Innovative young chef Kris Morningstar comes with an impressive Southern California résumé. His time spent in the kitchens of some of Los Angeles’s well-known, talented chefs has served him well, culminating in his present position as executive chef at Blue Velvet in downtown Los Angeles at just 28 years of age. After earning a degree in marketing from The University of Maryland, Morningstar began his career at the Cordon Bleu-affiliated California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, where he graduated with honors. He began cooking at One Pico at Shutters on the Beach and moved on to train under Suzanne Goin at A.O.C., Jason Travi at Opaline, and Neal Fraser at Grace. But it was his time working at Patina and with chef Eric Greenspan at Meson G that would have the biggest influence on his cooking and his commitment to culinary excellence. At Blue Velvet, Morningstar flexes his creativity on an ever-evolving menu, conceiving globally-influenced dishes that display interestingly paired flavors and French techniques, like crispy sweetbreads with bacon-date puree, black lentils and red wine vinaigrette; elk with harissa, quinoa, mashed plantains and dried olives; and crispy yogurt with spinach-almond puree, his take on saag paneer.