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Shopping & Reviews

Fertile Grounds

The following influential restaurants are as legendary for the talent they’ve fostered as they are for the food they’ve served.

By Jayanthi Daniel


Published on March 10, 2009

LA CÔTE BASQUE
(1958-2007) Chef Jean-Jacques Rachou helmed the New York City kitchen from 1979 to 2007 and mentored a cast of culinary stars, including Charlie Palmer (1979-1981) of Aureole in New York City, Charlie Palmer Steak in Las Vegas, and Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, California; Todd English (1984-1986) of Olives in Charlestown, Massachusetts, The Libertine in New York City, and Da Campo Osteria in Florida; and David Bouley (1981) of Bouley, Upstairs, and Secession, all in New York City.

THE QUILTED GIRAFFE
(1979-1992) This Manhattan institution was beloved for its four-star American and French-inspired cuisine. Alums (with their dates of tenure) include Peter Hoffman (1980) of the acclaimed New York restaurants Savoy and Back Forty; Tom Colicchio (1984) of the Manhattan landmarks Gramercy Tavern (1994-2006) and Craft; and Katherine Alford (1983-1989), the current test kitchen director at the Food Network.

STARS
(1984-1999) This San Francisco restaurant, founded by chef Jeremiah Tower, was one of the nation's first outposts of market-driven "California cuisine". Alums include Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier (1984-1986) of Arrows and MC Perkins Cove, both in Maine; Mario Batali (1987) of the New York Italian meccas Babbo, Lupa, Otto, and Del Posto; and Steve Ells (1989, 1990-1991), the founder of Chipotle Mexican Grill.

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