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What You'll Be Eating at Curtis Stone's New Maude

By Lesley Balla
January 27, 2014
Photo by: Lesley Balla

Although Curtis Stone is known mostly as a TV chef in America - he's the current host of Top Chef Masters and makes regular appearances on The Chew - he's always wanted to get back in the kitchen to cook for the public. After cutting his chops in Melbourne kitchens, the Aussie-born chef headed to work for Marco Pierre White, whom he chased down in London and landed a job the day they met. After a few years, he rose through the ranks to become head chef of White's Quo Vadis, and then skyrocketed into books and TV. But unlike some TV chefs, Stone has more prowess in the kitchen than his on-camera personality reveals. And since he relocated to Los Angeles, it only makes sense that his first restaurant in the States was here: Maude, an homage both to his family upbringing (it's named for his granny) and our local seasonal bounty, is now open in Beverly Hills.

Replacing the former Pici Enoteca space on South Beverly Drive, Maude is an intimate one-room deal with only 25 seats. It's decked out in furniture you probably wish was in your own home: marble counters, deeply hued teal banquettes, shelves lined with vintage silver and other bric-a-brac. It's subtle and chic, a comfortable and fairly casual setting for the eight-course menus Stone and his team serve nightly. Priced at around $75 per person (wine pairings are extra), the menu's theme changes monthly based on seasonal ingredients. Right now it's citrus, which you'll see laced through everything from oysters with gelée and caviar to the mignardises. Artichokes will follow in March, and peas in April. Nine courses is just about right for the mostly bite-size portions, all served on pretty vintage china that could easily have belonged to Stone's granny. The kitchen is on full display, with some counter seats to get right up on the action. Stone is definitely there, working the pass and even shaving salted egg on ravioli when he can. He's still the star of the show.

Maude will be taking limited reservations this week and fully opens the floodgates on Saturday, February 1. Here's a sneak peek at some of the dishes you'll be eating through February.

  • A very cozy setting for Stone's seasonal menus. It's so homey to him, he even carved his wife's name in the cement near her favorite table.

  • Oysters with caviar is just one of the first few bites to arrive, followed by freshly baked gougères filled with artichoke mousse.

  • The setting: linen napkins with M monograms, vintage plates found from flea markets around the Southland.

  • Crispy mussels will make you realize not enough chefs fry the plump little shellfish. 

  • Onion bhaji, an Indian-spiced onion fritter, makes a very nice amuse bouche.

  • A garden salad accented with nasturtium leaves plucked from Stone's own backyard. 

  • Carrot soup with smoked parsnip foam, orange and Serrano ham.

  • Lobster crudo with crimson turnips, radish and brioche tuille. Very delicate.

  • Chicken terrine with a potent mustard ice cream.

  • Stone shaves cured egg yolk on plates for diners at the chef's counter. Maude lovingly looks on from a photo resting on the bar.

  • Duck ravioli with smoked goose fat, Swiss chard and cured duck-egg shavings.

  • Beef cheek with potato rosti. The broccoli purée is a unique twist on an ordinarily overlooked vegetable.

  • The cheese course is simple: a few shavings of Abbaye de Belloc right onto your plate.

  • The cheese course comes with semolina crackers and mostarda.

  • Warm madeleines with salted caramel dipping sauce. 

  • Pretty little citrus-laced mignardises: marshmallows, gelée, brownies and more.

  • Teal banquettes awaiting the next turn.

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