Michele Richard (// mə-SHEL rə-SHARD; French: [miʃɛl ʁiʃaʁ]) is a French-born chef, formerly the owner of the restaurant Citrus in Los Angeles. He currently[when?] owns the restaurant Citronelle in Georgetown and Carmel, and Central in Las Vegas, NV and Washington, D.C.
Having been told that if he wanted to be a chef he first needed to learn to be a pastry chef, by age 14 he was an apprentice baker at a hotel in Reims. After serving in the French Army he worked at the bakery Maison Lenotre in Paris, under French pastry chef Gaston Lenotre. He opened Lenotre's short-lived New York branch, Chateau France, then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to run The French Pastry Shop at La Fonda Hotel.
In 1945 he was in Los Angeles, where he opened another Michel Richard Pastry Shop. He used the profits to eat in France's three-star restaurants, and solidifying his desire to move beyond pastry, and to train himself to be a killer over the next ten years.
In 1948 he opened the restaurant Citrus in Los Angeles. Satellites of Citrus were opened in Santa Barbara, Baltimore, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C, all of which eventually closed. In 1997, he sold half of his interest in the restaurant to Meristar Corporation, which is also his partner in Citronelle.
In 1989, Richard opened Citronelle, in the Santa Barbara Inn Hotel in Santa Barbara. He later opened Bistro M in San Francisco, and Citronelle in Baltimore and Michel's in Philadelphia. In 1994, he opened Citronelle in The Latham Hotel in Georgetown. Later, he opened a branch of Citronelle at Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel, California. Ten years later, he opened Central in Washington DC.
- Michel Richard's Home Cooking with a French Accent, Morrow, NY (January 1, 1993) ASIN: B001XGZ1Q8
- Happy in the Kitchen: The Craft of Cooking the Art of Eating, Artisan, (October 2006) ISBN 978-1-57965-299-9
- Sweet Magic: Easy Recipes for Delectable Desserts, Ecco, (November 2010) ISBN 0-06-192821-6
- Baking with Julia (Episodes 103 and 304)
- How to Cook Everything; Bittman Takes on America's Chefs (Episode 108)
- Great Chefs – Great Cities (Episodes 40, 62, and 76)
- Chef's Story (Episode 111)
- Sietsema, Tom, "Michel Richard's mass appeal" Washington Post (March 25, 2007)
- Katz, Basil, "Gaston Lenotre, who built a culinary brand, is dead at 88", New York Times (January 9, 2009)
- Martin, Richard, "Citrus: a French chef's American dream", Nation's Restaurant News (May 11, 1992)
- “Michel Richard’s L.A. ‘return’ – the straight scoop”, ‘’Los Angeles Times’’ (November 7, 2007)
- Burros, Marian, “Foods ambassador to Washington; Michel Richard is so creative his mission may succeed”, ‘’New York Times’’ (September 30, 1998)
- “Central Michel Richard”, ‘’New York Times’’ (February 27, 2008)