Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Chef Ari Kolender cut his teeth in the finest restaurants between his native city and his adopted home of Los Angeles. He began his culinary career in 2005 working in some of LA’s best kitchens, including Providence and Red Medicine. In 2012, he returned home to Charleston to work with the opening teams of The Ordinary and Leon's Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop, where he was nominated as a semifinalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award.
After rediscovering the culture and cuisine of his roots, Kolender decided to return to Los Angeles in 2016. He settled in the burgeoning Hayden Tract neighborhood, where he was inspired by the creative community to open a neighborhood wine bar—a place where locals can meet up with like-minded people. Opened in 2017 at PLATFORM, Hayden is a take on a European café with California sensibility and a Japanese pantry. Kolender’s approach to the menu is simple—source the best and most sustainable ingredients from the best places, and let those ingredients speak for themselves.