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How Chef Curtis Stone Turned His Fine Dining Restaurants Into Neighborhood Markets

Watch the Michelin-starred chef discuss his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

curtis stone maude Photo: courtesy Ray Kachatorian

At chef Curtis Stone’s Michelin-starred restaurant Maude in Beverly Hills, every few months the menu dramatically changes, focusing on the ingredients and traditions of a new wine region around the world. Whether it’s Burgundy or Rioja or South Australia, his team takes diners on a journey through that region via a refined tasting menu. But ever since Los Angeles announced all restaurants needed to close to dine-in service, the chefs at Maude and at his woodfired restaurant and butcher shop Gwen, would offer something completely different. Not only are they serving comfort food classics like shepherd’s pie for takeout and delivery, they’re also tapping into their network of farmers and purveyors to create neighborhood markets to feed their communities and keep much of their staff employed.

Stone joined us on Instagram Live to discuss the transition from fine dining to comfort food, the assistance he’d like to see from government leaders, how he’s worked with his landlord to drop his rent 75 percent for the next four months to help weather the crisis and what he’s most looking forward to do again when the crisis passes. You can watch the full video of the interview below and then find links to the stories and sites discussed.

Articles and Sites Discussed

  • Stone discussed his work with Chrysalis, an organization that helps formerly incarcerated and homeless citizens reenter the workforce. He’s not only worked on fundraisers for the organization over the years, but has also been a public advocate for the group and hired many people through Chrysalis for his restaurants.
  • To make clear the challenge America’s restaurants Stone, along with other prominent chefs including Alice Waters, David Kinch and Nancy Silverton, signed onto a Change.org petition outline the assistance they felt the restaurant would need from the government to survive the crisis.
  • LA County briefly said it would shut down restaurants operating as grocers, but quickly reversed course.
  • Gwen’s takeout and marketplace offerings are available on both Postmates and Caviar, while Maude in Beverly Hills has food, wine and pantry staples available for pickup.

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