Jamie Cantor, Platine Cookies, Culver City, Los Angeles, CA, California, Pastry Chef, Where to eat in Los Angeles, Where to drink in Los Angeles, Baker, Cookies, Chocolate, Apple Crisp, Recipe

Q & A


Jamie Cantor’s recommendations for where to eat, drink and shop in Los Angeles.


Platine cookies - Culver City - Los Angeles, CA


Culver City


10850 Washington Boulevard

Culver City, CA 90232

T: 310.559.9933




Tue - Fri: 12pm - 6pm

Sat: 12pm - 4pm


Q & A With Pastry Chef Jamie Cantor

Q. You left The French Laundry to open your own shop. What led to the decision to go out on your own?

A. My plan had always been to work at all different kinds of food establishments – restaurants, hotels and bakeries, and to work in all areas – cook, waitress, baker, etc. I wanted to get all kinds of experiences, so that I could learn the way to do things, as well as, the way not to do things.

Once I left the French Laundry, there really wasn’t anywhere else that I wanted to work. I had worked at the best restaurant in the country and didn’t want the late night hours of restaurant work anymore. I moved to Los Angeles and decided to try to see what I could do on my own. I started small and have worked my way up to my own bakery over the years.

Advice / Tips

Q. What’s the one ingredient that you never skimp on?

A. Butter.

Q. What's a great money-saving tool or ingredient? 

A. My favorite product to recommend is Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste. It is the happiest medium between extract (which can sometimes have that alcohol taste) and beans (which are time consuming and really expensive). I use it in everything.

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Q. What are some unusual ingredients that can really make a difference in baking?

A. Salt makes a huge difference. Most people see a dessert recipe and think that they don’t need to put salt in it. When working at the French Laundry, I learned the importance of salt in desserts.

Salt is like an Oscar-winning supporting actor: it is there not to make the dish salty, but to bring out all of the other flavors of the dish. We use a lot of different types of salt at Platine, which keeps things interesting and adds different nuances to each particular dish.



Q. What are your essentials stores/markets/websites for cooking products? 

A. The farmers markets in LA are my most essential. I try to go to the Culver City market on Tuesday or one of the Santa Monica markets every week. It’s fun to go without a plan and just see what is good at the market. Then I decide what to make for diner and/or what to put on the menu at the bakery.

JB Prince - it has all the fun tools and looking through their catalog is like Christmas.

Surfas - they have the essentials for cooking and baking products and it’s only a five minute drive from our bakery.

Charlie’s Fixtures - they have all the essential tools for the bakery and it’s only a ten minute drive from the bakery ;).

TheCookieCutterShop.com - we make a lot of custom-shaped decorated cookies and this site has tons of different shapes that are super affordable.

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Q. What is your favorite online or app resource specifically for cooking or baking?

A. Honestly, I am not a big ‘app’ user. I spend most of my time divided between the bakery and my family, so when I am at the computer, I don’t really just browse. I am more of a tactile person – I like to look through cookbooks or magazines or my old school notebooks to find inspiration or if I need a basic recipe to build from.


Q. Besides your own place, what other pastry places should be on our radar?

A. I love Rockenwagner – anything ‘pretzel’ that they make is perfect.

Brentwood Sweet Rose Creamery - I’ll make an excuse to drive to if they have Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream on the menu that day.

CarolsCookies.com makes my favorite chocolate chip cookie, besides my own, and they are made by a good friend of our family, which makes them even better.

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Q. What restaurant would you send a visiting chef to and what would you recommend they eat?

A. I think Lukshon is great. The design is impeccable, they have good service, the drink selection is perfect and the food is different than anywhere else in Los Angeles. I like the kurobuta pork ribs, the chicken pops, and the lamb roti. Sit on the patio and enjoy a good glass of wine with dinner.

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Q. What restaurants do you go to locally that are off the beaten track and what do you love about them?

A. My favorite local restaurant is Piccolo, it is right off of the Venice boardwalk. I love the atmosphere – warm, friendly, cozy, and the pastas are always fresh and delicious.

Oscar’s Cerveteca just opened in our neighborhood. Oscar is a great guy and his mom is in the back cooking great food. Most everything on the menu is indulgent (fried pickles, cheesy pots, a great burger, etc) and it is all made with care and good ingredients.

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Q. Where would you recommend people go for sweets post-dinner and what to order?

A. One of my very good friends who is a super talented pastry chef does the desserts for the Brite Spot. His Chocolate Caramel Banana Crème Pie is pretty ridiculous, and you can’t go wrong with any of the desserts on the menu. It is open late and there is a fun crowd.

On the Westside, I like to go to Scoops (they close at 10 or until they sell out, so try to get there before it is all gone!). They change their menu every day, like we do, so you never know what you are going to get. The brown brown bread ice cream is always on the menu and is a really nice mix of creamy and crunchy. On my latest trip there I had a candied orange/almond ice cream that was so good. I also love that the ice cream isn’t too heavy, so you leave feeling refreshed instead of feeling too full.

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Q. Do you have a place you like to go for cocktails/wine/coffee that you’d like to pass along?

A. Casa Del Mar - my favorite place for a cocktail is the lobby, it is a treat to go there. The view is great, the seating is comfortable and the people watching is even better!

I think Venice Ale House is perfect this time of year – we like to walk there and get a few beers (all served in the appropriate glasses) while enjoying the sunshine, and of course, the people watching (the Ale House is right on the boardwalk at Rose Avenue).

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Details of Jamie Cantor’s recommendations for where to eat, drink and shop in Los Angeles.


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