Australian chef Curtis Stone became a familiar face in the U.S. back in 2005, when, on TLC’s Take Home Chef he would show up at grocery stores and ask total strangers if they’d like to cook dinner with him as a surprise for their family and friends. A fixture of food television for more than a decade, Stone has also hosted Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and Around the World in 80 Plates, and made appearances on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, NBC’s Today and America’s Next Great Restaurant, and even did a turn on Celebrity Apprentice.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Stone may have begun cooking with his granny and then cooked professionally at Melbourne’s Savoy Hotel, but when he decided to get serious in the kitchen he moved to London and trained under the very un-granny-like chef Marco Pierre White, known as much for his volatility as for his skill. Stone made his way from Pierre White’s Grill Room at Café Royal, to Mirabelle, and then to Quo Vadis. Spotted by an agent, Stone began doing segments on U.K. morning television.
Known for his clean, simple cooking, Stone has spread the word in his cookbooks, including Good Food, Good Life; What’s for Dinner?; Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone; Cooking with Curtis; and Surfing the Menu (based on the Australian travel television show he made with fellow chef Ben O’Donoghue).
Yet for all of Curtis Stone’s television appearances, he hadn’t been chef of his own restaurant. And then came Maude, named after Stone’s grandmother, which opened in Los Angeles in 2014. At Maude, each month features a single seasonal ingredient that he spins into a 10-course tasting menu. The experience, he says, has been a dream. So much so that in July 2016 he launched a second restaurant, Gwen, this one with his brother Luke. Unlike Maude, Gwen specializes in wood-fire cooking and cured meats like salami, prosciutto, and duck pastrami. It even has an adjacent butcher shop. And who is Gwen? Stone’s other granny, of course.