Maude is Curtis Stone's first restaurant. It's a 25-seater that opened in Beverly Hills earlier this month. There, the Australian celebrity chef waxes culinary with a set menu featuring one seasonal ingredient. Stone, a Melbourne native, has appeared on "The Next Great Restaurant" and "Top Chef Masters," to name just a couple of his television shows. Now he has returned to the restaurant kitchen — having formerly worked for Marco Pierre White in London — with a California approach. Recently he was experimenting with dishes such as fried mussels with blood orange aioli; carrot and orange soup with parsley purée and Serrano ham chip; and a play on a chef's salad with nasturtiums, buttermilk dressing and clementine reduction.
What's coming up next on your menu?
Artichokes! Maude offers a monthly market-driven, prix fixe menu where a single ingredient inspires a menu of nine tasting plates and the celebrated ingredient is woven through each course. Artichoke is the next hero ingredient to star on our menu, and I can't wait to work intimately with these delicious thorny thistles day in, day out. We're sourcing them from a tiny town called Castroville, also known as the "artichoke center of the world." Of course, the menu is much more than artichokes nine ways. We've got some beautiful, locally sourced ingredients from the land and sea coming to the party too, including ocean trout, trout roe, beef cheeks and culotte steak.
Latest ingredient obsession?
Citrus, in all of its beautiful varieties … yuzus, finger limes, blood oranges, limes, satsumas and more. Citrus is the hero ingredient this month at the restaurant, and we've come up with some pretty rad ways to thread it through our first bites right through to our petit fours. Our signature dish this month is our duck-duck-goose ravioli, which is finished with a finger lime beurre blanc and a dusting of grated duck egg yolk.
What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again?
I love the food at adjoining restaurants Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza in L.A. The thin-crust pizzas from the pizzeria are awesome, and when I'm after a slightly more fancy dinner experience, you can find me sitting up at the mozzarella bar watching the chefs at work … it's the best seat in the house.
The one piece of kitchen equipment you can't live without, other than your knives?
A coffee machine. I can't live without coffee.
What chef has most influenced you?
Marco Pierre White. I worked for him for eight years. He was the youngest chef in the world to win three Michelin stars. Some incredible chefs have gone through his kitchens. It was a pretty awesome place to be involved in. His was the first cookbook I ever read. Marco had this huge reputation for being pretty hotheaded and crazy, you know, working ridiculous hours, and I loved that sort of challenge.
Maude, 212 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 859-3418, www.mauderestaurant.com.