EXCLUSIVE: CURTIS STONE’S NEW RESTAURANT “MAUDE”

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Ever sat glued to your television anguished over your inexplicable decision to flip to the Food Network or Top Chef Masters when you were just lamenting the pitiful state of your empty fridge? If so, chances are you’ve spotted culinary, multi hyphenate Curtis Stone on the screen, doing everything from cooking to judging and hosting. We caught up with the prolific cookbook author and host of Top Chef Masters as he dishes on his new restaurant Maude, the LA culinary scene, food-obsessed television, and his recent nuptials.

Everyone is excited about your new restaurant purchase in the Los Angeles area. Can you tell us a little bit about it and what inspired the new venture?
I am really excited about it too. It has been a dream of mine for quite a few years to have a tiny, little restaurant that I could just work with a talented group of guys on, who could focus all of their energy into cooking beautiful food. Not having a huge menu or throwing huge numbers. The concept of the restaurant revolves around produce around Southern California. We are very lucky. We are up there with the best markets in the world. I want to pay homage to some of those ingredients. Each month I am going to choose one ingredient and do a seven- or eight-course tasting menu around that ingredient. I want to be as versatile and creative as possible. It will be a set menu, which allows me to put more detail into each dish, rather than having hundreds of courses.

 

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Los Angeles is a melting pot of cultures that often translates into unique fusions of flavors. It is also a city that embraces over-the-top, glamorous plates. As someone who is committed to letting great ingredients shine without too much fanfare, how do you envision your new restaurant fitting into the Los Angeles landscape?
I think LA has gone through such a huge culinary revolution. It was all about the scene, glitz, and glamour not too long ago. But now, look at the restaurants that are popular. They are the ones that really get their hands on great quality ingredients and come from a more humble place—like spending the entire morning in my garden. I have a bit of an experimental garden, so I grow all sorts of different things. You know, that’s the place that I play with different varieties of stuff that you can’t get your hands on commercially. Also, the culture around great growers—that’s something that makes me happy. Honoring the farmer that works his ass off. That’s what my restaurant will be all about.

Any favorite taco spots in LA where we might spot you after a late night?
Oh god, absolutely! I love tacos and the beautiful thing about this city is that they are everywhere. The one that I sort of hit most often is Pinches on Sunset, which I am sure many know. ¡Lotería! is really good as well. We go down to East LA for tacos too. Too many spots to remember the names of. But with tacos, it’s usually the dirtiest hole-in-the-wall with the best offerings.

Okay, one night in LA—where is Chef Curtis Stone going to eat and why?
I just ate at Lukshon in Culver City a couple of nights ago, and, I’ve got to say, it is one of my favorite dining experiences in this city. It is so innovative and Chef Sang Yoon cooks really beautiful food—same guy from Father’s Office. He’s one of my favorite chefs.

 

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH CHEF CURTIS STONE IN OUR NEW ISSUE HERE

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photo KATHRYNA HANCOCK @ 7 Artist Management
grooming CHRISTINE NELLI @ Celestine Agency
styling TIFFANI CHYNEL
text NOAH BRISCOE

 

 

 

 

 

21 QUESTIONS: DANIEL SHEMTOB

Man, do we love good food.

Even more so, we love the people that conjure up all the delicious eats that we come across living in LA, so naturally we felt the need to pick Daniel Shemtob’s brain after our recent trip to his new TLT Food location in downtown LA. The ridiculously young owner and chef of four running Lime Trucks and two brick-and-mortar locations made his claim to fame for winning Food Network’s second season of The Great Food Truck Race. Since then, he rightfully saw a surge in popularity and demand for his Asian-Mexican fusion cuisine and just like everyone else, we can’t get enough of it.

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We caught up with Daniel via email and shot him a few questions to mull over — we’re assuming in his bathtub.

So, what’s up?
Just keepin’ it gangsta. — in all seriousness straight gangsta.
Can we get you something to drink?
Super Anejo Tequila and Some Cold Brewed Coffee from G and B
Dream chef to cook for?
Action Bronson
Do anything last night?
I don’t kiss and tell.
How late did you stay up?
Depends it ranges from 7:30pm to 4am.  Typically a 7:30 will follow a 4am night, I guess that’s just the circle of life.
Meals or snacks?
Snack attack motherfucker.

Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?
Larry David, Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld and Eddie Murphy (preferably early 90s Eddie) but any era of Eddie is still good in my book. The dinner might be a little awkward and I’m not sure any of them would care about the food, but its my fantasy right?
If life could resemble any film…
Ferris Buellers Day Off
Where do you hang out in LA?
Depends but I love the east side of LA. Mostly you can find me eating at some Korean hole in the wall in K-town or causing a scene in my neighborhood in DTLA.
Blue or black ink?
Purple, and I have an obsession with purple G2 pens

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Ever sit down in the shower?
I imagine that I would. I have a weird obsession with baths, I take 2 a day. I even built a laptop station in my bathtub so I could be a little more productive. So far I’ve lost two iPhones.
When was the last time you really froke out at someone?
It depends on the true definition of froke; sometimes I froke a lot. I would say the last time I truly froked was on the food truck. A customer yelled at me and I yelled right back. Later she apologized, it was heavy.
What was the first thing you said aloud this morning?
What was your name again?
Are you listening to music right now?
I am. Flumes CD. It makes me happy. Just a note during the re-edit, I listened to the inception soundtrack. It makes you a machine and after the CD is done, you’ve restructured half the company. I definitely recommend a good dose of Hans Zimmer to get some work done.

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Take it or Take a Message? Ben Affleck calls, you’re on the pot… 

Take it. No big deal.

Favorite item on the TLT menu?
Depends on the day but I really like the Brussels sprouts — they are the best I’ve ever had. The pork belly is insanely delicious so either one of those makes me pretty happy.
Dream chef to cook for?
Action Bronson
Lime Truck dance? Please explain (and how come we haven’t seen it yet?)
There is no explanation. It all started because my friend Jason is nuts and promised a crowd of 400 people that I would dance for them, so I had to deliver.

Your dream project?
I have a million dream projects — it’s kind of a problem. I want to open a bar in downtown LA called “The Turquoise Room.” I also have an idea for an epic steakhouse that just feels manly and full of smoke right when you walk in — not real smoke of course, but if smoky was an adjective to describe a design, I want it.  I also really want create a company where I make limited amounts of odd things — I have ideas for really cool toilets, jackets, and a million other things. It would be fun to get started and partner with some experts and just sell a few of each run. It would be a design and functionally concept.
If we gave you $50, what would you buy?  
A vintage luchador wrestling mask. Duh.
What are you doing later?
Drinking, eating Korean Soon Tofu, and hopefully finishing the night with a j on my rooftop Jacuzzi.
Can we come?
Depends but my building told me after last weekend that I’m only allowed to have four guests at a time.

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