Quick Six With… Nicholas Elmi, Chef & Owner at Laurel

Quick Six With… Nicholas Elmi, Chef & Owner at Laurel

By Jessica Bryant, Managing Editor

A Massachusetts native transplanted in Philadelphia, Nicholas Elmi has respectable roots in the culinary game. Growing up in a household of five siblings, each of whom took turns cooking dinner for the family, Elmi discovered his passion for cooking at a young age and devoted his career to the craft ever since.

A CIA grad, the now chef-owner has worked under the tutelage of greats like George Perrier, Rocco DiSpirito, Chris Lee, and Guy Savoy. Opportunities have taken him to Paris, Philadelphia, New York City, and back to Philly, where he opened his first restaurant, Rittenhouse Tavern, alongside corporate parent Restaurant Associates.

According to some media sources, Elmi decided to step away from Rittenhouse Tavern a year later, which resulted in a shutter, due to the fact that he wanted to provide the city with something it hadn’t tasted before — something personal to him, where he could create a concept from scratch. And thus, Laurel was born.

A few months after opening the intimate, 22-seat, French-influenced restaurant, the chef appeared on “Top Chef” Season 11, and went home a winner. Though Elmi certainly has the culinary chops — which was proven to the masses on the show — this certainly put him on a larger scale map.

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