Famous television chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Curtis Stone recently was in the area to have coffee with fans and sign his new book at Albert Lee Appliance in Southcenter. The Bosch brand partner and award-winning chef was kind enough to connect with 425 magazine for a quick Q&A.
Tip: Read all his answers with an Australian accent.
When did you fall in love with cooking?
“I’ve always been a lover of food, but where it all started for me was in my mum and granny’s kitchens at a very young age — they taught me everything I know about food and cooking. I was 4 when I had my first truly memorable food experience. I tried my granny’s Yorkshire fudge and it was one of the first really sweet things that I’d tasted. From that taste forward, whenever I went to granny’s place, we’d get busy in the kitchen and make fudge together. It was always our thing. In fact, Maude, the restaurant that recently received a Michelin star, was named after my granny who shared this passion for cooking with me and allowed me to join her in the kitchen at such a young age. Family has always been an important part of what I do, day in, day out. I love sharing my passion for cooking with my sons by involving them in what I do — they are always so excited to see — and taste — the finished product! It really brings us together when we finally sit down to enjoy it, and I believe this concept is at the root of why my partnership with Bosch home appliances is such a natural fit. We both share a real passion for quality, savoring the simple things in life and bringing families together for special moments, especially when it comes to creating delicious food.”
How did you break into food showbiz?
“After working with chef Marco Pierre White — who was my culinary hero — for eight years, my media career began in 2002 when I was head chef at Quo Vadis and was named one of the top chefs in London — such an honor. Shortly after, I was asked to co-host a show called Surfing the Menu with one of my best mates. This sparked a television career across the U.K., Australia, and the United States, including Take Home Chef (TLC), Top Chef Masters (Bravo) and Top Chef Junior (NBC). This fall, my passion for fresh ingredients, global travels and wine-focused menus at Maude are taking me around the world in a new television series on PBS called Field Trip with Curtis Stone. I really am honored to have the opportunity to share my culinary experiences with the world, and I hope everyone comes along for the fun!
What are the top ingredients that you always have on hand?
“My core philosophy for cooking evolved while coming up in the ranks at Marco’s restaurants — we worked only with the best local and seasonal ingredients and treated them simply. To this day, any time I step into the kitchen — whether at home or in one of my restaurants — two crucial items I need are fresh ingredients and great quality tools to back me up and Bosch always delivers. I always say that the key to any delicious meal is always having fresh ingredients at the ready and a quality refrigerator that makes it easier to store them, keep them in view, and maximize freshness.”
What is your go-to meal to eat?
“There is honestly nothing like a simple pizza made at home with my wife and boys on a Friday night. Obviously, I lead a pretty busy lifestyle, and my favorite part of the day is coming home to my family and making a quick, easy meal together. This is where fresh ingredients and quality cooking tools are super important. Take a simple margherita pizza for example — this quick, easy and delicious family favorite can easily be turned into a masterpiece by topping with two fresh ingredients — fresh arugula and prosciutto.”
Tell us about how you give back and why that is so important.
One of my favorite ways to give back is through the #Commit2One pledge every year. Giving back has always been an important part of my life and there are so many causes that deserve support. A few years ago, I was chatting about it with my team and we found that we could participate in giving back in a deeper way by assessing the time and resources we could offer each year and focusing them in one area. It also allows us to spread the love and give different causes and organizations the support they need over time. #Commit2One gives us that opportunity and I’ve been proud to be part of this organization since 2016. Last year, we partnered with AdoptTogether, a crowdfunding platform that bridges the gap between families who want to adopt and the children who need loving homes, and this year we’re proud to partner with Share Our Strength, a national organization that works to end childhood hunger through its No Kid Hungry campaign.”
Tell us about your recent book!
Every cookbook I create is so special to me, because it represents a different stage in my life and further allows me to spread the word about what I’m most passionate about: food! Good Food, Good Life was written when Hudson, my oldest son, was still a toddler and Lindsay was pregnant with Emerson. I spent a lot of time in the garden with Hud. That time was very special and creating dishes that we enjoyed as a family was instrumental to that collection of recipes.
What do you like to cook for others most?
“I love to make a Sunday pork roast. It reminds me of my mum’s weekend meals. One of my favorite appliances for making the whole process even simpler is the Bosch Wall Oven. It has this really awesome feature called Meat Probe that measures the internal temperature of the meats or pork roast I’m cooking in the oven and automatically shuts off when it reaches the right temperature. And, with Home Connect, my phone will notify me when dinner is ready to be served! This takes the guesswork out of achieving the perfectly juicy, tender pork roast that I love so much from my mum’s kitchen while working on other parts of the meal or wrapping up work around the house before dinner.”
Tell us about your restaurants. How has the menu-less experience been?
“Gwen is an à la carte menu, but at Maude you don’t receive the menu to take with you until the end of your experience. The quarterly menus are inspired by team trips to the world’s greatest wine regions. When we return back to Los Angeles, menu development kicks into gear and we try to give our wonderful experience to the guest through the food and wine. When the staff drops a dish from the ten-course tasting, an explanation is given about how the team’s research and development factored into a composed plate. A simple pot of beans made by a winemaker after a long day inspired a dish on the Rioja menu. Visiting an abalone and seaweed farm was the impetus for a course on the Central Coast menu.”
When you are in the Seattle area (as you were) do you have any favorite restaurants in our area? Please share!
“I’m a big fan of Renee Erickson. Her restaurants celebrate Seattle’s most treasured ingredients from the sea. I’d love to get to The Walrus and the Carpenter when I’m in town. I’m equally curious to get to JuneBaby to see what Edouardo Jordan is up to.”