A native Angeleno, David Haskell was exposed to the pleasures of the palate at an early age, thanks to being the son of a mother mentored by renowned chef Michel Richard and a father with a lifelong passion for wine. Yet for most of his childhood, Haskell preferred fast food—until Richard sat him down and showed him just how much fun food could be (a bowl of mushroom cream soup topped with Rice Krispies and shaved white truffles proved effective persuasion for the then-16-year-old).
After briefly pursuing a collegiate baseball career at the University of Arizona, Haskell enrolled at Johnson & Wales University’s prestigious restaurant and hotel management program in Providence, RI. While in school he traveled to Europe, first working at Paris’s celebrated Michelin three-star restaurant Guy Savoy before heading to Belgium, where he learned the art of beer making.
After finishing getting his BS in Hospitality Management, he landed a job as dining room manager at Le Cirque (4 stars) in New York. He also fine tuned the wine list of its sister restaurant, Circo. Moving next to Aquavit (3 stars), another Manhattan culinary landmark, Haskell served as wine director. Returning to California he elevated service standards at Newport Beach’s acclaimed Aubergine where they received 3.5 stars from the LA Times.
Returning to New York for his next position, Haskell took over the $8.5 million wine and beverage program at trend-setting Tao Asian Bistro. His cross-country adventures continued when David decided to focus his energies and passion on a family-operated establishment of his own. With his father’s assistance, the young but seasoned restaurateur was still only 30 years old—developed the concept for BIN 8945 Wine Bar & Bistro, which opened in West Hollywood in 2006.
Haskell went on to win Sommelier of the Year in 2006 from Angeleno magazine. BIN 8945 was regarded by loyal fans, industry experts, and International magazines as one of the top destinations in California for food and wine pairings Food and Wine Magazine called Haskell one of the top Sommeliers in the country to learn wine from. Bin, also received a Michelin mention as a place to go. After selling BIN 8945 in 2008, Haskell became director of operations for restaurateur Jeffrey Best. In less than a year, he had revamped the food and beverage programs for Best’s restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County and was successful in increasing sales and profitability overall.
In 2009, Haskell met Hollywood producer Gale Anne Hurd and jumped at the opportunity to take her wine bar and restaurant, Vertical Wine Bistro, to the next level. As the director of operations, Haskell was thrilled to be guiding the lights, camera, and action at Vertical, raising the standard for food and wine in Pasadena.
Haskell continued pleasing the food and wine aficionados by creating a Pop-Ups restaurant concept called MAGNUM with CHEF Joseph Mahon (Bastide). Haskell and Mahon wowed food insiders, bloggers and long time fans with their skill at taking very basic restaurants and turning them into upscale dinning in for 1-3 days.
Haskell is excited to have started a restaurant group FOH/BOH³ with Chef Zadi and his wife Chef Susan Park.Follow David on Twitter