This week on Chef’s Story, Laurent Tourondel comes into the studio to tell us his story! A native of France, Chef Laurent Tourondel parlayed his love of food at an early age into a four year program at Saint Vincent Ecole de Cuisine in Montlucon, France where he earned a “d’Aptitude Professionnelle de Cuisinier.” After graduating he received his first post in the kitchen as chef to the Admiral in the French Navy. Following this position he worked at several restaurants in France and then traveled to London where he cooked at the famed Gentleman’s Club, Boodle’s. In the years that followed he worked under such notable chefs as: Bruno Tison at Restaurant Beau Geste in Manhattan; Jacques Maximin at Restaurant Ledoyen in France; and Chef de Partie at Restaurant Mercury at the Hotel InterContinental in Moscow. Tourondel then worked at the three-star Michelin Relais & Chateau Troisgros, before taking a post as Executive Chef of C.T., Claude Troisgros’ debut restaurant in New York City. Next came a stint as Executive Chef at Palace Court Restaurant at the world famous Caesar’s Palace Hotel & Casino, followed by his return to New York City at Cello. When this restaurant closed its doors, Tourondel saw an opportunity and spent time traveling through South America, Asia and Africa, to further develop his own cooking voice. He returned to the states to open BLT Steak, BLT Fish, BLT Prime, BLT Burger, BLT Market, LT Burger in the Harbor, LT Burger in Bryant Park, LT Signature and most recently Arlington Club. Currently, he is also the Executive Chef at Brasserie Ruhlmann in Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. In October 2007, Bon Appétit magazine named Tourondel Restaurateur of the Year. This award guaranteed his place among the top in the culinary world. Tourondel has published three cookbooks, Go Fish: Fresh Ideas for American Seafood, Bistro Laurent Tourondel: New American Bistro Cooking, which earned him a 2008 James Beard Foundation Award nomination and Fresh from the Market: Seasonal Cooking with Laurent Tourondel. Tune-in to find out how Laurent manages his empire of restaurants, how he continues to find inspiration and creativity within food, and his advice for young chefs willing to break into the industry. Learn more about the award winning chef on today’s episode! This program has been sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons.
“Out of the job, I developed a passion. My next step was to go to France and work with the big guys.” [12:50]
“Its not only about cooking. It’s a business.” [27:10]
“You have to trust people a lot. You have to hire the right person. It’s not easy.” [29:05]
“I think we all start because of the passion for food. At some point in your career, you reach a certain age when you want to control things, and control your own food.” [40:30]
— Laurent Tourondel on Chef’s Story