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Paul Liebrandt

Paul Liebrandt is a chef and restaurateur. He was the co-owner of Corton restaurant in New York City and the subject of the documentary film, A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt. Liebrandt is known for his daring cuisine, creativity and eccentric style, and has been awarded two Michelin stars. He previously worked at Atlas, Gilt and Papillon restaurants in New York, and in 2008 opened Corton.[2][3]

Liebrandt was born in Harare, Zimbabwe (formerly Salisbury, Rhodesia) on 26 August 1976[1] and was raised in London, England. After accumulating experience in upscale restaurants in London and Paris, he moved to New York in 1999.[4][3]


At age 15, Liebrandt considered becoming an officer in the British Army as his father had done. After his parents divorced when he was eleven, he attended St. George's boarding school in Hertfordshire, England.[5] He moved out of his house in 1992 and began work as a commis chef at L'Escargot in London.[6][7] In 1995 he was a commis chef at The Restaurant Marco Pierre White, at a time when White was the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars.[8] Liebrandt later went to work for Raymond Blanc's two Michelin star Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons near Oxford, England.[8] In 1999, Liebrandt moved to New York, where he worked as a sous chef at Bouley Bakery.[9]


In 2000, Liebrandt became executive chef at Atlas at 40 Central Park South, where at age 24, he was the youngest chef ever to earn a three star review from The New York Times.[2] He quit over a disagreement with the owners about the menu at Atlas and went to work at the bistro, Papillon.[9]


While at Papillon, Liebrandt earned a two-star rating from The New York Times.[9] He also earned a reputation for eccentricity, in part for requiring diners to eat their prix fixe meals while bound and blindfolded.[10] According to Liebrandt, it was the pastry chef's idea and only happened on two occasions.[11]

Liebrandt quit the restaurant after a few months when it dropped his avant-garde menu in favour of "burgers and fries", in response to diners' post-9/11 preference for comfort food.[12] He consulted for the Veda Group and worked as a private chef for Prince Andrew and Lord Rothschild.[11]


Sirio Maccioni opened Gilt in December 2005,[13] in the former location of Le Cirque 2000, in the New York Palace Hotel.[14] Maccioni recruited Liebrandt as Gilt's executive chef allowing Liebrandt to create a menu that Thomas Keller characterised as a "light years" extension of his cooking. The restaurant received a two-star review from The New York Times. Liebrandt was dismissed just a few months later and, in August 2006, was replaced by chef Christopher Lee.[7][9][7][9][15]


After leaving Gilt, Liebrandt freelanced for a short time before meeting with famed restaurateur Drew Nieporent. Nieporent recruited Liebrandt to reopen his Tribeca restaurant, Montrachet, which originally opened in 1985.[9][16] In October 2008, Liebrandt and Nieporent reopened Montrachet under the new name, Corton.[17] Corton earned two stars in the 2012 New York City Michelin Guide.[18] Liebrandt's elaborately imaginative food and "sometime outré" style were toned down slightly at Corton, but reservations at Corton often must be made weeks in advance and Liebrandt's cooking continues to receive favourable reviews.[16] Corton closed in July 2013 when Chef Liebrandt left to open The Elm in Brooklyn in the McCarren Hotel & Pool. The Elm closed in February 2015.[19]

A Matter of Taste

Liebrandt starred in the Sally Rowe directed documentary film A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt. The film follows Liebrandt's New York career over the course of a decade, and premiered on HBO on 13 June 2011. The film was nominated for an Emmy for Best Cultural Programming in 2012.[20][9]

Food writer Andrew Friedman started discussions in 2011 about writing a book which will be published by Clarkson Potter in 2013.[21][22]


Liebrandt has received several awards and other recognition throughout his career.

  • Youngest Three Star Chef, The New York Times, 2000[23]
  • The Best and the Brightest, Esquire, 2002[24]
  • Two Stars, Corton, Michelin Guide, 2009[18]
  • Best New Chef, Food and Wine, 2009[25]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Monday Marinade – Paul Liebrandt Correction Courtesy of his Mother". Learning Curve on the Ecliptic. 27 December 2010. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b Claus, Matt (December 2002). "You want comfort food? Paul Liebrandt is not your man. You want America's most challenging, daring cuisine, give him a call. And bring a blindfold". Esquire.
  3. ^ a b "Bio at Corton". Corton. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  4. ^ Moskin, Julia (21 April 2009). "At Home, at Last". The New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Paul Liebrandt". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Best New Chefs 2009: Paul Liebrandt". Food and Wine. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  7. ^ a b c Liebrandt, Paul. "Timeline". Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Chef Paul Liebrandt of Gilt". Star Chefs. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Weinberger, Jerry (17 June 2011). "Eat the Documentary". City Journal. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  10. ^ Moore, Toby (7 December 2001). "Diners are bound to enjoy Paul's cooking". Daily Express. London. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  11. ^ a b Leuzzi, Jennifer (4 January 2006). "Third Time's a Charm". New York, NY. New York Sun. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  12. ^ Dollar, Steve (11 June 2011). "From Kitchen Wunderkind to Comeback Kid". The Wall Street Journal. New York, NY. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  13. ^ Thorn, Bret (14 December 2005). "Kitchen Dish". New York Sun. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  14. ^ Colemeco, Mike (2009). Mike Colameco's Food Lover's Guide to New York City. Hoboken, NJ: Hohn Wiley and Sons. p. 132.
  15. ^ Klein, Michael (22 August 2006). "Striped Bass chef Lee departs for N.Y.'s Gilt". Philadelphia, PA. Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  16. ^ a b Andrews, Colman (April 2009). "It's Up to You, New York City". Gourmet.
  17. ^ Liebrandt, Paul. "Inspiration". Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  18. ^ a b "Michelin Guide to New York Restaurants 2012". Michelin. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  19. ^ Khabiri, Layla. "UPDATE: Paul Liebrandt's The Elm Closes For Good on Sunday". New York Eater. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  20. ^ Liebrandt, Paul. "Media". Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  21. ^ Forbes, Paula (12 March 2012). "Book deals". Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  22. ^ Friedman, Andrew (12 March 2012). "VINTAGE TOQUELAND: The Writing Life: The Down Payment". Toqueland. Andrew Friedman. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  23. ^ "Paul Liebrandt". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  24. ^ Claus, Matt. "The Chef". Esquire. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  25. ^ "Best New Chef". Food and Wine. Retrieved 30 November 2012.

External links