Pasadena resident and Vertical Wine Bistro executive chef Laurent Quenioux is a semifinalist for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards. He received the esteemed nod under the Best Chef: Pacific category for his restaurant Bistro LQ in Los Angeles.
Quenioux said he is honored by the recognition and glad to be in such good company among many great chefs. The Beard Awards are the most prestigious given to culinary professionals in the United States.
In our March/April issue, Quenioux talked with staff writer Claudia S. Palma about his culinary career and living in the Crown City.
Guiltinan: I watched cooking shows growing up. I started cooking at home, then I started working at a restaurant at 16 or 17 years old. I’ve worked from bartender to pizza delivery to management. I spent a year and a haIf as a prep cook and that was really good. It shaped who I am as a cook. I’m able to teach the new cooks coming out of school. I don’t do good following people, I gotta be at the top of the line. I worked at big corporation restaurants and they’re good for learning but not good for creativity. It’s very stressful and not rewarding. If you don’t get to reward yourself with the creativity side, you might as well sit in an office.