Michel Richard was a pioneer in creating the revolutionary French/California cuisine. His style is light, fresh and intelligent, focusing on innovative combinations, witty presentations and always an element of texture. “His restless California cuisine is beautiful, offbeat and constantly changing,” says Ruth Reichl of the New York Times.

Richard knew he wanted to be a chef when he first glimpsed a restaurant kitchen at the age of eight. His fate was decided. At fourteen, Richard apprenticed in a restaurant-run patisserie in Champagne, France. Three years later he moved to Paris where he quickly rose to the top position at Gaston Lenotre’s esteemed pastry shop.

But, like many other chefs of his age growing up during the Bocuse revolution, Richard wanted to move to America. The opportunity came in 1974 when Lenotre opened a pastry shop in the States. Perhaps, America was not yet ready for Lenotre’s sophisticated French fare, the patisserie soon closed.

In 1987, Michel opened Citrus as Executive Chef and owner, adapting his native French cuisine to the tastes of Southern California. Citrus put Michel Richard on the culinary map, and in 1987 was voted The Best Restaurant in the United States by Traveler’s magazine in 1988, Michel Richard was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who” in American Food and Wine. Cont’….

Michel is the author of Michel Richard’s Home Cooking with a French Accent, published by William Morrow in 1993. His many philanthropic endeavors include a Gala for which he organized 70 of France’s greatest chefs to honor Julia Child and raised money for the American Institute of Wine & Food. Michel was a nominee for James Beard’s, Chef of the Year Award for 1996. The same year, he received the Five-Star Fleur de Lys Award for Outstanding Restaurant. The October 2001 issue of Gourmet, listed Michel Richard Citronelle as one of the Top 20 Restaurants in the Country, and by October of 2004 Gourmet put Michel’s photo on the front cover, an unprecedented honor.

In May 2002, Michel was voted by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington as the Best Fine Dining Restaurant and Chef of the Year, an accomplishment that no other has attained in the history of the RAMW. Citronelle is repeatedly the recipient of such high honors as Exxon Mobile Four Star and AAA Four Diamond Award awards. In 2002 Michel Richard Citronelle became an invited member of the internationally acclaimed Traditions & Qualité, Les Grandes Tables du Monde, and 2003 brought the highest honor of becoming a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux organization, of hotel and restaurants originated in France.

Constantly creating something new, Michel has recently released his second book, Happy in the Kitchen, published by Artisan, and is opening a new restaurant, Central, in Washington, DC.






Photo Gallery


Hall of Fame

Who Benefits

Contact Us

Vintner Dinners

Press Releases:

2015 Save the Date!

Boca Bacchanal Overview Release 2015