Issue: Spring 2018
Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant
A decade-long dream for Aussies Curtis and Luke Stone, Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant was inspired by its namesake—the brothers’ maternal grandmother who lived on a farm outside of Melbourne. It was on Gwen’s farm where they were first exposed to livestock farming, which instilled in them a great respect for the process of raising animals for food. Through Curtis’ cooking career, he has maintained an appreciation for primitive cooking methods and whole animal utilization, which are celebrated throughout the culinary program at Gwen.
Gwen’s butcher shop is inspired by European neighborhood butchers: bringing back traditional butchery practices and using only the best quality products and working directly with customers to guide them in finding cuts, preparing, cooking, and serving products. The shop is open for retail during the day and also serves as the heartbeat of the restaurant’s menu. Pristine cuts and handcrafted butcher items are displayed in cases, while larger cuts and charcuterie are hung in the custom-built dry-age room that separates the butcher shop from the dining room. Prime and rare breed meats, poultry, house-made charcuterie, sausages, dry cures, and dry-aged meat are processed in-house for a world-class experience.
Photo by Wonho Frank Lee
Set in a 1920’s old Hollywood Spanish-revival building, Curtis and Luke sought to bring together the craft of the butcher and the knowledge of the chef. Gwen’s European-style butcher shop aims to deliver the best in class for quality, taste, and service. The restaurant’s a la carte menu showcases a mix of individually-plated and shared dishes including charcuterie from the butcher shop; classic and innovative vegetable and pasta dishes; and beautiful meats prepared with primitive fire-cooking methods over the in-house fire pit and asador.
A star in his own right, chef Curtis Stone’s media career began in 2002. While he was Head Chef at Quo Vadis, he was included as one of London’s finest chefs in the book, London on a Plate, for which he made his first television appearances. This exposure sparked his television and media career in the UK, Australia and the United States. He has appeared on a number of top rated programs including Take Home Chef (TLC), Top Chef Masters (Bravo) and most recently as a mentor on Food Network’s All-Star Academy. Curtis is the co-host of My Kitchen Rules on FOX, which launched in the US in January 2017 after having been the No. 1 entertainment show in Australia for five consecutive years. He hosted his first season of Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking on PBS. Curtis is Head Judge on Top Chef Junior, an extension of the NBC Top Chef franchise, alongside host Vanessa Lachey, which is currently in its second season. Curtis is a New York Times bestselling author with six cookbooks, his most recent titled, Good Food, Good Life, and is a regular contributor to several magazines and television shows in the United States and Australia.
Photo of Curtis and Luke Stone by Wonho Frank Lee
At the entrance to the restaurant the array of marbled meats and premium poultry sets the tone and anticipation that you are about to embark on a culinary adventure. Yet, it is the restaurant’s décor that enhances the experience. Created by another brother-team, Evan and Oliver Haslegrave of Home Studios, the stunning space channels old world Hollywood glamour with a modern, one of-a-kind execution.
The lunch menu includes tasty sandwiches and the bar is becoming a favorite gathering space for nearby businesses with its popular Happy Hour (and a half—5-6:30 p.m. weeknights) and dollar oysters. But the main event is dinner. Meat, of course, is Gwen’s tour de force, but vegetarians and non-meat eaters have nothing to be concerned about as they peruse the varied menu. Homemade pasta dishes such as Chestnut Agnolotti or White Onion Veloute Squash, Brown Butter, Almond are among the many selections.
The butcher shop is open daily from 10:00 a.m. where you can consult with chef minded butchers and view a vast range of premium quality products from the U.S. and beyond as well as skillfully produced items such as charcuterie, sausages and cook-ready foods. The restaurant is open for dinner 5:00 pm to 10:30 p.m. at 6600 Sunset Boulevard; valet parking. DH