By Tara de Lis

“Do what you love,” is an oft-heard refrain, but one that’s easier said than done. Mexico City native Jimmy Shaw has always loved to cook. But he chose what he thought was a more sensible career: advertising. Seventeen years in however, he decided he had had enough. When a serendipitous meeting led to an opportunity to open a restaurant in the Original Farmers Market, Shaw jumped at the chance to introduce the sort of Mexican spot he thought was missing in Los Angeles, the kind of place his parents might have gone to on a date.

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Years ago, the reigning restaurant power couple in Los Angeles was Barbara Lazaroff and Wolfgang Puck. With that relationship long dissolved, the title must surely go to Suzanne Goin and David Lentz. She’s the chef behind Lucques, AOC, Tavern and the recently opened Larder at Maple Drive. He’s the guy responsible for Hungry Cat Hollywood, Santa Monica and the newly expanded Santa Barbara location. Parents of three children, the couple also find time to put on a massive charitable event every year for Alex’s Lemonade.

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photo courtesy of Daniel Djang, Thirsty in LA

The following interview was conducted before Amy Pressman’s untimely passing on September 30, 2011. She had been privately battling cancer the previous six months while continuing to work on the opening of Short Order and Short Cake, the culminating project of her career that she referred to as her “swan song and happy ending.”

Restaurants

The food crafters' movement has taken off since the recession hit, allowing passionate artisans a second lease on their careers. Here are 10 of our favorite purveyors in the L.A. area whose products will fit right in with your home entertaining.

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Located in Downtown Los Angeles, the Music Center is home to the Ahmanson Theater, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark T

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The Music Center Holiday Sing-Along

With gorgeous weather and endless entertainment options, the holidays in Los Angeles are like no other city.

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During the holidays, dazzling light displays throughout Los Angeles bring the city to vibrant life at night. In addition to traditional lighting ceremonies and festive decorations throughout the city, Heritage Square presents its annual Lamplight Celebration.

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Everyone loves a parade, and in Los Angeles you can welcome Santa when his sled lands in Hollywood or watch a procession of colorfully decorated boats of all shapes and sizes.

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As it has for decades, the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax is celebrating the holidays with charming decorations, a rich variety of seasonal music, a menorah lighting ceremony, and plenty of special entertainment for the whole family. Visit the Farmers Market Events Calendar for complete schedules and the latest information on the holiday festivities.

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