The Heartbreaking Last Meal Curtis Stone And His Wife Shared Before The Pandemic Lockdown - Exclusive

During a collaboration event with Curtis Stone and Waterloo Sparkling Water in New York City earlier this year, Mashed sat down for an exclusive interview with the celebrity chef and author and talked about how his restaurants have evolved over the last decade. Maude, Stone's first solo restaurant, opened in Beverly Hills, California, in 2014. It was followed by Gwen, a fine dining and butcher shop hybrid concept that Stone opened with his brother, Luke Stone, in Hollywood in the summer of 2016. Stone spoke candidly with us about the struggle to keep Maude open during the pandemic, and how the emotional last meal he cooked for his wife at the restaurant before the pandemic lockdown emboldened him to keep it afloat any way he could.

Like so many restaurant owners in the spring of 2020, Stone juggled the hardships of trying to keep Maude open. "At one point, through the pandemic, I was like, 'Oh my god, I think I'm gonna have to close Maude,' you know? It's just not gonna make it," says Stone. "I actually said to my wife, 'Come in for dinner, and I'm going to cook for you. It'll be the last time we probably get to do it,'" Stone recounts. Afterward, he sat with his wife, actress Lindsay Price, to talk about what might be next for the restaurant.

Stone's emotional decision and Maude's transformation

The 24-seat restaurant is named for Curtis Stone's paternal grandmother, Maude — a personal touch that informs both the intimate design of the restaurant and his heartfelt connection to the dishes the restaurant creates. Artwork from Stone's own home, vintage family photographs, and a classic vinyl collection decorate the small dining room and wine loft.

While discussing whether or not to close, Stone says his wife was acutely aware of the heartache of such a decision. "She looked around, and she's like, 'My god, I'm so sad. I'm devastated for you.'" After all, the dining experience at Maude is meant to welcome guests in as if they were dining at a close friend's home, and it holds as much sentimental value for Stone. What's more, in June 2019, only nine months before the fallout from the global pandemic threatened to shutter the restaurant forever, Maude was awarded its first Michelin star.

"I imagined packing it up and putting every piece of art, and every little trinket that you've bought along the way ... I imagined putting it all in a box," says Stone. "And I was like, 'F*** it. I'm not closing this restaurant!'" Maude temporarily closed for a short time, before adapting its offerings and provisionally reopening as The Pie Room by Gwen, which sold a wide range of sweet and savory homemade pies. The restaurant reopened for dinner service on Valentine's Day 2022 and has maintained its Michelin star ever since.