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 looked forward to visiting his
uncle who owned a bustling hotel and restaurant in the nearby mountains.
At barely 12 years old, Gabriel helped out everywhere, changing
sheets, washing dishes, delivering luggage and more. It wasn’t
long before he found the kitchen. During these years, Gabriel recalls
that he witnessed first-hand the discipline required to run a successful
restaurant. “If you want to get somewhere in this business,
you have to really work hard,” he noted early in his career.
While attending culinary school, his summer job at his uncle’s
establishment eventually led to formal recognition and sanction
of his four-year apprenticeship.
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, he embarked upon
a work-exchange program in Washington, D.C. as the chef de partie
at Le Caprice, where he remained for 18 months under the tutelage
of Edmond Folzenlogel, former instructor at Ecole Hôtelière
de Paris Jean Drouant. He returned to France in 1990 to fulfill
his commitment to the armed services. A year later, eager to train
under a master chef, 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.
Offered an opportunity to work as sous-chef under another highly
respected chef and to experience yet another country, Gabriel spent
three and a half years at Switzerland’s L’Ermitage de
Bernard Ravet, a Michelin two-star restaurant, ranked as one of
the top three restaurants in that country. 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 Kreuther
moved to Restaurant Jean Georges where he held the position of chef
de cuisine from November 1999 through his appointment at Atelier
at 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, one of only a handful of restaurants in New York with that
distinction. The restaurant also received Exxon-Mobil’s Five-Star
Award, among numerous others, and was named in the October 2001
issue of Gourmet magazine the “second best restaurant in the
Atelier in The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, Chef Kreuther’s
first solo venture, has received accolades from every major New
York area food critic and major food and wine publication. Kreuther
received Food & Wine’s prestigious “America’s
Best New Chefs” award for 2003 and Atelier was nominated for
“Best New Restaurant in 2003” by the James Beard Foundation.
Atelier received a 3-star rating from The New York Times in August