael Chiarello, chef/owner of Bottega and Coqueta; Dean Fearing, chef/partner of Fearing's Restaurant; Christopher Kostow, executive chef of The Restaurant at Meadowood; Masaharu Morimoto, chef/owner of Morimoto restaurants; Michael Symon, chef/owner of Lola Bistro; and Michelle Bernstein, chef/owner at Michy's and Crumb on Parchment. The team regularly creates memorable culinary experiences at Lexus events for their epicurean-loving fans.
Lexus launched in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since that time, Lexus has expanded its line-up to meet the needs of global luxury customers. In every vehicle, Lexus incorporates innovative technologies, high-quality designs and luxury materials. With numerous models featuring Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader and is dedicated to developing vehicles that are kinder to the Earth. Lexus' current vehicles incorporate outstanding driving dynamic characteristics and feature a new design language that includes a spindle grille and distinctive lights, creating a signature look and feel for the luxury brand. In the United States, Lexus models are sold through 233 dealers who are committed to exemplary customer service.