Meet the Chef
Chef Laurent Tourondel - Culinary Partner
A native of France, Chef Laurent Tourondel parlayed his love of food at an early age into a four-year program at Saint Vincent Ecole de Cuisine in Montlucon, France, where he earned his “d’Aptitude Professionnelle de Cuisinier.” After graduation, he received his first post in the kitchen as chef to the admiral in the French Navy. Following this position, he worked at several esteemed restaurants throughout France before traveling to London, where he cooked at the famed gentleman’s club Boodle’s.
In the years that followed, Tourondel worked under such notable chefs as: Bruno Tison at Restaurant Beau Geste in Manhattan; Jacques Maximin at Restaurant Ledoyen in France; and Chef de Partie at Restaurant Mercury at the Hotel InterContinental in Moscow. From there, Tourondel worked at the three-star Michelin, Relais & Chateau Troisgros, before taking a post as executive chef of C.T., Claude Troisgros’ debut restaurant in New York City. Tourondel served as executive chef at Palace Court Restaurant at the world famous Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino, followed by a return to New York City to open Cello. Upon leaving Cello, Tourondel saw a great opportunity to spend time traveling through South America, Asia and Africa, where he further developed his own culinary voice.
Tourondel returned to the States to open BLT Steak (2004), BLT Fish (2005), BLT Prime (2005), BLT Burger (2006), and BLT Market (2007), as well as LT Burger in the Harbor, LT Bar & Grill, LT Burger and Arlington Club, a partnership with TAO Group. Along with a number of oversees properties, including LT Bar & Grill in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Tourondel is also the executive chef at Brasserie Ruhlmann in Manhattan's Rockefeller Center.
In 2015, after consulting on some of the city’s most high profile projects, Tourondel opened two adjacent properties in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, The Vine, a cocktail lounge with a menu of signature small plates, along with L’Amico, an American restaurant with Italian influences inspired by his upbringing in the European countryside.
In June 2016, Tourondel continued his longstanding relationship with The Betsy South Beach, Miami’s premier boutique hotel, with the opening of LT Steak & Seafood, a seasonally-inspired American restaurant located within the hotel. This was the first of three culinary concepts to open that Tourondel oversees as part of the property’s larger expansion. Joining LT Steak & Seafood, The Alley and The Alley Ventanita, a classic Italian Pizzeria and Gelateria, opened in November 2017. In spring of 2018 Tourondel made his return to the London dining scene with his first restaurant in Europe, Laurent at Café Royal, a new Grill and Sushi Bar in the heart of the West End on the first floor of the modern grand Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street.
Tourondel's latest concept, Sag Pizza, opened August 2018, bringing his signature pies to Long Island’s East End in Sag Harbor.
Tourondel was named “Restaurateur of the Year” by Bon Appetit magazine in 2007 and has published three cookbooks, Go Fish: Fresh Ideas for American Seafood (J. Wiley & Sons, 2004), Bistro Laurent Tourondel: New American Bistro Cooking (J. Wiley & Sons, 2007), which earned him a 2008 James Beard Foundation Award nomination, and Fresh from the Market: Seasonal Cooking with Laurent Tourondel, (J. Wiley & Sons, 2010).