Curtis Stone is an Australian-born, US-based restaurateur, celebrity chef, and author. He is chiefly known for his multiple television appearances in the US, Australia and the UK, as well as his California restaurants, Maude, and Gwen.
Born in Australia in 1975, Stone’s first cooking experience was helping his grandmother to make fudge at the age of four, and he would later name his restaurant, Maude, after his earliest mentor. He grew up idolising the ‘rock star’ chefs of the 1980s, like Marco Pierre White, and began his own culinary career at the Savoy Hotel in Melbourne at the age of 18.
From there, Stone headed to London to work for his childhood hero Marco Pierre White at the Grill Room, Café Royal. He soon rose through the ranks in White’s notoriously high-pressured kitchens, and also worked with him at Mirabelle and Quo Vadis, where he was made head chef.
It was during his time at Quo Vadis that Stone was included in a book on London’s finest chefs, which brought him to the notice of a TV agent and earned him a few appearances on British daytime TV. His big television break came with Surfing the Menu, a culinary travel show set in his native Australia, and co-hosted with fellow chef Ben ‘Bender’ O’Donoghue.
Following the success of Surfing the Menu, Stone made the transition from restaurant chef to TV chef, spending the next decade or so primarily working in television. He has an extensive list of TV credits, including Martha Stewart's show Martha, Access Hollywood, Rachael Ray, Masterchef Australia, the UK’s Saturday Kitchen, and regular appearances NBC News Today. He has hosted various culinary competitions, including Top Chef Masters, Around the World in 80 Plates, Kitchen Inferno, and both the US and Australian versions of My Kitchen Rules, as well as forming part of the judging panel of America’s Next Great Restaurant, and competing in Iron Chef and The Celebrity Apprentice 3.
In recent years, Stone has returned to the restaurant world, winning critical acclaim and even a Michelin star for his innovative seasonal menus. He has also written several cookbooks, and released his own line of cookware, called Kitchen Solutions.
Curtis Stone: Career and Restaurants
Stone returned to the restaurant kitchen in 2014, opening his first restaurant, Maude, in Beverly Hills. Named after his grandmother, Maude is an intimate venue, with just 24 seats, and serves a ten course tasting menu.
For the first four years, the menu was developed around a different seasonal ingredient each month, with the star ingredient featuring in each course. Since 2018, however, menus have been inspired by the culture, terroir and produce of different wine-growing regions, with a new star wine selected every four months.
Maude proved successful from the beginning, with LA Weekly naming it Restaurant of the Year in 2014. It was also awarded a Michelin Star in the 2019 California Guide, which praises the ‘creative exploration of the profound connection between food and drink.’
Maude was followed in 2016 by Hollywood butcher’s shop and restaurant Gwen, a joint venture with Stone’s brother Luke. The butcher’s shop is the heart of the venue, providing both the restaurant and the public with a range of premium and rare breed meats, as well as charcuterie and gourmet sausages prepared in-house daily. The meat is sourced directly from ranchers and purveyors of quality meat, ethically raised and slaughtered, and hormone-free.
The restaurant itself pays homage to the bounty provided by the butcher’s shop through both its menu and surroundings, with meat hanging in glass dry-age rooms above the classic Hollywood glamor of the dining room, and whole animals roasting over a fire pit at the front. Diners can choose between a ten course tasting menu, or a feast-style á la carte menu of fire-cooked meat dishes.
Stone also runs seabound restaurant Share, in partnership with Princess Cruises. Available on cruise liners the Ruby Princess and the Emerald Princess, Share features a six-course tasting menu using premium ingredients from both land and sea.
Curtis Stone Recipes
If you want to try some of Curtis Stone’s food for yourself, there are a great many recipes available, from both his award-winning cookbooks, and his many television appearances. He may be a Michelin starred chef, but his recipes are simple to follow and feature honest, hearty fare.
This list of Curtis Stone’s 10 Most Popular Recipes Ever, compiled by The Rachael Ray Show, features comforting home-cooked favourites, with just that little touch of something extra. The top three dishes are creamy mashed potatoes made with pancetta and mascarpone, Aussie-style herby sausage rolls, and the ultimate mac and cheese, with pancetta, roasted cauliflower and broccoli.
You can also visit Stone’s website, which contains a huge online catalog of recipes. The site is easy to navigate and features everything from one-pot weekday meals to extravagant celebration food.
Stone’s sixth cookbook, Good Food, Good Life, is a great introduction to his culinary style. Published in 2015, the book explores the link between food and happiness, and includes the chef’s own favourite recipes for each meal of the day.