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Chef tracking: 'Top Chef Duels,' new chefs at Firefly and Culina, Black Hogg makeover

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New Bravo reality TV series and 'Top Chef' spinoff 'Top Chef Duels' features four Los Angeles chefs
Black Hogg in Silver Lake closes temporarily for a makeover, reopening Aug. 7

If you're tracking chefs, here's what several Los Angeles toques are up to and/or which restaurants they've moved on to. In addition, several L.A. chefs will be appearing in a new Bravo reality series. And a few restaurants have recently closed, or are in the midst of a transformation.... 

Four L.A. chefs are competing in Bravo's "Top Chef Duels," including Marcel Vigneron, Stefan Richter, Brooke Williamson and Nyesha Arrington. This spin-off of “Top Chef” pits two chefs against each other in three rounds of head-to-head culinary competition. Weekly eliminations will whittle the field down, until an eventual winner is crowned. The winner will receive a $100,000 cash prize and a feature in Food & Wine magazine. “Top Chef Duels” premieres on Bravo on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 10 p.m.

Culina at the Four Seasons Los Angeles has hired a new executive chef. Cyrille Pannier, a French chef who has worked in hotels around the world, has taken over at Culina, which offers Italian cuisine with a modern twist. Visit the website for reservations. Culina, 300 S. Doheny Drive, Los Angeles, (310) 860-4000, www.culinarestaurant.com.

Paul Shoemaker is now the executive chef at Firefly in Studio City. Shoemaker recently had opened Juicy Lucy at Fig at 7th, which shut this month, after leaving behind Savory in Malibu. He previously worked in the kitchens of the French Laundry, Providence and others before landing at Firefly. Reservations are taken by phone only. Firefly, 11720 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 762-1833, www.fireflystudiocity.com

Executive chef at Raphael, Gavin Humes, annnounced on Facebook that he has left the Studio City restaurant and that it has closed; he's now working at Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga. A spokesman for Raphael confirmed that the restaurant is closed to "reconcept." Raphael, 11616 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 505-3337, www.raphaelstudiocity.com; Inn of the Seventh Ray, 128 Old Topanga Canyon Road, Topanga, (310) 455-1311, www.innoftheseventhray.com.

Black Hogg is closed briefly for a redesign, according to Eater LA; Eater says the Silver Lake neighborhood favorite helmed by chef Eric Park (who also runs the Sopressata sandwich shop for lunch in the same space) will reopen with a new look. The restaurant's voicemail message says it closed Tuesday and will reopen on Thursday, Aug. 7. Black Hogg, 2852 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 953-2820, www.blackhogg.com.  

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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