Nancy Silverton

When it comes to iconic California chefs, the name Nancy Silverton rings many bells. Not just because she was the gastronomic genius (with ex-husband, Mark Peel) behind Campanile, but because she's lead a movement behind revitalizing sourdough and artisan breads. Witness La Brea Bakery, her decadent dough-fest for 20-plus years.

With the bread she made from those endeavors, this 2013 James Beard finalist for "Outstanding Chef of the Year" then teamed up with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich to open Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, one of toughest reservations in L.A. to get (still). If you want a shot at experiencing her work (without a reservation), check out Short Order LA at L.A.'s legendary Farmer's Market. It's a somewhat easier reservation to get by impulsiveness standards.

Here are Nancy's five favorite restaurants:
Chez Panisse - Berkeley, CA - "Classic. Mecca of everything! Chez Panisse follows my philosophies and ideas of all things food-related. Plus, anything to do with Alice Waters is a hit. When I go back there, it reinforces everything I enjoy, believe in and respect about restaurants."
Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria - New York, NY - "When you are looking for accessible Italian inspired flavors, this is the place to go. The energy of that room is definitely somewhere that you want to be. It's a real crowd pleaser for the Italian experience on all levels."
Buvette - New York, NY - "This is the quintessential wine bar ... the wine list, ambiance, size, menu. It's open all day long!"
Beach Tree at The Four Seasons - Berkeley, CA - "If you want to be spoiled, this place can't be beat. The view, service, food, lifestyle ... set in a comfortable environment where everyone feels at home."
Angelini Osteria - Los Angeles, CA - "When you enter the doors of this restaurant, there is no stigma. The experience transcends L.A. ... it's almost a world of its own! This is the kind of place that you can bring anyone to, and always know that you are going to have wonderful food."