Water Grill | Los Angeles, CA
Michael Cimarusti’s culinary journey began on the east coast,
where Cimarusti went fishing nearly every weekend. Fascinated by
all things related to food and the restaurant world and raised in
a family where Italian heritage and traditions ran deep, Cimarusti
learned that cooking was more than a hobby.
As a teenager, Cimarusti began his career, first as a dishwasher
and then as an unpaid apprentice at a highly regarded bakery and
pastry shop in the Washington D.C. area. After his apprenticeship,
brimming with knowledge and a hands-on education, Cimarusti headed
back north to his hometown where he worked in the kitchen of a family-run
business that had been his personal favorite as a child.
Like many aspiring chefs, Cimarusti attended the Culinary Institute
of America in Hyde Park, NY, where he graduated with honors in 1990.
With loads of culinary knowledge in his head and a diploma in hand,
Cimarusti headed to New York City, where he worked with celebrated
chef Larry Forgione at An American Place. In 1992, he moved to New
Hope, PA, where he was appointed chef de cuisine at The Forager
Cimarusti later returned to Manhattan and began a three-year relationship
at Le Cirque working alongside culinary greats such as Paul Bocuse,
Gerard Boyer, and Roger Vergé. Cimarusti, however, credits
the guidance of chefs Sottah Khunn and Sylvain Portay for much of
his success in the kitchen. Their reverence for quality ingredients,
technique and flavor are the foundation of his cooking today.
By the time he had left Le Circque, Cimarusti had been promoted
to sous-chef and had married Cristina Echiverri, who was then the
pastry chef at Restaurant Zoe. Together, they took a sabbatical
from New York and moved to France to continue their culinary education
at La Marée and Arpège.
Upon their return to New York a year later, Cimarusti was invited
by the Maccioni family to become the opening chef for Le Cirque’s
new venture, Osteria Del Circo. Cimarusti, rejuvenated and invigorated
from his travel abroad, proved his mettle in the kitchen when he
garnered a positive two-star review from The New York Times.
Cimarusti was then headed for Hollywood after accepting a position
as chef de cuisine at the original Spago. But in 1997, after an
exhaustive six-month search, King’s Seafood offered him a
chance to run his own show as the executive chef of Water Grill.
Here Cimarusti combines both his passion and knowledge for fishing
with his culinary education and training. Cimarusti has finally
found his home where he works with only the best quality fish and
the most up-to-date culinary techniques.