Chef Gray Kunz of Kunz Food - Biography

New York, NY

September 2014

Gray Kunz defies categorization. Born in Singapore and raised in Switzerland, his early palate was the product of two highly cosmopolitan cultures. As a working cook, his early years were defined by training, obedience, and careful observation. Kunz began as a chef-apprentice in Bern, Switzerland, then at the Beau Rivage Palace in Laussane, and Baur au Lac in Zurich, ending up working under the renowned Fredy Girardet for five years in Crissier.

Armed with a classical backbone and international palate, Kunz became executive chef at Plume at The Regent Hong Kong. His next move took him to another hotel, across an ocean, working at Adrienne at The Peninsula in New York City before taking what would become a seminal posting at Lespinasse at the St. Regis. Lespinasse gave Kunz free rein to bring the panoply of influences to the world of fine dining and showcase a natural hand at incorporating Asian influences. His work earned him four stars from The New York Times, multiple James Beard nominations for “Outstanding Chef,” and induction into the Restaurant Hall of Fame by the Culinary Institute of America.

Kunz eventually left Lespinasse behind in search of something else. What he found was Café Gray, his free-form return to fine dining in the opening Time Warner Center, and later Grayz. Both restaurants have since closed, with Kunz focusing his energies on his acclaimed Café Gray Deluxe in Hong Kong. Author of The Elements of Taste, Kunz’s latest project is Kunz Food, exploring the philosophy, tradition, and science of nutrition, health and society, with an emphasis on the significant role chefs can play advancing human health and preserving the planet.