George Morrone

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George Morrone
Born October 9, 1961 (1961-10-09)
Maywood, New Jersey
Education The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York

George Morrone (born October 9, 1961 in Maywood, New Jersey) is an American chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author.


Morrone attended The Culinary Institute of America at the urging of his mentor, John Kutrovacz.[1] For over two decades, diners and critics have heralded George Morrone as one of the most creative and accomplished chefs in the country. After graduating from the CIA in Hyde Park, New York, the foundation of his career started as sous chef for restaurateur Michael "Buzzy" O'Keefe and chef Charlie Palmer at the River Cafe in Brooklyn, New York. After the River Cafe, he moved out west to San Francisco to work as executive sous chef at the landmark Campton Place with chef and restaurateur Bradley Ogden.

Morrone then got his chance at the top toque as the youngest executive chef for the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, where for 5 years he cooked for dignitaries and A-list celebrities that included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Michael Jordan, Grace Jones, Pele etc while later opening for Madonna's luxury restaurant in the Hotel Delano in Miami, Florida. Morrone then returned to his San Francisco roots to open the legendary restaurant Aqua (where he mentored chef and restaurateur Michael Mina.[2]), and held dual roles as founder/co-owner and executive chef.

It was at Aqua where he earned his first four star review for his innovative seafood creations, establishing him as one of the country’s great culinary talents. From Aqua, Morrone moved on to other prolific projects—including reuniting with Ogden at One Market Restaurant—before helping to create and open the award—winning Fifth Floor restaurant with Aabi Shapoorian. Fifth Floor, under George Marrone, received Wine Spectator's Grand Award and was listed as one of the top 20 restaurants in the United States. It was at this landmark restaurant, Morrone also met Julia Child and prepared for her a private dish in celebration of her 80th birthday.

The instant accolades at Fifth Floor culminated in his second four-star review. Voted Chef of the Year respectively in 1992 and 2002, is the only Bay Area chef ever to be awarded four-stars twice, frequently featured in the PBS Series' Great Chefs, Morrone has fomented many of the region’s major culinary trends, and his sensibilities regarding flavor, technique, and aesthetics have influenced California’s culinary lexicon.

After the Fifth Floor, Morrone open Redwood Park and reunited with his old partner, Michael Mina. After Redwood Park, Morrone opened the aptly named restaurant Tartare; dedicated to the delicacies of raw and rare. Known not only for his culinary talents, Morrone collaborated with San Francisco designer Michael Brennan. It was through this collaboration whereby Esquire Magazine highlighted Tartare restaurant for its exceptional design.

Travel has also been an integral component to Morrone’s development as a chef. He spent a year in France immersing himself with the best of the country’s contemporary cooking. In 2003, his travels took him to Australia, where he turned his talents to helping an old friend—chef Mark Miller—open his new venture, Wild Fire. With Morrone’s help the 300-seat, 450-cover, “restaurant-as-theater” concept has quickly become Sydney’s hottest destination dining room.

For several more years, Morrone had the opportunity to travel around the world with other renowned chefs on five-day tours sponsored by Hudson Valley Fois Gras, cooking in such far-flung places as Moscow, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, and many others. During these tours he worked side-by-side with his most important mentor, Jean-Louis Palladin.

Returning back to the Bay Area for a third tour, Morrone continued his craft helming and consulting with other notable restaurants that include chef Michael Chiarello's Bottega Ristorante in Napa Valley, San Francisco's Cliff House, Boca Steak and Seafood in Marin County, California, the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, California, and in 2014, Gusto in San Carlos, California.

Morrone's legacy and influence over the culinary community continues to thrive. Many well respected and notable chefs cite Morrone as mentor and influencer. Chefs that include: Ron Siegel, Traci Des Jardins, Steven Geddes, Chris Cosentino, Suzanne Tracht, Joseph Humphrey, James Montejano, Nicholas Ciccone, Stephen Fretz, Michael Nemac, Robert Curry, Christopher Lee, Sean O'Brien, Jake Godby, Patrick Prager, Jason Hall, Rene Rodriguez, Brian Pekarcik, Chris Curtiss, Jason Weiner,Patrick Roney, Jonnatan Levia, James Ormsby, Daniel Sudar, Art Jackson, Phillip Kaufman, Ravi Kapur, Adrian Carpenter etc

Private life[edit]

George Morrone lives in San Francisco and has a daughter named Sydney.


  1. ^ Walden, GraceAnn (February 20, 2005). "COOK'S NIGHT OUT: GEORGE MORRONE". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  2. ^ in Michael Mina: the cookbook Google books

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]