The Bel-Air believes in staying current. Our menu change in October 2015 was driven by the arrival of a new chef: Chris Emerling. Chris comes to us by way of Switzerland, where he spent time cooking in some of the finest 3 Star Michelin restaurants. In moving to California Chris has the chance to cook without knowing the local haunts. Unfettered by expectations, he is free to cook using seasonal ingredients, and using many of the influences of our International population.
SUSAN DISNEY LORD
A second generation Los Angeles native, Susan Disney Lord grew up in the San Fernando Valley, attended Duke University, spent 8 years living in Denver and landed back in Los Angeles because there is no better place to live. Disney Lord took over the Bel Air Bar + Grill in 2007 with a dream of remodeling and revamping the beloved local restaurant. A mother of five and devoted wife, when Disney Lord isn’t busy raising her five children or working in the restaurant, she can be found sitting as the President of the Roy & Patricia Disney Family Foundation, on the board of Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles and the Cal Arts CAP council, or sailing on Santa Monica Bay.
Chef de Cuisine
A native of Springville, NY, Chef Chris Emerling took on his first kitchen role at the age of 16 at the local ski resort. Moving to Los Angeles in late spring 2015, he believes he has an opportunity to recreate California Cuisine from a clean slate, drawing on his 18+ years of global travel and experience cooking in the kitchens of several Michelin-starred chefs, most notably Philippe Rochat, Benoit Violier, Joel Robuchon and Thomas Rode Andersen. When not behind the stove, Chef Emerling enjoys spending time with his wife, Estelle, hiking and all outdoor activities, and enjoying all that the City of Angels has to offer.
Driven by his deep passion for hospitality, Douglas Wickard brings 20+ years of experience to his role as general manager of The Bel-Air. His experiences include working as the Food & Beverage Director and general manager of the renowned Sunset Tower Hotel and overseeing the crucial turnaround of the Maple Drive Restaurant in Beverly Hills. Wickard is proud to now be working alongside Susan Disney Lord in this major restaurant repositioning, with hopes of repeating his past successes at The Bel-Air.