Chef Charlie Palmer
Charlie is one of the most highly regarded chefs in America today. He is best known as the owner of New York's Aureole restaurant, which he opened in 1988. Aureole enjoys a reputation as being one of the finest restaurants in the United States and Charlie's Progressive American Cuisine garners attention worldwide.
Raised in upstate New York, Charlie received his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park. His first job after graduating was at New York's legendary French restaurant, La Côte Basque. After three very intense years of working alongside Chef Jean Jacques Rachou, Charlie left to become head chef at the Waccabuc Country Club in Westchester County.
In 1983, Charlie was hired by Michael O'Keefe to be executive chef at the River Café and it was at this point in his career that he started to make a name for himself among the nation's food media. The New York Times voiced their support for the young chef by raising the rating of the restaurant from one star to three. At age 28, Charlie left the River Café and opened Aureole. He aspired to be one of New York's big league players and situated himself in a fiercely competitive location for upscale restaurants, Manhattan's Upper East Side between Park and Madison Avenues. Twelve years in existence, the restaurant has become a New York institution and is consistently rated Number One for American Cuisine by Zagat's New York Restaurant Survey.
Métrazur, is Charlie's newest New York venture. Named after a commuter train that runs along the Riviera, Métrazur is an American brasserie located on the East Balcony overlooking the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal. The grand, dramatic space has become one of Manhattan's most exciting dining destinations. Playing against the majestic design of the landmark station, Métrazur is an elegant, versatile restaurant; the ultimate meeting place for drinks, a leisurely meal, or a quick snack.
Charlie's first venture in Las Vegas was Aureole at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, which opened in March 1999. The restaurant boasts the only wine tower in the world, an unparalleled wine program, and the same bold flavors and stunning presentations that made Aureole in New York one of America's leading restaurants. In September of 2000, Aureole Las Vegas received the prestigious Grand Award from Wine Spectator Magazine for its stellar wine program.
Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, opened its doors in November 1999. For his stylish steakhouse Charlie created an innovative menu with a twist on the traditional fare.
In 1997, Charlie opened Astra located in New York's Decoration & Design Building (a.k.a. D&D Building), Astra operates as a café during the day and at night becomes a venue for private parties coordinated by Aureole's catering and special events division (of the same name, Astra).
Charlie has always looked for ways to ensure his restaurants have access to top quality produce. Over the years he has established many special relationships with food and wine purveyors. While at the River Café, he set-up a network of farmers to supply the restaurant with locally grown produce, a practice he has continued to the present. Aureole's fresh produce is grown in an organic garden in Amagansett, Long Island; a project initiated by Charlie and two chef friends.
Charlie is the author of Great American Food, a cookbook published by Random House in the Fall of 1996. He has also established a line of specialty food products sold, under the brand name Charlie Palmer Foods, in select gourmet food outlets or by calling 1-888-AUREOLE. The products include four savory pan sauces, four dessert sauces and handmade Aureole chocolates.
Charlie is also the author of Charlie Palmer's Casual Cooking published by Harper Collins in January of 2001.
Charlie is also the owner of Alva, in New York's Flatiron District, and a co-owner of the Lenox, on the Upper East Side. Like Aureole, these restaurants serve American cuisine but they occupy quite different New York dining niches. Alva is "hip" bistro and the Lenox, a "stylish" neighborhood spot for Upper East Siders. Opened in 1995, the Lenox Room was voted a top new restaurant by three national publications.