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Meet the Chef

Chef Laurent Tourondel
protein on vegetable, greens, and a white sauce

Starting with the gougères behind the signature popovers that start every meal at LT Steak & Seafood, Executive Chef Laurent Tourondel’s childhood fishing and baking with his grandparents on the coast of France continues to define his dedication to place, season, and an artisan’s respect for the ingredients.

A native of Auvergne in central France, Chef Laurent Tourondel has parlayed his experiences with food at an early age into a storied decades-long career, creating some of the world’s most successful culinary concepts. His first kitchen post after culinary school was as chef to the admiral of the French Navy. In subsequent years, Tourondel worked under such notable chefs as Bruno Tison at Restaurant Beau Geste in New York; Jacques Maximin at Restaurant Ledoyen in France; and the Troisgros family at the three Michelin star Relais & Chateau Troisgros. 

fish on fruit

Tourondel returned to New York as executive chef of C.T., Claude Troisgros’ debut restaurant in New York City, and then served as executive chef at the Palace Court Restaurant at Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He came back to New York in 1999 to open Cello on the Upper East Side, which earned three stars from The New York Times.

In 2004, Tourondel launched the BLT collection of restaurants: BLT Steak (2004), BLT Fish (2005), BLT Prime (2005), BLT Burger (2006), and BLT Market (2007). The focus on fresh, simple ingredients, prepared using exacting techniques, and served in bustling environments earned Tourondel an array of two- and three-star reviews from The New York Times and a coveted Michelin Star for BLT Fish. 

Colorful salad with fruit, vegetables, and greens
fish on fruit

In 2015, Tourondel opened two adjacent properties in Chelsea in Manhattan: The Vine, a cocktail lounge with a menu of signature small plates, and L’Amico, an American restaurant with Italian influences inspired by his upbringing in the European countryside. After opening LT Steak & Seafood and The Alley at The Betsy starting in 2016, Tourondel made his return to the London dining scene in 2018 with his first restaurant in Europe, Laurent at Café Royal, a new grill and sushi bar in the heart of the West End at the Hotel Café Royal. Most recently, Tourondel opened the TikTok sensation Skirt Steak, a single-item restaurant in New York, and Dune by Laurent Tourondel, an elevated seafood restaurant on the Florida coast.

Tourondel has earned his industry’s highest accolades, including Food & Wine’s 10 Best New Chefs and Bon Appetit’s Restaurateur of the Year, and has published three cookbooks: Go Fish: Fresh Ideas for American Seafood, Bistro Laurent Tourondel: New American Bistro Cooking, which earned him a 2008 James Beard Foundation Award nomination, and Fresh from the Market: Seasonal Cooking with Laurent Tourondel. With his singular experience and focus on fresh ingredients, the simplest preparations, and inviting atmosphere, Tourondel continues to lead the charge in a rapidly-changing global culinary landscape.

Expect no more. This is happiness.™