Abernethy’s Launches Innovative Emerging Chef Program

Chef Shirley Chung of Ms Chi Café and author of a cookbook, Chinese Heritage Cooking from My American Kitchen, will serve as Abernethy’s inaugural chef. The restaurant will feature a new chef and menu every quarter. Photo courtesy Abernethy’s Restaurant

A restaurant in L.A. for L.A. and by L.A., Abernethy’s is a showcase of emerging chefs who have a unique narrative to share. Created by The Music Center, the restaurant is a forum for food inspired by the diverse people and places that fill the heart of Los Angeles.

As part of The Music Center’s 20-month, $41 million renovation, Abernethy’s restaurant will open its doors on September 5.

Los Angeles, a melting pot of peoples, cuisines, and cultures, begins a new chapter in its distinctive food story with the new full-service restaurant, a one-of-a-kind dining experience that will feature a new chef and menu every quarter. Abernethy’s will offer diners the opportunity to explore and taste diverse cuisines plated by rising Los Angeles chefs who were chosen for their culinary talent and entrepreneurship. Chef Shirley Chung of Ms Chi Café and author of the cookbook Chinese Heritage Cooking from My American Kitchen, will serve as Abernethy’s inaugural chef.

“I love the idea of giving Angelenos the opportunity to experience Abernethy’s roster of rising chefs and the chance we’ll have to tell our stories through our individual cooking styles

and dishes,” Chung offered. “As chefs, we share a bit of ourselves in every dish we prepare, so

being able to invite diners to explore and taste something personal to each of us is inspiring. I am honored to be the first to bring the Abernethy’s concept to life.”  

The Music Center created the Abernethy’s concept as part of the renovation of its Plaza,

which includes a plan to offer an expanded array of food and beverage options and price points.

In addition to Chung, Abernethy’s initial roster of emerging culinary artists will include 

Chefs Pla and Fern Kaewtathip (Noree Thai on Beverly, Luv2eat Thai Bistro), Geter Atienza

(Chef de Cuisine, The H. Wood Group and Broken Spanish), Ryan Costanza (Executive Chef,

Freedmans Restaurant, Los Angeles, and Dija Mara, San Diego) and Jason Fullilove

(Chef/Owner, Barbara Jean).

Each chef will take over Abernethy’s kitchen and design a limited-time menu of personalized dishes, giving foodies an ever-changing dining experience. A team of Abernethy’s Culinary advisors tasted their way around Los Angeles in search of creative chef/entrepreneurs who would bring a unique culinary experience to Downtown Los Angeles.

“With Abernethy’s, we’ll provide a platform for our emerging chefs to tell their personal story through food and give Angelenos and visitors a taste of the incredible cultural diversity of our region,” said Jill Baldauf, chair of Abernethy’s Culinary Advisors and member of The Music Center Board of Directors.



A restaurant in L.A. for L.A. and by L.A., Abernethy’s aligns with The Music Center’s vision to give local artists and artisans a platform to showcase their craft. In this case, the restaurant’s architect, contractors, designers, artisans, artists, manufacturers and suppliers are all Los Angeles-based, including Crew Apparel (chef coats and servers’ Henley shirts), Hedley and Bennett (staff aprons), Humble Ceramics (plates and bowls), Irving Place Studio (handmade vases), Nobuhitu Nishigawara (plates), Not Neutral (dessert cups, mugs and plates) and Spoken Glass (glass water bottles). 

As part of The Music Center’s commitment to the community, Abernethy’s will provide kitchen positions to graduates of Los Angeles County’s Workforce Development Aging and Community Services agency’s Veteran’s Culinary Arts Program, as well as to clients of Chrysalis, a 35-year-old nonprofit organization that provides a pathway to self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals. Working with Chrysalis Staffing, Abernethy’s will hire Chrysalis clients on a temporary or temporary-to permanent basis as these individuals transition toward rejoining the workforce.


Abernethy’s is located at 220 N. Hope Street, Los Angeles, California 90212. Hours are:  Tuesday–Friday, 5–11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

For information: (213) 972-8088; AbernethysLA.com; Follow @AbernethysLA on Facebook and Instagram.   


Architectural rendering of the Abernethy Restaurant remodel. Photo from musiccenter.org.


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