A native of Alsace, Gabriel Kreuther was born in a region whose history has produced one of the most sophisticated cuisines in France. Raised on his family’s farm in Niederschaeffolsheim, a small village north of Strasbourg, Gabriel was surrounded by fresh local produce and seasonal game.
As a young child, he so impressed his mother with his varied questions about the family’s daily meals that she took it upon herself to teach him everything she knew about cooking.
During school vacations, Gabriel looked forward to visiting his uncle who owned a bustling hotel and restaurant in the nearby mountains. At barely 12 years old, Gabriel helped out everywhere, changing sheets, washing dishes, delivering luggage and more. It wasn’t long before he found the kitchen. During these years, Gabriel recalls that he witnessed first-hand the discipline required to run a successful restaurant. “If you want to get somewhere in this business, you have to really work hard,” he noted early in his career.
While attending culinary school, his summer job at his uncle’s establishment eventually led to formal recognition and sanction of his four-year apprenticeship.
Gabriel’s auspicious beginnings paid off in 1987, when he won the prestigious “Concours National du Meilleur Apprenti Cuisinier de France – Fernand Point,” a highly competitive national contest which determines the “Best Kitchen Apprentice in France” from among 170 nominees. As part of his award, Gabriel was given a gastronomical tour of North Africa.
Bitten by the travel bug while still in school, he embarked upon a work-exchange program in Washington, D.C. as the chef de partie at Le Caprice, where he remained for 18 months under the tutelage of Edmond Folzenlogel, former instructor at Ecole Hôtelière de Paris Jean Drouant. He returned to France in 1990 to fulfill his commitment to the armed services. A year later, eager to train under a master chef, he accepted a position in Germany as sous-chef for renowned Chef Franz Keller. He returned to France a year later and worked as chef de partie at the Michelin one-star restaurant Le Fer Rouge in Colmar.
Offered an opportunity to work as sous-chef under another highly respected chef and to experience yet another country, Gabriel spent three and a half years at Switzerland’s L’Ermitage de Bernard Ravet, a Michelin two-star restaurant, ranked as one of the top three restaurants in that country. It was here that Gabriel developed a mastery of artisanal French cooking, using native herbs, plants and other ingredients organically grown on the premises to bring out the inherent flavors of a dish.
Intrigued by what he was hearing about the New York restaurant scene, Gabriel arrived in New York in July 1997. For several months he worked as a sous-chef at La Caravelle. In the fall of 1997 Kreuther moved to Restaurant Jean Georges where he held the position of chef de cuisine from November 1999 through his appointment at Atelier at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park in January 2002.
During Gabriel’s tenure as chef de cuisine, Restaurant Jean Georges maintained its four-star status conferred by The New York Times, one of only a handful of restaurants in New York with that distinction. The restaurant also received Exxon-Mobil’s Five-Star Award, among numerous others, and was named in the October 2001 issue of Gourmet magazine the “second best restaurant in the United States.”
Atelier in The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, Chef Kreuther’s first solo venture, has received accolades from every major New York area food critic and major food and wine publication. Kreuther received Food & Wine’s prestigious “America’s Best New Chefs” award for 2003 and Atelier was nominated for “Best New Restaurant in 2003” by the James Beard Foundation. Atelier received a 3-star rating from The New York Times in August 2003.