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What's driving TV chef Curtis Stone to open a restaurant? The answer lies in the recipes he cooks for his father to honor the memory of Granny Maude.
A lot of people worship their grandmothers' cooking. Curtis Stone is one of them, even though he's too good a chef to love blindly. He describes his grandmother's roasts as "fit for royalty," then admits, "They were probably a little dry, but I still have gorgeous reminders of her through that food."
The Australian-born chef—who trained at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe before achieving TV fame, most recently as host of Top Chef Masters—had an extraordinary relationship with Granny Maude, leaving him with indelible food memories. He recalls visiting her after school and "running for the fridge and praying her beautiful fudge was waiting." His new 25-seat Beverly Hills restaurant is named Maude in her honor. It's more ambitious than homey though, offering constantly changing menus focused on one seasonal ingredient. "I'm feeling so driven by cooking that I can't sleep. I get up at 5 a.m. thinking about ravioli!" Stone says.
When Curtis's father, Bryan, came to Los Angeles for a visit, Curtis paid tribute to Granny Maude with recipes like fudge studded with graham crackers. This past winter, the whole Stone family traveled from Australia for the restaurant opening. Says Curtis, "My granny, who passed several years ago, was quite religious, so we joke that she's up there pulling strings for me."
Granny's Roasted Spuds
Pappardelle with Duck Ragù
Linguine with Kale, Lemon and Walnuts
Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary
Chicken Cassoulet with Fennel and Sausage
Pan-Seared Halibut with Braised Swiss Chard
Lemon Puddings with Granny Smith Apple Compote
Maude's Vanilla Fudge