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November 19, 2013

The Taste Makers

These days, well-dressed can describe both what you make out of a closet and inside a kitchen. As foodie-ism has come into fashion, the fashionable set has flocked to the world of food. Meet eight women making their way at the intersection of sustenance and style.

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of David Schulze

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NINA CLEMENTE
32, LOS ANGELES

The High-Heeled Chef

WHAT SHE DOES: Chef and reality star of Eat Drink Love, a show that follows the lives of five women on the L.A. food scene.

DAILY UNIFORM: Indigo chef jacket with red piping, Joe's Jeans, and red patent leather Manolo pumps. "I'm 5'3" and most kitchens aren't designed for women that small." She carries her chef's knife in a neon-pink leather sheath that doubles as an apron. "When I wear it, I look like a gangster butcher."

FASHION CRED: Clemente worked for the Brazilian swimwear designer Lenny Niemeyer and as a stylist in New York before decamping for L.A., where she became a private chef for A-list clients and eventually landed her reality-TV gig. It explains why she talks about "sourcing" her wardrobe from the closet of her fashionable mother, Alba, like a chef does his veggies, or "pulling" ingredients from the farmers' market like she's prepping for a fashion shoot. "Being a chef is the best artistic expression because it indulges every sense," says Clemente, the daughter of the Italian artist Francesco Clemente. "You can actually eat my art."

FOOD FORAY: Clemente honed her craft under Nancy Silverton at L.A.'s Osteria Mozza and, for the show, under Eric Greenspan at the now-shuttered The Foundry. Her next gig is as co–executive chef at a top-secret spot on the Sunset Strip, opening next year. The details are still hush-hush, but Clemente promises that the food will be fresh, seasonal, and visually beautiful.

REALITY CHECK: She had to abandon her signature heels this past April when she was hired for her new job five months pregnant. "I wore Nikes," she says. "I worked up until two days before my daughter was born."


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