Do you fancy yourself something of a chef? You might lie awake at night counting lamb chops in order to throw 12-course dinner parties at home. But, in the back of your mind, you may have always wondered if you could cut it in a real restaurant. Now you can find out—maybe. First you need to make "friends" with some well-placed restaurant owners. Canele is a small French-Californian restaurant in Atwater Village with a serious pedigree: the owners, Corina Weibel and Jane Choi, hail, respectively, from Luques in Los Angeles and Balthazar in New York City. Every odd Tuesday or so, they open up their kitchen to a few "friends" of the restaurant, everyone from novices to professional chefs. All you have to do is call the restaurant and pitch your menu. If it passes muster with the Canele team, you'll be invited to conceive a three-course meal—past menus have been themed around everything from honey to goat. The staff advises and assists you in the execution of your dishes, which Canele then offers as a prix-fixe dinner to its clientele. If you do score a night at Canele's burners, you'll be in good company: Past guest chefs have included such culinary luminaries as Nancy Silverton of Mozza fame.
Daniel Milder lives in Los Angeles and has contributed articles and videos to Good Magazine, Men's Journal, and Kenneth Cole's Awearness Blog.