John Sedlar began his professional career in his native New Mexico. The first to create contemporary dishes from Southwest ingredients, he opened Saint Estephe in 1980 in Manhattan Beach, where his unique cuisine attracted national attention. His ground-breaking book, Modern Southwest Cuisine, is a classic that has been updated and recently re-released. At his Abiquiu restaurant in Los Angeles, he incorporated ingredients from all over the world into his unique specialties.
Update: In 2009, Sedlar returned to the kitchen when he opened Rivera in downtown Los Angeles. In 2011 he plans to open another restaurant, Playa, also in Los Angeles.