Chef Michael Cimarusti of Providence - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

November 2011

Michael Cimarusti’s culinary journey began on the East Coast, where he went fishing nearly every weekend growing up. Raised in a family where Italian heritage and traditions run deep, he was fascinated by all things food. In his teens, he worked as a dishwasher and then as a baker’s apprentice in Washington, D.C. After his apprenticeship, Cimarusti cooked at a family-run restaurant that was his favorite as a child.

He attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and later worked at Larry Forgione’s legendary An American Place. In 1992, He accepted a chef de cuisine position at The Forager House Restaurant in Pennsylvania. Cimarusti eventually returned to New York for Le Cirque, working alongside such greats as Paul Bocuse, Gerard Boyer, and Roger Vergé. He was sous chef at Le Cirque when he traveled to France, spending a year in the kitchens of La Marée and Arpège. Back in New York, he became the opening chef for Osteria Del Circo.

The chef de cuisine slot at Spago lured Cimarusti to the West Coast. In 1997, King’s Seafood offered him a chance to run his own show as the executive chef of Water Grill, where he won a StarChefs Rising Star Chef Award. In 2005, Cimarusti opened his own restaurant, teaming up with Italian front-of-the-house mastermind Donato Poto to create what has become a staple in the Los Angeles food scene, Providence, which put Cimarusti and his mastery fish and seafood cookery on the national stage.