Jeff Mahin is the co-founder of consumable nutrition brand Split Nutrition, as well as a chef / partner of Summer House Santa Monica (Chicago, Bethesda), Do-Rite Donuts (Chicago) and previously of the closed of Stella Barra Pizzeria & Wine Bar.
Mahin has accumulated several industry accolades including Zagat “30 under 30” list in 2012, Forbes “30-under-30” list of hospitality industry up-and-comers in 2012 and Restaurant Hospitality’s “13 to watch in 2013,”; as well as being a contestant on the first season of ABC’s “The Taste.” Chef Mahin was also the host of Cooking Channel’s cooking competition, Farmer’s Market Flip which debuted in April 2017.
Mahin spent much of his teen years using his natural talent and instinct to construct and deconstruct whatever foods he touched in his family’s kitchen. At age 17, Mahin began his professional training at the California Culinary Academy and later studied science and mathematics at University of California, Berkeley. Mahin has had experience working in prestigious kitchens around the country from Nobu in New York City to San Francisco’s Millennium, Blackhawk Grill and Patrick David’s. In 2006, he became a laboratory assistant at the three-star Michelin rated restaurant, The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, England under chef/owner Heston Blumenthal.
In 2007, Mahin headed back to the U.S. where he assisted famed chef Laurent Gras in opening L2O in Chicago, Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants’ Michelin-starred, modern seafood restaurant. He then started as a corporate chef within Lettuce, collaborating closely with the hospitality group’s partners including Lettuce founder Rich Melman to develop new recipes for the group’s more than 100 restaurants.
Mahin opened his first Lettuce concept, artisanal pizzeria Stella Barra Pizzeria & Wine Bar, in Santa Monica in 2011 with Lettuce managing partners R.J. and Jerrod Melman. There he experimented with more than 30 different variations to create restaurant’s signature pizza crust, using locally-milled flour and farmer’s market ingredients to make up the ever-changing menu. His California concepts also include M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica and the second location of Stella Barra in Hollywood.
In 2012, Mahin expanded to Chicago, partnering with Chef Francis Brennan to open artisanal doughnut shop Do-Rite Donuts and in summer 2014, Mahin and Brennan opened the second Do-Rite location in downtown Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. Do-Rite’s doughnuts are prepared daily in small batches and utilize seasonal ingredients like Meyer lemon in the winter and fraise des bois in the spring.
In addition to Do-Rite, Mahin increased his Chicago presence in fall 2013 with two new Lincoln Park restaurants: his third iteration of Stella Barra, as well as a new concept, Summer House Santa Monica, bringing laid-back California-style cuisine to the Windy City. Designed to evoke a laid back, friendly vibe reminiscent of the Golden State, Summer House serves an ever-changing menu that spotlights locally-sourced produce and ingredients whenever possible and also boasts Mahin’s signature artisanal bread program.
In early 2015, Mahin expanded to the Washington, DC market, opening the fourth location of Stella Barra and the second location of Summer House Santa Monica in North Bethesda, MD.
Mahin is also an ambassador for Chefs Cycle, a fundraising endurance event featuring award-winning chefs fighting childhood hunger outside the kitchen. He also has a passion for health and nutrition, and enjoys discussing food and with some of the country’s leading nutritionists.