Josiah Citrin

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Mélisse - Santa Monica, CA

A culinary expert and veteran of the gourmet dining industry, Josiah Citrin is a Two-Star Michelin Chef and owner of highly-acclaimed Mélisse restaurant in Santa Monica, California, and co-owner of Lemon Moon Café in nearby West Los Angeles. 

A Los Angeles native, Citrin discovered his passion for food from his family at an early age.  His mother was a caterer and both grandmothers cooked and enjoyed good food. Their knowledge, combined with his passion for cooking and business, led to his desire to pursue a culinary career. Citrin educated himself by moving to Paris after graduating from Santa Monica High School. In the City of Light, he worked for three years at fine Parisian restaurants, Vivarois and La Poste. He returned to the United States in 1990 and began applying his skills by working at Los Angeles’ finest restaurants- Wolfgang Puck’s celebrated Chinois on Main and then at Granita. After two years, Josiah moved on to join Patina and Pinot Bistro and cooked alongside famed chef and restaurateur Joachim Splichal. Citrin subsequently became Chef at Capri restaurant in Venice and Jackson’s in West Hollywood.

Citrin launched his first restaurant, JiRaffe in 1996. Located in Santa Monica, JiRaffe specialized in California French Bistro food and was pioneered together with childhood friend and fellow chef Raphael Lunetta. Citrin’s lifelong dream of opening his own fine dining establishment led to the sale of his interest in JiRaffe to Lunetta. In 1999 Mélisse opened its doors to critical acclaim in Santa Monica and continues to impress the culinary world. In 2004 Citrin partnered with Lunetta again to open Lemon Moon, a casual and New York-style eatery that caters to a loyal crowd with an eclectic palate.  Since opening its doors, it has remained a local favorite. 

Citrin’s recent honors include: Two Stars by Michelin Guide Los Angeles (2008, 2009), #1 for Top Food in Los Angeles and #1 American-French Restaurant for Food in Los Angeles by Zagat Guide (2013), Five Stars by Forbes Travel Guide (2013), Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence (2001-2008), Top 40 Restaurants by Gayot.com since 2006, “Top Ten New Chefs” by Food and Wine magazine (1997) and “Rising Star Chef” by Restaurant Hospitality magazine (1997). He was named among Best Chefs of the Year by Los Angeles magazine in (2012). 

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