Chef News

Chef Laurent Tourondel Dishes on the Past, Present and Future of BLT Steak

When Chef Laurent Tourondel began his culinary training in France at the age of thirteen, he had no idea that he would one day be a household name in the culinary world -- much less in America. "I don't think I meant to be this way," he says. "The goal was to provide a new restaurant, a different concept." 

Chef Tourondel's resume is impressive. He studied at Saint Vincent Ecole de Cuisine in Montlucon, France and worked under Bruno Tison at Restaurant Beau Geste, eventually landing in New York where he headed up the kitchens at Claude Troisgros' C.T. restaurant and Cello. If you went to Vegas in the mid-'90s (and still remember it through the drunken haze), you may have even spotted Chef Tourondel at the Palace Court.

After traveling the world, he founded the BLT Steak empire. The big news this month is that Tourondel recently split from BLT partner Jimmy Haber in what's described as an amicable parting. The pair divided up the restaurants with Tourondel staying on as Executive Chef of ten BLT restaurants including the one in Scottsdale.

I caught up with Tourondel yesterday at Scottsdale's branch of BLT Steak. He admits he doesn't know a lot about Phoenix, but says that one of his "favorite restaurants in the whole world" is here. Wow. Which one?

"Guess," Tourondel prodded, grinning like a Cheshire cat dressed neatly in a traditional button-down chef's coat. "It's not only famous here; it's famous all around the United States. Soooo big! You have one restaurant here that's like, WOAH! Everybody talks about it."

Find out Chef Laurent Tourondel's favorite local restaurant and read the interview after the jump.  

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Wynter Holden
Contact: Wynter Holden