Long before she met her husband, Claes, Georgia worked in the production world of Hollywood. When the two married, she simply shifted her focus in “production” from Hollywood films to that of restaurant and hotel operations.
Even before taking over Hotel Laguna operations in 1985, Claes and Georgia Andersen had made a name for themselves in several hotels and restaurants across the country and in the L.A. basin. Five years ago, when Claes passed away, Georgia stepped into a larger management role at Hotel Laguna and, in September 2015, their son, Stefan, officially stepped in as the Hotel’s General Manager.
It was her husband’s longtime dream to find and create a separate restaurant entity outside of the bustling Hotel Laguna, and Georgia fulfilled that dream when she signed on for the restaurant location that would become Two Left Forks … on, coincidentally, none other than her husband’s birthday, Sept. 10th.
With decades of classic experience in fine dining and that of creating a culture of warmth and invitation, Georgia has applied her “life lessons” to the Two Left Forks restaurant. Overseeing every detail, from the color of the leather booths to helping with menu concepts and tapping into rare vintages to the thrill and delight of her restaurant guests, Georgia is daily involved in creating the newest culinary innovation in Dana Point.
Stefan Andersen literally grew up in the hotel and restaurant industry when his father and mother, Claes and Georgia, had taken on the operation of Hotel Laguna in 1985.
Stefan completed his degree in Culinary & Hotel Management at Johnson & Wales in Denver, and returned to Hotel Laguna in late 2011 to begin climbing the management ladder. Initially appointed the Hotel’s Restaurant Manager, he was later promoted to Food & Beverage Director, then Director of Operations of Hotel Laguna in April 2014, and finally the Hotel’s General Manager in September 2015.
Fulfilling his father’s wish to start a restaurant separate of Hotel Laguna’s historical and sizable footprint in Laguna Beach, Stefan and Georgia hunted for months before discovering the perfect restaurant location in Dana Point. With Two Left Fork’s opening, Stefan not only fulfills his father’s dream but one of his own – owning and operating his own restaurant. Stefan oversees all Two Left Forks management operations, from front of house to back of house, and all culinary and drink decisions.
After culinary school, Chef Robert Hines began his career at the most wonderful place on earth, Disneyland. Initially in Downtown Disney at the fine dining restaurant, Catal, Chef Robert started at the salad station. In two weeks, he was hankering for the hot appetizer station nearby and, on an emergency night in the kitchen, was “promoted” instantaneously there.
Chef Robert made a point of being in the right place during the right “urgency moment,” eventually moving to line cook at Catal, and later convincing Chef Andrew Sutton to hire him (again at the salad line) at his award-winning Napa Rose next door.
Chef Robert made an impact at Hotel Laguna, too. He worked there a year before moving to a higher chef position, but was asked to return to the Hotel in 2010. He began as the Hotel’s Banquet Chef and, after applying his culinary innovativeness and knack for organized, fast expediting, he was promoted as the Hotel’s Executive Chef.
Chef Robert revamped the entire menu at the Hotel, adding creative Game Day, Happy Hour and Sunset menus that bring people in droves. On the other side of the spectrum, he and his group of chefs host haute cuisine events to gourmet groups such as Les Amis d’Escoffier, too.
In late 2015, when the Andersen family of Hotel Laguna chose to open its second restaurant in Dana Point, they knew they need look no further than their existing Executive Chef.
“While he will still be overseeing the Hotel’s culinary, Chef Rob deserves a bigger spotlight for the kind of food he’s able to innovate. He’s going to be a perfect fit for Two Left Forks with an even higher level of culinary,” says Stefan Andersen, Managing Partner of Two Left Forks.
Southern California native Mike Koch started in the restaurant industry at the age of 15 as a busboy. It was an upward climb from there as he worked his way through every imaginable front-of-house and kitchen position.
After Cal State Fullerton, Koch began working for the Macaroni Grill corporation, opening one restaurant after another for that entity. From there, he settled back into his homegrown roots at Scott’s Seafood in Aliso Viejo, and eventually moved from there to the Hotel Laguna in Laguna Beach.
Over the next 11 years, Koch imbedded himself in the Hotel Laguna food and beverage operations, finally landing as the Hotel’s lead bar manager with hiring, training and management added to his repertoire.
Now at Two Left Forks at the General Manager, Koch is handling all front-of-house operations, from hiring and training to crafting innovative cocktails and deciding the ever-changing OC’s Most Wanted list of wines by the glass.