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A Hollywood cure for showbiz’s ambitious appetites

Industry folk venture into food biz

The latest production from Hollywood Creative Directory creator Aleks Horvat is debuting at the supermarket. It’s homemade chicken soup.

“My wife (producer Jennifer Klein ) said, ‘You need to sell this; it’s really good,’ ” Horvat says. “When you’re an entrepreneur, anything goes.” So, with his grandmother’s recipe in hand, Horvat made the leap from film to the Fabulous Food Co..

And he’s not alone in the larder. Lennie LaGuire, former Calendar editor for the L.A. Times, now makes $13-a-pint homemade jam that she sells at Ellellekitchen.com. Jill Bernheimer, a former acquisitions and development exec, just opened wine boutique Domaine LA on eclectic Melrose Avenue.

When Hollywood turns to the food business, it’s usually at arm’s length. While “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal is a successful restaurant investor, and former Walt Disney Televison chairman Rich Frank has won praise for his Napa Valley-based Frank Family Vineyards, you’re not going to see them sweating over a stove or a wine press.

By contrast, Horvat oversees a commercial-grade kitchen that produces up to 270 gallons of soup each week, while Bernheimer hasn’t had a real day off since she opened her doors just before Labor Day. However, she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Pretty much everyone is nice in the food and wine world,” she says. “Selling a script is much harder than selling a bottle of wine.”