Hot Chef: Arlington Club’s Laurent Tourondel
French-born Laurent Tourondel knows New Yorkers love steak — but he also knows that’s not the only food they crave. So when he opened his newest restaurant, the buzz-worthy Arlington Club steakhouse, he made sure the menu had a large selection of New Yorkers’ other favorite food: sushi. And the Asian influence doesn’t stop there: He’s also offering dishes like Osaka-style spicy tuna and a Japanese spin on lobster salad, in addition to classic New York sirloins and rib-eye bone-ins.
Tourondel is manning the kitchen at Arlington Club while overseeing 13 other restaurants around the world.
You’re in charge of so many restaurants! How do you make sure your vision and standards are carried out at all of them?
I go every day to a restaurant. Not each one, because they’re not all in New York and I live in New York. I make sure the food quality is in line. There’s always something to do — a brunch menu, Valentine’s, always something I do.
Do you like to cook when you’re not working?
Yeah. I grill a lot. I like to grill fish, actually. I don’t do the same fish all the time, always I try to do something different. I go with something from the day, some random thing.
What are you liking these days?
I like swordfish.
Why is sushi such a large component of this menu?
Well I think it’s well-received by the customers. People eat a lot of sushi. I think of sushi as maybe a lighter option than a steak. When I moved to the United States I’d seen it’s a big thing, especially in New York. I’ve been living in New York for a long time, so it was really something I learned and studied.