Executive Chef/Co-Owner, L'Artusi
Born in Vermont and raised in both California and Texas, Gabriel Thompson
grew up around good food and regional specialty dishes.
As a child, he
would spend hours in his
grandfather's Texas garden, picking vegetables and preparing dinner for his
first kitchen job was as a 20-year-old line cook at Granite Cafe
in Austin, Texas, where he
was taken under the wing of chef Chris Lanier, who taught him the fundamentals of being a cook, including proper technique, a deeper understanding of the ingredients he
prepared, and presentation.
Above all else, Lanier helped instill a chef's work ethic in Thompson
, and it was while he
was at Granite that he
would decide to turn this job into his
Two years later, Thompson enrolled in Le Chef Culinary School in Austin while still working at Granite.
After graduation, he
traveled through Europe to experience different cultures, and found that in Italy, unlike other countries that he
had visited, he
enjoyed every meal - whether it came from a cart on the street or a fine-dining establishment.
attributed this to the Italian's use of fresh and local ingredients and simplicity.
A few months later, Thompson
returned to work in restaurants across the country to learn more about the seasonal and local movement, from Clarklewis in Portland, Oregon to The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, eventually returning to Austin.
In Austin, he
was soon reunited with Chris Lanier and worked aAs a sous chef at the acclaimed Emilia's restaurant, where he
rededicated himself to his
craft and continued to challenge himself by try new techniques and working with new ingredients.
Three years later Thompson
moved to New York to accept the ultimate personal challenge - a position at Eric Ripert's
NY Times 4-Star seafood temple, Le Bernardin, where he
learned all he
could about fine dining in New York City.
From there he
went to cook at Del Posto, where he
explored Italian cuisine with same sort of devotion he
showed throughout his
years in kitchens around the world.
When West Village darling dell'anima opened in October 2007, Thompson
took the reigns as executive chef for the first time.
Here, on a much more intimate scale, he
took a lifetime of lessons in the kitchen - from selecting vegetables in his
grandfather's garden to making bucatini with Mario - and re-imagined them at this contemporary neighborhood Italian restaurant and wine bar.
Thompson's food has been written about in publications like Food & Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times
is enjoying his
larger open kitchen, and with added features like a crudo bar and a fryer, he
is able to put out dishes like Fluke Crudo with Ginger, Yuzu, and Apple
and Fritto Misto.
love for rustic pastas is still on display here, which is evident from such dishes as Tajarin al Ragu and Potato Gnocchi with Ribeye, Shallots, and Romanesco.
Thompson hopes that his
new and expanded menu will help create the same loyal following at L'Artusi
developed at dell'anima.