Susan Feniger

Iconic culinarian, author, and entrepreneur Susan Feniger may be best known for her Modern Mexican concept, Border Grill restaurants, trucks, and catering, which she runs with her business partner of more than 40 years, Mary Sue Milliken. With locations in Los Angeles and Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Border Grill serves street food-inspired regional Mexican cuisine with a commitment to sustainability and conscientiously sourced ingredients. In 2018, Milliken and Feniger debuted BBQ Mexicana, a fast casual eatery now with four locations in Las Vegas; the duo also launched Pacha Mamas, featuring seared skewers a la plancha and freshly composed ceviches, at Allegiant Stadium and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In late 2019, the chefs opened Socalo, a beachy, California canteen and Mexican Pub serving seasonal SoCal Mexican fare in Santa Monica. After working for Wolfgang Puck at Ma Maison in L.A, Feniger went to the French Riviera to further hone her skills and returned to open City Café with Milliken in 1981, forever changing L.A.’s culinary landscape by introducing eclectic dishes from around the world. A James Beard Award that same year confirmed their impact on the nation’s cuisine. Together, Feniger and Milliken brought their innovative approaches to The Food Network with nearly 400 episodes of the Too Hot Tamales and Tamales World Tour series. They were invited to cook with Julia Child in her PBS series Cooking with Master Chefs, successfully competed on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, and featured in an episode of the Netflix series The Chef Show. In 2018, Feniger and Milliken were named the recipients of the Los Angeles Times’ Gold Award for culinary excellence and innovation in Southern California and honored that same year with the fourth annual Julia Child Award from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, marking the first women to be recognized. Susan has co-authored six cookbooks, including Susan Feniger’s Street Food. Beyond culinary achievements, Susan is an active philanthropist, giving back to her community and using her platform to enact societal change. Susan is a founding member of the Scleroderma Research Foundation Board of Directors, sits on L.A. Tourism & Convention Board, co-chairs the board of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and provides visionary leadership for the Center’s Culinary Arts Program, a three-month training program launched in 2019 to prepare LGBTQ youth and seniors from the Center for meaningful employment in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Passionate about the environment, Feniger works closely with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Blue Ribbon Task Force to promote sustainable seafood and practices eco-friendly policies at all of her restaurants.