A Concise Biography
Chef. Restauranteur. James Beard Nominee. Author. Restaurant Hall of Fame Recipient. Innovator. Father & Grandfather. Aviator. World Renowned.
Chef Gray Kunz
Many chefs are able to deliver culinary expertise in a particular genre or culture, but Chef Gray Kunz is one of the few who takes a truly holistic approach.
Combining supreme epicurean skill with the business acumen required in the global food industry, Chef Gray continues to take his work further and push boundaries. That includes focusing on nutrition, the environment, and a real desire to drive sustainability. It is this combination that defines the “Kunzian” values and is the reason why Chef Gray Kunz has earned worldwide respect.
Born in Singapore and raised in Switzerland, Chef Gray and his cooking embody the best of both worlds, expressed through esoteric flavors. The Asian influences are evident, as is the luxury and contemporary style that have become hallmarks of modern Swiss business, and of course the impeccable preparation of French fine dining.
The story starts in Bern, Switzerland where Chef Gray began as a chef apprentice. He went on to train with Frédy Girardet, one of the greatest chefs of the 20th century, in what was, for many years, considered the best restaurant in the world.
Travel and international flavours continue to influence his style as they reflect the journey he has undertaken. Moving to Hong Kong, he combined French and Chinese culinary techniques before establishing his own brand in New York City.
It was while at the St. Regis Hotel in the storied Lespinasse restaurant, that his creativity flourished and Chef Gray became what is now considered a celebrity chef. He even created a special spoon for chefs while at Lespinasse, which has gained its own notoriety and is favoured by many chefs around the world. Leaving Lespinasse, Chef Gray began to build his own culinary empire.
Opening Cafe Gray in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and in 2009, Cafe Gray Deluxe at The Upper House in Hong Kong. Chef Gray’s name and brand continued to grow and became more and more synonymous with luxury and excellence. He has been named Best Chef in New York City by the James Beard Foundation, who also gave him the accolade of Best American Chef.
In 2001, co-authoring the book, The Elements of Taste, added yet another layer to the sophistication of the Gray Kunz brand. The book created its own cult following by imaginatively arranging recipes by 14 basic tastes rather than by course or primary ingredient.
Now on the cusp of the next phase in his extraordinary journey, Chef Gray is preparing to once again wow the culinary world with flair and sensitivity. Expect initiatives that are grounded in the belief that food has the power to transform the lives of individuals and communities and can serve as a vehicle for exploring and appreciating other cultures.
When not creating culinary experiences, Chef Gray finds his freedom in the skies, flying in a husky two seater plane, a love he developed after taking flying lessons awhile back. If not in the air, you may find him foraging in the woods for fresh mushrooms. His appreciation for the air, land, and sea is what makes him truly appreciate every element of taste.