Chef Grasing has worked in some of the finest restaurants in the world. His apprenticeship began at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, after which he refined his craft at Narsai’s in Berkeley, first as a saucier and then as chef. Afterward he worked at the Pierre Hotel in New York as Executive Sous Chef. In the years that followed he was at the three-star La Gavroche in London and Four Seasons in Boston, then left to open 231 Ellsworth in San Mateo in 1986, which was soon considered one of the top restaurants in California.
In March of 1998 Kurt opened the door to his namesake restaurant: Grasing’s. In an impressive first year it received enthusiastic reviews and was voted Best New Restaurant and Best Chef by the readers of Adventures in Dining Magazine. Grasings has been featured in Bon Appétit Magazine’s Best of the Year issue in 2004, and was awarded Carmel Business Association’s Business of the Year award that same year. Carmel Magazine proclaimed Grasing’s the Critic’s Choice. Grasing’s was awarded Carmel Business Association’s Restaurant of the Year as well as a Celebrated Chef of the Year Award from the American Culinary Federation – Monterey Chapter, in 2007. In 2013 Grasing’s was voted Best Restaurant in Carmel by the readers of the Monterey County Weekly. Carmel Pine Cone Readers Poll named Grasing’s the Best Restaurant for a Steak in 2014 and 2015. Open Table diners conferred a 2015 Diner’s Choice Award on Grasing’s and Trip Advisor has given Grasing’s a Certificate of Excellence in 2015 and 2016. 2016 also brought Grasing’s a win for the Best Restaurant for a Special Occasion in 2016 from the Carmel Pine Cone Readers Poll.
2000 was the first year Grasing’s won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and received that award from 2000 through 2004. In 2005 Grasing’s won it’s first Best of Award of Excellence and has won that double goblet every year through 2016.
In 2010, Kurt revamped Grasing’s by constructing a new bar and lounge along with completing a restaurant make-over. The warm hues and contemporary décor in the restaurant and bar gives Grasing’s an even more inviting atmosphere, giving it a new look with the same great food and first-rate service to which guests are accustomed.
Growing up in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Kurt’s love of food began early, from buying raspberries bushes to grow and sell berries in the neighborhood, to cooking apples from the family tree in four different methods, Kurt has always gravitated to great tasting food.
One highlight of Chef Grasing’s career was to do a cooking show with Julia Child, an icon in American cooking history. She was an inspiration to millions and helped shape Kurt’s lifelong love of food. It was a once in a lifetime experience and one he will always treasure.
As a restaurant with an impressive contemporary menu, Grasing’s offers the finest coastal cuisine paired with a ‘Wine Spectator’ awarding winning wine list featuring the best California wines. For a true Carmel experience, enjoy dinner on the pet-friendly patio.
Or, if you’d like your culinary experience out on the water, click here to see when you could go cruising with Kurt!