Chef Laurent Gras
Chef Laurent Gras is recognized as one of the most talented and dedicated chefs cooking today, known for his personal and innovative cuisine. Gras has attainted 3 Michelin Stars at three different restaurants over two continents. He has been named “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine Magazine and his Chicago restaurant L2O was lauded as “Best New Restaurant” by Esquire Magazine. He is the author of the multiple IACP award-winning online cookbook Laurent Gras: My Provence.
Laurent Gras was born and raised in Antibes on the Côte d’Azur in France, amid a family and a culture focused on food. Growing up he took for granted the fresh fish at the market from the Mediterranean and the family’s olive oil, pressed each December from fruit from their orchards. Later, as he began his career and started to travel, he realized his youth had set a standard for the freshest ingredients and an appreciation for simplicity.
At the age of 15, when the time came to choose his métier, Gras intended to enter a mathematics university. On a lark, he took the entrance exam to hotel school with his friends and passed. His early resume comprises a formidable list of Michelin starred restaurants and great chefs. Each chef had a unique personality that yielded different lessons for the young cook: Jacques Maximin’s spontaneity, Guy Savoy’s generosity and dedication to his staff and la maison, Alain Ducasse’s ambition, Alain Senderens’s thorough research and thought process.
After achieving 3 Michelin stars as the opening chef de cuisine at Alain Ducasse Paris in 1996, Gras decided to find his own restaurant. He chose New York City because “it is very interesting place for a chef to be due to the energy and excitement in the restaurant industry. A restaurant’s success is driven not only by the food, but also by the experience of dinning and the personality of the chef. New York gave me a greater freedom of expression on the plate, the opportunity to be involved in my industry, all things that do not really exist for a chef in France.” Gras arrived in New York City in 1997 to assume the helm of the Waldorf=Astoria's Peacock Alley, where his cooking received high praise from critics and diners. In 2001 he moved to the west coast, taking charge of the kitchen of San Francisco’s Fifth Floor. During his three years there he discovered the bounty of California’s farms and the Pacific Ocean.
In 2007 Gras moved to Chicago to begin working on a unique seafood restaurant L2O, the name a combination of Laurent and H20. He would give the restaurant his full expression, having the opportunity design it from the ground up. L2O earned three Michelin stars in 2011 in the first Chicago edition of the prestigious guidebook.
Laurent Gras: My Provence, an Innovative Online Cookbook
This one of a kind interactive cookbook presents home cooks with hundreds of beautiful color photos by celebrated photographers Shimon and Tammar, over a dozen HD videos and scores of helpful tips from chef Gras. It was awarded the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Judges Choice Cookbook Award and a New Media Award. Learn more or get it today for only $4.99!