Josiah Citrin


Mélisse Restaurant

Santa Monica, CA

Growing up in Los Angeles, Josiah Citrin discovered his passion for food through his family, who loved to cook. Encouraged by their enthusiasm, he decided to pursue a culinary career – beginning after High School by moving to Paris where he learned the rules of traditional French cooking at the famed Vivarois and La Poste restaurants.

He returned to Los Angeles in 1990 to work at Wolfgang Puck’s celebrated Chinois on Main and Granita. Subsequently, he joined Patina and Pinot Bistro to cook alongside chef and restaurateur Joachim Splichal, and went on as the chef for Capri restaurant in Venice and Jackson’s in West Hollywood. In 1996, with a heightened interest in French gastronomy and feeling a spirit of entrepreneurship, Josiah launched his first business—JiRaffe Restaurant in Santa Monica, which specialized in California French Bistro food—with good friend and fellow chef Raphael Lunetta. He opened Mélisse in 1999 with wife Diane and partnered again with Lunetta in 2004 to open Lemon Moon Café.

Josiah’s honors include: Two Stars by Michelin Guide Los Angeles (2008, 2009), #1 for Top Food in Los Angeles (2006, 2008, 2009), #1 American-French Restaurant for Food in Los Angeles by Zagat Guide (2002-2010), Four Stars by Mobile Travel Guide (2001-2009), Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence (2001-2008), Top 40 Restaurants by since 2006, “Top Ten New Chefs” by Food and Wine Magazine (1997) and “Rising Star Chef” by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine (1997).

Having derived incredible satisfaction from his various business ventures over the past decade and raising two beautiful children with Diane, Josiah now looks forward to developing a Mélisse cookbook.