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Curtis Stone on the “culture shock” of returning to the kitchen

Larry King NowJan 18 '17

Chef and restaurateur Curtis Stone – who made a name for himself on shows like ‘Top Chef’ and ‘Take Home Chef’ – opens up about both the comfort and trials of returning to a restaurant kitchen after years on television

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Larry King: Last time you were here you were getting ready to open Maude, I told you not to call it Maude, it’s not an attractive name. I now apologize – Maude has received accolades from the James Beard Foundation, Time, Travel & Leisure, LA Magazine, LA Weekly, Eater LA, and Angelino, among others. What made Maude?

Curtis Stone: You know what, I’ll never forget that. I… Maude was my grandmother’s name and I thought, ‘you know, it’d be nice just to feel the love that I used to feel in her place when I…’

Larry King: But I can’t picture people saying, ‘let’s go to Maude tonight!’

Curtis Stone: I told you. You said, ‘what are you going to call it?’ I said, ‘Maude’ and you said ‘that’s a silly idea.’ And I’ll never forget it. You thought that I should have called it ‘Stone’s’ or ‘Curtis’’ or something. You know, I think whenever you do something from your heart, if it means something to you then you’ll do a good job of it, and you know to me food’s always been really special and I wasn’t really looking for a job, I was… You know, I was opening something because I really wanted to get back into it.

Larry King: But you were on television, right?

Curtis Stone: Yeah.

Larry King: What show were you on?

Curtis Stone: I did a show when I first came to the States called “Take Home Chef” and I think just before opening the restaurant I was hosting “Top Chef Masters.”

Larry King: Yeah. What was it like to go back to a restaurant?

Curtis Stone: Look it was like seeing an old friend for the first time in a long time. I went back into the kitchen, and I’ll never forget the first night. We worked all day, we got into the kitchen at 8 or 9 in the morning, we prepped all day and we did the dinner and in some ways it was like doing an event, a press event, cause I was so used to working in television. We sort of got through the end of the night, we cleaned up and I thought, ‘wow, what an amazing experience. It went really well, everything went great.’ And then I stood there for a minute and I thought, ‘I’ve got to do it again tomorrow. And the next day, and then next day.’ So it was a culture shock for sure, but it’s like riding a bike.

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