Michel Richard

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Michel Richard (/mˈʃɛlrˈʃɑːrd/ 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 Carmel and Central in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Washington, D.C.


Richard was born in Brittany, France in March, 1948[1] and raised in Champagne. He learned to cook when he was age 7. At the age of 9, he participated in the French equivalent of the Fresh Air Fund.

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,[2] then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to run the French Pastry Shop at La Fonda Hotel.

In 1977 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 chef over the next ten years.

In 1986 he opened the restaurant Citrus in Los Angeles.[3] Satellites of Citrus were opened in Santa Barbara, Baltimore, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C, all of which eventually closed.[4] 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.[5][6]


  • 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



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