Curtis Stone’s Maude Is Seasonal, Intimate, and Has a No-Tipping Model

Video Produced by Vanessa C. Rodriguez

A tiny Beverly Hills eatery serving a creative menu to about two dozen guests is Chef Curtis Stone’s life-long dream. Its name, Maude, pays homage to his first culinary mentor — Curtis’ late paternal grandmother. Her influence can be seen throughout the restaurant fixtures and china used to serve food.

Since opening in 2014, Foodable Top 25 Restaurant Maude has been serving a 10-course seasonal tasting menu, focusing on one key rotating ingredient each month.

“The reason we do only a tasting menu format here at Maude is because some of Curtis’ experiences are going to restaurants that friends of his own, sitting down, they take off the menus out of your hands, and just cook for you…no decision to make, you just sit back and let brilliant people do what they do best,” Ben Aviram, general manager and wine director at Maude, said, explaining the premise of Maude’s mission to recreate that experience for all of its guests.

In this "Table 42" Vignette, Maude Head Chef Justin Hilbert demonstrated for us a seasonal dish with pistachio as its star ingredient: Ravioli with Pistachio Ricatta and Broccoli De Cicco.

Preparing the Dish

  • Start by making the pasta with all-purpose flour, salt, and some eggs; mix for 30 mins.
  • Heat up milk until it reaches 200 degrees, then add lemon juice; let the mixture cool down on a deep tray.
  • Garnishes for the dish include: Sweet Italian broccoli de cicco, rapini flowers, fresh dill
  • After pasta dough has come together and rested nicely, it is rolled out two to three times through a stretch machine; then, it’s laid out on table and even strips are cut.
  • The ricatta will be the ravioli filling, which was whipped with pistachio. Each one is placed between a pasta blanket and cut through to make the ravioli. They are later thrown in boiling water to be cooked for three minutes.
  • In the meantime, the broccoli de cicco is sautéed to achieve a char-grilled flavor profile.
  • Pasta is then picked out of the pot of boiling water and thrown into a bowl of butter and water; dill, lemon juice are then added to the mixture.
  • Dish can be plated by laying the pasta over the sautéed broccoli de cicco. Pour a little bit of dill butter sauce and the ramini leaves and flowers.

Service Charge Model

The prix fixe menu at Maude is designed to create an intimate chef’s table experience for every guest. Foodable was curious to learn more about their no-tipping model, as this topic along with minimum wage is still being debated at the national stage.

“We feel it is the best way to fairly compensate all the employees,” Aviram said. “Restaurants generally have a pretty large disparity of what the dining room makes and what the kitchen makes, and by us charging a service charge and taking that 18 percent and being able to spread the wages both in the dining room and the kitchen, helps us to level that playing field a little bit.”

To learn more, watch the full episode!

Table 42: Best of 2016

This year, Table 42 brought us innovative dishes, awe-inspiring plating, and truly authentic cuisines from a lineup of first-rate chefs. However, a select few stood out from the rest. Here are Foodable's "Best of" moments for Table 42 in 2016.

Chef Joe Cicala at Le Virtù

The inspiration for Le Virtù comes from Chef Cicala’s experiences all over Abruzzo, Italy. Every dish is inspired by Abruzzese culinary tradition. Take for example, their housemade couscous.

“How we make it is traditional to how they make it in Casalbordino. [We] use a small thistle broom. We dip the broom in water, and then we shake it over the semolina and it creates these little drops, and those little drops become the couscous,” Chef Cicala explained.

After spending a significant amount of time in Abruzzo, Italy, Chef Cicala developed an intimate knowledge of Abruzzo's "primary materials" and applies that experience to his selection of producers and purveyors surrounding Philadelphia like naturally raised pork from Berks County; lamb, chicken and rabbit from Lancaster County; and produce from rural New Jersey and Pennsylvania. What he can’t find locally, Chef Cicala imports from Abruzzo artisanal honey and cheeses, extra virgin olive oil, and even the flour used to make fresh pasta.

Chef Eileen Andrade at Finka Table and Tap

Chef Eileen Andrade’s work ethic and culinary background were instilled by her family early on. Her grandfather opened the well-known Islas Carnitas on Coral Way in Miami years back. 

Andrade learned how to cook authentic Korean dishes after training under a retired woman in Korea. After training every day at 7 a.m. for a few weeks, Andrade fell in love with the culture and cuisine even more. According to Andrade, the fusion of Korean and Latin cuisine that she dishes up at Finka was a no-brainer.

“It’s bold flavors, it’s colorful, it’s saucy... Once I started to pair things, I was just like, ‘Okay, perfect — kimchi goes amazing with rice and beans,'” she said.

Chef Tetsu Yahagi at Spago

Tetsu Yahagi wasn't sure what he wanted to do until he walked into a bookstore one day on a family vacation and stumbled upon Wolfgang Puck’s “Adventures in the Kitchen.”

“My dream, before I left the United States to go back to Japan, was to dine at one of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants,” he said. “So, I asked my father if we could all dine at Spago. He made a reservation, and that’s where I first met Wolfgang. He signed the book that I bought.”

Now, Yahagi is the chef de cuisine at that very restaurant, working under Chef Lee Hefter.

“We have always created something new, and we still are trying to come up with new ideas, new techniques, new dishes,” Yahagi said. “We don’t want to turn ourselves into a museum. This restaurant needs to be evolving every day, and it needs to be kept always relevant in the industry.”

Keep an eye out for all of this year's "Best of" episodes to learn more about which industry professionals changed the game in 2016!