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Le Ruth's Restaurant
LeRuths' & Associates
Owner - Operator
Position, Research Kitchens
Le Ruth's Restaurant
LeRuths' & Associates
LeRuth Extract Co.
Ronald Reginald's Vanillas | About Vanilla | The Ronald Reginald's Difference
Ronald Reginald's Vanillas were developed by one of the country's foremost authorities on ice cream and flavorings, Chef Warren Le Ruth.
The founder of Le Ruth's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana, Chef Le Ruth has gained national acclaim by receiving the Mobil Travel Guide's highest award, , for an impressive five years. Renowned for his superlative homemade ice creams for over 25 years, Le Ruth again gained national recognition in 1982 in the book entitled "The Very Best: Ice Cream and Where to Find it.
NRN-Online | Happenings | NRN Events
Melman will join the impressive cadre of MenuMasters Hall of Fame members: Chef Pépin; the late Colonel Harland Sanders of KFC Corp.; and Warren Leruth, founder, LeRuths' & Associates. Leruth and Pépin are also on the board.
Welcome to the Best of New Orleans! Cover Story 12 25 01
· Warren Leruth, 72, the chef and owner of Leruth's, the only restaurant on the West Bank to earn a four-star rating.Among Leruth's other creations was Popeye's recipe for red beans and rice. La. Environment Goes Big Time In 2001, the rest of the nation learned what we already knew: that Louisiana's environmental concerns are very, very real.
This Years Winner
During a 50-year foodservice career Warren Leruth has done many things. Indeed, he has developed products, fostered innovation, operated a restaurant, written cookbooks, consulted for food organizations and been a taste specialist. But that is not all he's done; he also has given generously to charity and come to the aid of friends. Now he's been tapped by Nation's Restaurant News as the first inductee into the MenuMasters Hall of Fame. "I love R&D and always have," Leruth says. "It's creative and involves a lot of calculations and numbers, which I enjoy." Throughout his varied career the 69-year-old Leruth has been first and foremost a food product developer. "Research is a much calmer field than running a restaurant," he says, recalling his years as owner-operator of the famed LeRuth's Restaurant in Gretna on New Orleans' West Bank. "With R&D you have your hand in food all the time but at a different level." The new Hall of Famer continues to set a brisk pace through life. From his well-equipped home kitchen in Pass Christian, Miss., he develops and consults on products for Outback Steakhouse, Boston Chicken, Brinker International, Burger King and many other restaurant chains. Always outspoken, Leruth says: "One of the toughest challenges in foodservice today is the American hamburger. There's light years of work to be done with the quality and grind of meat and the overall fat." Leruth's philosophy is that "whatever you eat must have a happy ending. Back home, Leruth worked in the research kitchens of Proctor & Gamble; Chas. Dennery & Co., a well-known Deep South bakery; and the Texas firm of Anderson-Clayton. While at Anderson-Clayton, he developed something that's taken for granted today -- a pourable, non-separating dressing, which eventually became the Seven Seas line of salad dressings. Today he looks back on that breakthrough as one of his top career accomplishments. He also credits Carter Harrer, Anderson-Clayton's director of R&D, for teaching him how to formulate recipes. In 1963 Leruth became the youngest member of the national chef fraternity, the Order of the Golden Toque. Three years later he opened LeRuth's Restaurant. With little advertising or fanfare the place soon was packed night after night. For five consecutive years LeRuth's was honored with the prestigious Travel/Holiday Award. His dream realized, Leruth sold the restaurant to his sons in 1982 and retired. "But I got bored," he says. He was spurred by a remarkable initiative, and the projects quickly mounted up. He started the LeRuth Extract Co., making and marketing his Vanilla Bean Marinade and pure vanilla extract. And as if that weren't enough, he developed Chelsey's Frozen Custard, a soft ice-cream emporium. He has written two cookbooks and today continues his work with the Chefs' Charity for Children, a foundation he established two decades ago to benefit the St. Michael's Special School. The charity has raised more than $1.2 million, and Leruth says, "I'm very proud of the New Orleans chefs who contribute their time and products each year to our fund-raising event. Anthony Athanas, the famed Boston restaurateur and owner of Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant, recalls a time when Leruth was there for him. In 1978, when a blizzard sank the antique riverboat that Athanas had anchored alongside Pier 4 as a cocktail lounge, Leruth was quick to help. Making the journey with Leruth for 43 years has been his wife, the former Marie Rizzuto, a New Orleans native, like her husband. Leruth says she's the cook in the family, and he still enjoys the traditional New Orleans food that he grew up on. "You know, red beans and rice on Mondays," he says, chuckling. The birth of their children is the first thing that comes to Leruth's mind when he is asked to review his life and career.
Le Ruth, Warren
Warren Le Ruth taped at LeRuth's New Orleans LA Cooking is both an art and a science. No one exemplified a greater mastery of both aspects than Chef Warren Le Ruth. After working in the laboratories of corporate food service companies developing products and flavors, he decided it was time to return to his roots in New Orleans and opened a showplace for his own special brand of Creole cuisine. He opened LeRuth‚Äôs in a comfortable remodeled house in Gretna, across the Mississippi from New Orleans, in 1966. Yes, there‚Äôs a space in his name, but not in the name of the restaurant‚Ä¶. Le Ruth set about developing a new haute Creole style based on New Orleans‚Äô provender prepared with classic European techniques. The combination was unique and wonderful, a perfect blending of time-proven dishes with a special flair, always balanced and always consistent. He opened announcing he offered breads baked in the restaurant ‚Äî ‚Äútwo hours old, not twelve‚Äù ‚Äî and his own homemade French vanilla ice cream. Within two weeks the restaurant had a waiting list. Le Ruth, now deceased, was a great raconteur. He roared with laughter spinning tales of growing up in New Orleans during the Depression. ‚ÄúWe always sat in the kitchen around a big table; the family gathered there, for meals, for talking, and I did my schoolwork in that kitchen,‚Äù he remembered fondly. ‚ÄúMy mother was a wonderful baker and candy maker so it just seemed natural for me to get a job in a bakery.‚Äù There is nothing like an American success story. Warren, without the basic training of the European-born chefs, kept working and studying. He became the first in his family since the Civil War to go to college. ‚ÄúI loved math and physics,‚Äù he said, ‚Äúand I loved cooking, so it seemed like a fine combination to put it all together for the future.‚Äù As a member of the Louisiana National Guard, Le Ruth completed cook and baker‚Äôs school, mess steward‚Äôs school, and food supervisor‚Äôs school so that he could get a job as a baker in some of the fine hotels of New Orleans. ‚ÄúI got drafted during the Korean War,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúI was personal chef to General Clark in Korea. Those generals liked everything in the grand Southern manner: we used to fill six trucks with dining paraphernalia to feed thirteen men!‚Äù With visions of M*A*S*H in mind, it would seem that young Warren‚Äôs future career as master chef was won on the battlegrounds of Korea. Le Ruth went directly to work for Proctor & Gamble upon his Army discharge. In their research division, he helped develop the Duncan Hines cake mixes; from there he took other jobs, always involved with food and tastes. His New Orleans restaurant was a success for years and years and years. His sons Larry and Lee moved into the kitchen and slowly took over from their dad. Because Le Ruth did all the preliminary work on his recipes, the re-creation of his dishes is relatively simple, sometimes deceptively so. While loose interpretation of recipes is often encouraged, with Le Ruth‚Äôs formulas strict adherence is suggested. Each step and each ingredient is there for a purpose. The beautiful food created by Le Ruth the Artist has been carefully thought out by Le Ruth the Scientist.