Scratch Restaurants started when Chefs Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee decided they wanted to put their personal spin on what a restaurant concept could be. Although each of their concepts are independent and unique from one another, the constant thread that ties all of Scratch Restaurants together is the dedication to the artisanal “from scratch” approach to hospitality.
PHILLIP FRANKLAND LEE
Growing up as an avid eater in the valley of Los Angeles, Chef Phillip Frankland Lee first stepped into the culinary world as a young dishwasher. From there, he moved through the ranks of top LA kitchens helmed by Quinn Hatfield and Stefan Richter, as well as stints in Chicago at the acclaimed Alinea and L2O. Through these exploratory stages, Lee unearthed a style of his own: with his wife and pastry chef, Margarita Kallas-Lee, he opened his scratch-cooking mecca, Scratch|Bar, in Beverly Hills in 2013 and Gadarene Swine, a vegetable- driven concept, a year later. In 2015, Lee moved Scratch|Bar & Kitchen from Beverly Hills to his childhood neighborhood of Encino, bringing home to the valley an entirely personal concept centered around the purity and experience of food. From playing with vegetables to riffing on classic diner fare, the everyday is elegantly transformed in the hands of Lee and a team of chefs who cook, serve, and host each diner in a space built around an open kitchen counter.
Over the past few months, Lee and his Scratch Restaurants group have invested in his hometown of Encino with multiple world-class culinary concepts for the neighborhood. The group opened Woodley Proper - a bar that cooks and Sushi|Bar, a LA-inspired sushi speakeasy serving new wave nigiri. Both Lee and his restaurants have received outstanding accolades including S. Pellegrino’s “Young Chef 2015” finalist, Zagat’s "30 under 30", #97 in Opinionated About Dining’s 2015 Best Restaurants in the U.S., and a coveted spot on Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold’s “101 Best Restaurants” list. Lee also holds the Food Network record for most consecutive wins beating out the competition on “Chopped,” “Guy’s Grocery Games,” and “Cutthroat Kitchen,” having previously competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 13. Fast forward to 2018, Scratch Restaurants has now opened Frankland's Crab & Co, and The Monarch, with two additional concepts on the way!
Margarita Kallas-Lee, originally from Latvia, grew up with grandparents who indelibly imprinted on her a love of cooking. From a very young age, she had a curious palate and would diligently watch, from her perch in the kitchen, as they laughed, murmured, swirled and simmered together. After moving to the United States as a young teenager, Kallas-Lee worked as a runway, print and commercial model while feeding her passion for cooking by catering events around Los Angeles. In 2011, she officially donned her toque and answered the lifelong call of a culinary career, joining the historic D'Cache in Toluca Lake as pastry chef. Back in the valley, a touch of kismet reunited Kallas-Lee with her high school friend, Phillip Frankland Lee: the two were immediately inseparable and married in 2012. The talented husband and wife teamed up to launch high-end delivery service Wolf Cuisine that year, followed by their signature restaurant, Scratch|Bar, first in Beverly Hills and then in their shared hometown of Encino.
As pastry chef, Kallas-Lee now designs and runs the dessert program at Scratch Restaurants, including Scratch|Bar & Kitchen, Frankland's Crab & Co and Woodley Proper. With burgeoning accolades of her own, Kallas-Lee was named a semi-finalist for Eater’s “Young Guns” 2016, Zagat’s “30 Under 30” 2016, and participated in the Brooklyn food conference Taste Talks as well as Kellogg's “Cereal Bar Chef Throwdown.” In the fall of 2017, Kallas-Lee will bring her debut concept within the Scratch Restaurants portfolio to the iconic Montecito Inn called Margarita’s Snacks. Her namesake dessert bar will serve desserts like her thoughtfully composed cones, combining flavors and textures such as triple-crème camembert ice cream with sourdough breadcrumbs, wild honey and lavender sprinkles in a sourdough waffle cone, or earthy hojicha ice cream in a charcoal cone with matcha, carrot and turmeric sprinkles. Additionally, Scratch Restaurants will also open Frankland's Crab & Co and two additional concepts at the Montecito Inn with Kallas-Lee overseeing the dessert programs.