Legendary L.A. Restaurateur Giorgio Baldi Dies

His eponymous restaurant in Santa Monica has been a Hollywood favorite since 1995.

Giorgio Baldi, the chef whose laid-back eponymous restaurant in Santa Monica has been a favorite of the Hollywood crowd since 1995, has died while on vacation in Ensenada, Mexico, a source said Monday. He was believed to be in his late 60s.

Baldi, from the town of Forte dei Marmi on the Tuscan coast in Italy, opened his first Santa Monica restaurant in 1990. The chef then unwrapped Giorgio Malibu four years later for the folks of Malibu Colony before opening the cozy Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi on West Channel Road.

The spot quickly became an incredibly fashionable and “in” restaurant for the Hollywood scene, where you could spot Cher, Kate Hudson and David Geffen in there on any given night.

His son, Edoardo Baldi, who at one time was the manager and sous-chef in Santa Monica, has opened his own restaurant in Beverly Hills called e. baldi, another industry hot spot.

The elder Baldi was very proud of his son for opening his own place.

“I knew he was proud of me,” Edoardo told THR recently, “but all he would ever say to me was, ‘You need to fix the lights in the kitchen, they aren’t good.’ That’s the way Italian families communicate with each other.”

In addition to Edoardo, survivors include his wife Roberta and daughter Elena, both of whom also work at the Santa Monica restaurant.