Chefs on StarChefs
Troy N. Thompson on StarChefs

The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey
4375 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Biography »

Antoinette Bruno: Why did you start cooking?
Troy Thompson: My first job was as a dishwasher, and then prep-cook. From there I made my way up. When I was 18, I moved into a hotel and realized that I could change what I did each day, which I found exciting.

AB: Who are your mentors? What chefs do you respect amongst your peers?
TT: Gunther Seeger, the "intellectual" chef. He instilled his philosophy in me along with his attitude and his drive. I respect Lee Hefner and Matt Lyman.

AB: Tell me about an exciting culinary adventure.
TT: Alaska. There are mountains, oceans, fields, streams and it is untouched. This is where the best food comes from.

AB: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
TT: I’d love to be in restaurants and always having an affect on cuisine.
In ten years, I’d like to be in Japan in an “onsam,” a spa-type restaurant surrounded by a mountain setting.

AB: What are your favorite ingredients?
TT: All different types of mushrooms.

AB: What is your favorite kitchen tool?
TT: A Japanese knife. I have a Japanese knife collection from Kyoto. I also couldn’t live without chopsticks.

AB: What is your favorite interview question to ask during an interview for a potential line cook?
TT: Why did you come here? Why did you pick me? You should always be open and respond with “Yes sir, and no sir”. You can always learn something everyday, including the chef.

AB: What is your favorite dish to make when you are not working?
TT: I usually grill something simple. I also like to make Chinese tofu dishes.


Jer-ne | Marina del Rey, CA

They say Times Square in New York is the crossroads of the world. But if you ask anyone in LA who’s experienced Troy Thompson’s “inspirational” cuisine, they just may argue it’s Jer-ne. After traveling, studying and working in various countries such as Korea and Japan, Thompson finally settled in LA, where he helped launch Jer-ne. Taking inspiration from German, Japanese, and American chefs, Thompson’s dishes unite an assortment of ingredients and culinary styles. Thompson’s highly creative new world cuisine takes thinking “outside the (bento) box” to a whole new level.

Maine Lobster Shabu Shabu*

Chef Troy N. Thompson of Jer-ne at the Ritz-Carlton - Marina del Rey, CA
Adapted by StarChefs

Maine Lobster Shabu Shabu on StarChefsYield: 1 Serving


  • 1½ pounds live Maine lobster
  • 1 quart water
  • ¾ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, used to flavor the water**
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • ½ medium onion, sliced
  • ½ bunch chrysanthemum leaves**
  • 3 romaine lettuce hearts with leaves
  • 5 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ bunch green onions, chopped
  • 5 thin asparagus spears
  • 12 ounces shiratake noodles, cooked**

For the lobster:
Blanch whole lobster in boiling water for 5 seconds. Remove from water and briefly place in ice bath. Remove tail meat from shell and slice thinly. Refrigerate, covered in plastic wrap. Reserve lobster head for shabu shabu.

Separate claws and return to boiling water for three minutes. Remove from water and place in ice bath. Remove claw meat from shells and refrigerate, covered in plastic wrap.

For shabu shabu:
Boil water and add the dried shiitake mushrooms. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the soy sauce, lobster head and onion. Simmer.

Arrange the sliced tail meat, claw meat, mushrooms, chrysanthemum leaves, romaine leaves, green onions and asparagus in a bento box or on a small serving plate. Place noodles in a separate small bowl Using chopsticks in a style similar to fondue, dip lobster and vegetables into shabu shabu.

* Shabu shabu is a pot of boiling water used to cook food tableside. Paper-thin slices of meat are cooked by dipping them into a pot of simmering kombu (kelp) broth for a few seconds.

**Can be found at Asian markets

 Published: Feb 2004