From Los Angeles, June 19, 2008
Lover of seasonal produce
Sophie Gayot caught up with rising chef Curtis Stone, host of America's popular reality cooking show "Take Home Chef." Here are the Australian-born talent's latest achievements and upcoming endeavors.
It was in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia, that Curtis Stone established a culinary foundation that would one day catapult him to celebrity status. At the age of 5, Stone spent his time baking rich, sugary fudge with his grandmother, bringing family and friends together with this decadent dessert. Taking his talent from the home to the streets, Stone admits, "I was never a corporate minded person, but cooking is what I love to do," and at 18, the eager cook was hired by The Savoy Hotel in Melbourne. Working side-by-side with a talented group of European and British chefs, Stone was inspired to travel, visiting Italy, France and Spain, before eventually settling in London. Here, he started as a commis to the legendary Marco Pierre White at his restaurant, The Grill Room, Café Royal. Quickly, he became sous chef at Mirabelle, and later landed the title of head chef at another of White's well-known establishments, Quo Vadis. During his time there, Stone was featured in a book about London's best chefs, entitled London on a Plate. "Once people saw the book, that's when things really started picking up," he says.
By the time Stone made his way over to the United States, he was already a household name, having filmed a 15-part TV series, "Dinner in a Box," for UK Food in 2002 and hosted a Channel 7 restaurant reality series in Australia, "My Restaurant Rules." With the success of his latest reality show "Take Home Chef," for The Learning Channel, Stone has made a name for himself as an accessible yet innovative chef.
Kitchen Solutions by Curtis Stone, the chef's first line of cooking utensils, provide no-nonsense, practical solutions for cooking enthusiasts. Of his products, Stone says, "After going to 140 different homes, I have a good understanding of what challenges people face in the kitchen. This new line will help you cook like a professional chef in your own home. Each item is completely unique and aims to solve a particular problem in the kitchen." The twenty-product line includes his patented Workbench---a chopping board, food storage unit and waste disposal unit all in one, along with other equipment to help at-home chefs prepare quality, hassle free meals. Kitchen Solutions are now available in the US exclusively at Williams-Sonoma locations.
Alongside his achievements, Stone, featured as one of People Magazine's sexiest men alive, is still "just a young Aussie boy who likes to surf," as he so humbly admits. With his down to earth attitude and a culinary repertoire most would envy, Stone is certainly a star to watch. Start cooking with great recipes from Stone's books Cooking with Curtis and Relaxed Cooking and look out for his new show to be aired on TLC.
Sophie Gayot: What is your favorite hometown restaurant?
Curtis Stone: Vue Du Monde.
SG: What is your favorite restaurant in Los Angeles?
SG: What is your favorite restaurant in all the world?
CS: Château de la Chèvre d'Or.
SG: Favorite ingredient?
SG: Favorite wine?
CS: Peju H.B. Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.