Thursday, June 25, 2009

Top Chef's Stefan Richter To Open Stefan's at L.A. Farm Restaurant August 6

Most recently known for his ability to wow the judges on Bravo’s hit series “Top Chef,” Stefan Richter brings his European flair and international culinary training to Santa Monica with the opening of his first restaurant, Stefan’s at L.A. Farm, on August 6th. By taking over the L.A. Farm (3000 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica), Richter transforms the landmark known for its warm ambiance and eclectic cuisine into a sleek and modern space. Stefan’s at L.A. Farm will bring a cosmopolitan classiness to the Santa Monica dining scene with its fine food, comfortable atmosphere and famous founder.

An array of light California cuisine will dominate the restaurant’s lunch menu. Dinner will include numerous unique and flavorful tapas dishes. Indulgent cocktails as well as casual and affordable drinks are available, including Milwaukee’s Best and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Vegan and gluten-free menu options are also available.

“I am eager and excited for the location of my first restaurant to be in Los Angeles,” said Stefan Richter. “I am inspired by the liveliness of the space, California’s abundance of fresh ingredients and the west side location.”

Stefan’s at L.A. Farm will be characterized by a casual sophistication, creating a calm and intimate environment in contrast to the fast and frenzied pace of Los Angeles. The dining room interiors include custom leather couches and handmade furniture made in Italy to bring style and comfort to the space, while marble-topped tables surround a central community table, perfect for serving large parties. Granite fire pits light the mood for mingling and adds a sensual element to the contemporary decor. Drawing attention to the façade stands a giant bull with red eyes that glow at night, a fitting tribute to the “farm” motif in the restaurant name.

For the wine enthusiast, a private wine room for 20 allows guests to enjoy wine tasting, or can be used for private dinners and parties. The bar area is equipped with two flat-screen TVs allowing sporting events to be broadcast simultaneously. Stefan’s at L.A. Farm is perfect for an intimate dining experience, a night of drinks with friends or for more extravagant events and parties.

Stefan Richter began his formal culinary guidance in 1987. After his three-year apprenticeship at the Culinary School in Germany, Richter was honored with the Achenbach Award in both 1991 and 1992 and the Finlandia Award while working at the Michelin restaurant of the Landhotel Schlosswirtschaft.

Always hungry for professional accreditation, he continued his studies at the rigorous Hotel and Culinary School and endured the grueling Fachhochschule Würzburg-Schweinfurt in Germany to earn a Certified Master Chef diploma in 1993. He worked his way through a variety of kitchens – from Germany’s Kur and Sports Hotel and Maritim Seehotel to the Suko-Thai Hotel in Bangkok and Chateau Lake Louise in Canada – mastering diverse techniques while embracing local produce and ingredients. Richter traveled to the U.S. to serve as sous chef and garde manger for the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn, Michigan. He also went on to serve as executive sous chef of Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara, California, executive chef of the Villagio Inn & Spa in Napa, California, and was invited to be part of the creative team opening the Bellagio Hotel, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas in September 1998. As executive sous chef he created, developed and executed menus for a $25 million banquet kitchen that catered high-profile events.

Currently, Richter owns and operates Stefan F. Richter’s European Catering, which has been tapped for some of the most prestigious venues and star-studded events in Los Angeles. They will be the catering arm at Stefan’s at L.A. Farm.

Stefan’s at L.A. Farm will be presided over by general manager Rick Martinez. Leandro Bongarra will take the position of chef de cuisine over a staff of 50, helping to turn the homey rustic feeling of the old L.A. Farm into a Stefan-inspired eatery.

Stefan’s at L.A. Farm will serve fine food from 11:00 a.m. to midnight, with an abbreviated menu offered until 1:00 a.m. The restaurant is located at 3000 Olympic Blvd., at the corner of Stewart. Valet parking available. Call (310) 449-4000 for reservations. More information about the restaurant can be found at

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