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|Born||March 30, 1966
Laurent Manrique (born March 30, 1966) is a French restaurateur and Michelin-starred chef. Currently overseeing projects in New York and San Francisco, Laurent has extensive professional experience in both locales. He was the Corporate Executive Chef of Aqua, an upscale seafood restaurant in San Francisco, where he earned 2 Michelin stars in 2006, the first time Michelin came to the San Francisco Bay Area, and again in 2007 and 2008. Upon his departure in 2009, the restaurant lost its Michelin status (it was closed in 2010). For several years, he has overseen the Cafe de la Presse, located on the corner of Bush Street and Grant Avenue, as well as two wine bars: Blanc et Rouge and Rouge and Blanc. In New York, he recently opened Millesime, a seafood brasserie in the Carlton Hotel.
Manrique discovered his culinary passion during childhood while cooking with his grandmother Aurélie in the Gascon village of Roques. Following an apprenticeship several years later with master chef Roger Duffour, Manrique trained with master chefs Claude Deligne and Yan Jacquot at Michelin-starred Taillevent and Toit de Passy in Paris.
Following a suggestion to move to United States, Manrique pursued his culinary career at Los Angeles Italian restaurant Rex. Persuaded by restaurateur Jean Denoyer to join Manhattan's Le Comptoir as executive chef, he relocated to the East Coast in 1991.
Then in 1992 at the age of 26, Manrique took over as chef at the Waldorf Astoria's Peacock Alley. After a five-year relationship with the restaurant, Manrique joined with nightlife mogul Howard Stein to open Gertrudes in 1997.
Shortly thereafter the West Coast beckoned, and Manrique returned to join San Francisco's Campton Palace restaurant as Executive Chef.
In 2003, Manrique was named Corporate Executive Chef for Aqua. Manrique's cuisine and leadership were to play a significant role in the restaurant's extraordinary success in San Francisco, including two Michelin stars in 2006, which he upheld for three consecutive years. Meanwhile, he opened Cafe de la Presse and Rouge & Blance Wine Bar, which remain some of San Francisco's most popular dining venues.
In 2007, Manrique united with friend and colleague Christopher Condy, to form a joint venture, resulting in the creation of C&L partners, a restaurant development, operating and investment company. Laurent helped guide C&L through the reopening of the Fifth Floor restaurant at the Palomar Hotel for the Kimpton Group in 2008, followed by the opening of the Urban Tavern at the San Francisco Hilton.
Manrique and Condy have teamed up with Meredith Gelacek, former Hilton Hotels Vice President of Food & Beverage, and Peter Chase, former Vice President of Bars for Ian Schrager Hotels, to form Collective Hospitality. Together the group opened Millesime in November 2010, a casual seafood brasserie in New York City's Carlton Hotel. The restaurant quickly earned praise including a two-star review from the New York Times, and a two-and-a-half-star review from the New York Post.
One of the signature and most popular dishes at Millesime is its tuna tartare, a recipe for which Manrique shared with the public on NBC in winter 2010.
Since 2003, Manrique has been involved in vineyards here[where?] and abroad, where he has been instrumental in the creation of several wines. Manrique partnered with Master Sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji and a vineyard in Spain, Clos Oblidat and Arrels (which means roots of a vine in Catalon) is the inaugural release. Manrique is married to writer Michelle Odom Manrique, and makes his home with their children in northern California.
- Nick Steins Cooking with Friends, Should read Nick STELLINO cooking with friends
- Guest Judge on Top Chef Season 1 Episode 3
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