"Susan made waves by being one of the first openly out chefs and has used her profile and position to support many areas of the LGBT community. Her tireless and unsung contributions are numerous." - Nominator (wishes to remain anonymous)
2014 LGBT Pride Month Local Heroes nominee
- Contributes to her local community by constantly lending her celebrity name, time and energy to increase exposure for non-profit charity events.
- Has served on the board of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center for the past 3 years, which offers free and low-cost medical care, legal and education services, transitional living programs for youth and life-enriching programs for seniors. Its annual food and wine fundraiser contributes greatly to the support of the Center.
- Founding board member of the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF) and has served on the organization's board since 1988. That year helped to start the Foundation's key fundraising event, Cool Comedy Hot Cuisine.
- One of the first restaurateurs to support local farmers/farmers markets, usage of sustainable seafood and implement meatless Mondays at her restaurants. Said to have changed the culinary landscape in Los Angeles by introducing international flavors, ingredients and trends with each of her influential dining establishments.
- Supports Share our Strength in its fight to end hunger and poverty in the United States through donations and volunteering participation in their local and national fundraising events.
- Winner of Elizabeth Burns Lifetime Achievement Award by the California Restaurant Association and California Restaurant Writer's prestigious "Chef of the Year" award. Known for promoting the state and, specifically, Los Angeles, as a vibrant and diverse dining destination.