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 often visited his uncle who owned a bustling hotel and restaurant in the nearby mountains. At barely 12 years old, Gabriel helped out everywhere; it wasn’t long before he found the kitchen. He later attended culinary school at École Hôtelière in Strasbourg from 1984-1987.
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, Gabriel embarked upon a work-exchange program in Washington, D.C. as the chef de partie at Le Caprice, where he remained for 18 months. He returned to France in 1990 to fulfill his commitment to the armed services. A year later 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. Gabriel then spent three and a half years as executive sous chef at Switzerland’s L’Ermitage de Bernard Ravet, a Michelin two-star restaurant. 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, Gabriel moved to Restaurant Jean-Georges where he held the position of Chef de Cuisine from November 1997 through his appointment as Executive Chef at Atelier in 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. The restaurant also received Exxon-Mobil’s Five-Star Award.
At Atelier, Gabriel received accolades from every major New York area food critic and publication. Gabriel was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s prestigious “America’s Best New Chefs” in 2003. Under Gabriel’s leadership, Atelier was nominated for “Best New Restaurant” in 2003 by the James Beard Foundation, received a three-star rating from The New York Times in August 2003, and also received The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences’ coveted “Five Star Diamond” award.
Now at The Modern, Gabriel continues to garner critical acclaim and generate accolades for the restaurant. During its first year, The Modern was named “Best New Restaurant” by Esquire Magazine, received one Michelin star, was named a Top Rated Newcomer 2005 by Zagat Survey, and was awarded “Best New Restaurant” by Time Out New York. The Modern holds Three Stars from The New York Times, and won the 2006 James Beard Foundation Awards for both “Best New Restaurant” and “Outstanding Restaurant Design.” Having been nominated in 2006, 2007, and 2008, Gabriel himself won the James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef: New York City” in 2009.