ICE Alumni in California's 2019 Michelin Guide
Los Angeles garnered Michelin stars at 24 restaurants among California's 90 Michelin-starred restaurants and more than 650 recommended.
Stars awarded in the debut Michelin Guide California were announced last night, recognizing restaurants where alumni from the Institute of Culinary Education have launched careers and helmed kitchens.
As Matthew Leung (Culinary, '19) spoke at his own graduation commencement — the first for ICE's Los Angeles campus — his team at The French Laundry earned the coveted three Michelin stars. A winner of our #CulinaryVoice scholarship contest in 2018, Matthew studied Culinary Arts in one of the first classes at our LA campus, earned an externship at the iconic restaurant as a commis and was hired full time afterward.
"I am learning to define words I thought I already understood — words like inexperienced, perseverance, dedication, commitment, grace, patience and excellence," Matthew says. "This season in my career has been dedicated to a single pursuit: lay the best foundation for myself as I can and understand what doing things the 'right' way looks like."
According to Michelin, The French Laundry is doing things just right.
Among the restaurants awarded two stars is Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica, where Zoe Nathan (Culinary, ‘01) is a co-owner and head baker. Her husband, Josh Loeb, opened the restaurant in 2006, and today the couple owns seven concepts where they use exclusively organic ingredients.
“We try our very hardest to be good people and to support good farmers," Zoe told us in January. "We try to affect the world in a positive way.”
The Michelin Bib Gourmands, designating quality and affordability, were announced in May and included Coqueta, where Dominick Maietta (Culinary, ’03) is the chef de cuisine; Kismet, where Meadow Ramsey (Pastry, '02) is the pastry chef; Majordōmo, where Marc Johnson (Culinary, '04) is chef de cuisine; and Rossoblu, where Steve Samson (Culinary, '97) is the chef and owner. Here, Michelin recommends "two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less."
“One thing that I love about Dave [Chang] and the food we make at Majordōmo is a lot of it you’ve never seen before or it’s done in a different way, which keeps it interesting,” Chef Marc told us in April.
Majordōmo is known for innovative Asian fare, while Kismet combines Middle Eastern flavors with California style, and Rossoblu specializes in Italian and handmade pastas influenced by Chef Steve's experiences in Bologna, Italy, and LA. In San Francisco, Coqueta is known for reinterpreted Spanish tapas and a California influence.
Pursue a career in award-winning restaurants at our Los Angeles campus.