A native of France, Chef Laurent Tourondel parlayed his love of food at an early age into a four-year program at Saint Vincent Ecole de Cuisine in Montlucon, France, where he earned his “d’Aptitude Professionnelle de Cuisinier.” After graduation, he received his first post in the kitchen as chef to the admiral in the French Navy. Following this position, he worked at several esteemed restaurants throughout France before traveling to London, where he cooked at the famed gentleman’s club Boodle’s.
In the years that followed, Tourondel worked under such notable chefs as: Bruno Tison at Restaurant Beau Geste in Manhattan; Jacques Maximin at Restaurant Ledoyen in France; and Chef de Partie at Restaurant Mercury at the Hotel InterContinental in Moscow. From there, Tourondel worked at the three-star Michelin, Relais & Chateau Troisgros, before taking a post as executive chef of C.T., Claude Troisgros’ debut restaurant in New York City. Tourondel served as executive chef at Palace Court Restaurant at the world famous Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino, followed by a return to New York City to open Cello. Upon leaving Cello, Tourondel saw a great opportunity to spend time traveling through South America, Asia and Africa, where he further developed his own culinary voice.
Tourondel returned to the States to open BLT Steak (2004), BLT Fish (2005), BLT Prime (2005), BLT Burger (2006), and BLT Market (2007), as well as LT Burger in the Harbor, LT Bar & Grill, LT Burger and Arlington Club, a partnership with TAO Group. Along with a number of overseas properties, including LT Bar & Grill in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Tourondel is also the executive chef at Brasserie Ruhlmann in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center.
In 2015, after consulting on some of the city’s most high profile projects, Tourondel opened two adjacent properties in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, The Vine, a cocktail lounge with a menu of signature small plates and L’Amico, an American restaurant with Italian influences inspired by his upbringing in the European countryside.
In June 2016, Tourondel continued his longstanding relationship with The Betsy South Beach with the opening of LT Steak & Seafood, a seasonally inspired American restaurant located within the hotel.