Michael Cimarusti

Providence, Connie & Ted’s, Best Girl and Il Pesce Cucina | Los Angeles, CA

At his ever-growing seafood-focused culinary empire, Executive Chef & Restaurateur Michael Cimarusti, winner of the James Beard ‘Best Chef: West’ award, combines his knowledge and appreciation of the dynamic nature of seafood with an advocacy for sustainable fishing practices evident in every dish. Cimarusti’s acclaimed first restaurant Providence, a bastion of Los Angeles fine dining for over a decade, has yielded several James Beard Award nominations and two highly coveted Michelin stars. Located in the heart of West Hollywood, Connie and Ted’s pays homage to Cimarusti’s grandparents and the simple, honest seafood cookery of New England. In fall 2017, Michael added two more distinctive culinary openings to his repertoire with the debut of Best Girl at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, in addition to Il Pesce Cucina, a fish-forward restaurant concept with his business partner, Donato Poto at the expansive 60,000+ square foot Eataly L.A.

“Seafood has inspired me in a personal way from the very start,” Cimarusti says. “It is my duty to staunchly support its conservation and best practices, and it’s my privilege to have the opportunity to showcase it on a nightly basis.”

The New Jersey native was first lured to L.A. by Wolfgang Puck to become chef de cuisine at the original Spago, followed by stints at New York City’s Osteria del Circo; the Michelin threestarred Arpège; and Le Cirque, where he cooked with legends such as Paul Bocuse, Roger Vergé, and Gérard Boyer. He then spent six years at downtown L.A.’s famed Water Grill, earning a national reputation for his fish mastery.

His path for a storied culinary career was spurred from experience in his youth: fishing with his grandfather and learning of his Italian heritage from his grandmother’s and greatgrandmother’s cooking. His most influential professional experience came just after graduating with honors from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, when he headed down the Hudson River to New York City to cook at An American Place with Chef Larry Forgione. Working garde manger, the young chef had access to the leading edge of the farm-to-table movement that would soon transform American cuisine. “Much of the reverence I have for ingredients came from my experience with Larry,” Cimarusti says. While working in Forgione’s kitchen, he also met his future wife and business partner, the talented pastry chef Cristina Echiverri.

Today, Cimarusti, Echiverri, and Co-Owner/General Manager Donato Poto operate a total of four distinctive concepts across Los Angeles including Providence, Connie & Ted’s, Best Girl and Il Pesce Cucina. Outside of his restaurants, Michael actively supports the Special Olympics and always finds time to go fishing with his two children and wife, Crisi.