This Restaurant Moment Made Antonia Lofaso Want To Give Up

Celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso made a name for herself on television with roles on "Top Chef: Chicago" and "Top Chef: All Stars," as a judge on "Restaurant Startup," and through appearances on various Food Network shows. After attending the French Culinary Institute, Lofaso advanced swiftly through the ranks at prominent restaurants such as Wolfgang Puck's Spago. Lofaso is the author of "The Busy Mom's Cookbook" and today is involved in multiple restaurants throughout Los Angeles (via Lofaso's website). And, despite being a talented chef and restaurateur, Lofaso's most important role is as a mom to her daughter, Xea.

As with many restaurant start-ups, things weren't always easy when Lofaso was coming up as a restaurateur and opening new eateries. She recalls a time when she almost gave up on the restaurant industry. Upon opening a new restaurant in Los Angeles, Lofaso said, "Everything that I know was wrong in the restaurant industry happened in this restaurant" (via

How Antonia Lofaso turned discouragement into success

Antonia Lofaso says she could have left the restaurant or been more assertive, but instead, she stuck it out until the restaurant failed. She speaks about the experience in a way that conveys her disappointment, placing much of the blame on herself. "It didn't really give me any freedom to create. I was second-guessing myself and a nervous wreck the entire time... I was so brokenhearted because at the end of the day, the failure is never on the restaurant or the people behind it, pushing or dictating how the chef moves, it's the chef," she said (via

Luckily, Lofaso had a family member to turn to for advice on how to continue her career. She says it was her father who encouraged her with his tough love attitude to work harder. One time when Lofaso was upset about an altercation she had with business partners when opening Scopa, her father told her, "Stop it right now. You are not allowed to feel sorry for yourself. You worked too hard for what you are doing for you to sit here and mope and cry about your feelings being hurt. You know what you are supposed to do, so just go get it done. Now go get dressed and go to work." Lofaso says this was the best advice she's ever received (via