Executive Chef Julian Clauss-Ehlers
Born in Buckinghamshire on the outskirts of London, England, Julian embarked on his formal culinary training at the Thames Valley University, while also working for the Michelin starred Oak Room Restaurant at Le Meridien Hotel in Piccadilly. As the flagship of the Le Meridien chain, the restaurant hosted many celebrated chefs from France and Julian became eager to continue his culinary education in France. He received an invitation to work at Le Mas d’Artigny, a Michelin star restaurant on the Côte d’Azure, where he began to learn the nuances, culture, respect and excitement behind one of the world’s finest cuisines.
In 1989, Julian was offered the opportunity to work at the internationally renowned La Côte St Jacques hotel and restaurant in Burgundy. There, he continued to learn both in and out of the kichen, scouring the countryside to gather wild mushrooms, taste local cheeses and wines on his days off. He also accompanied La Côte St Jacques’ chef/owner Jean-Michel Lorain on numerous trips abroad promoting haute French cuisine. Ready to explore another center of French gastronomy, Julian then spent a year in the Loire Valley at the Domaine des Hauts de Loire, a two Michelin star restaurant. Following this, he was recruited for a position at the internationally renowned Les Prés d’Eugénie, where he had the honor of working closely with the legendary three Michelin star chef, Michel Guérard.
In 1993, Julian returned to England to accept the Head Chef position at the Lower Slaughter Manor, a celebrated country house hotel located in the heart of the Cotswolds. Here he further developed his unique culinary style rooted in modern French cuisine and began to attract substantial press attention. Two years later, Julian realized his goal of owning a restaurant before the age of 30, when he bought the Green Dragon, a 250-year-old inn just outside London. The Green Dragon, a precursor to what we now refer to as a gastropub, was recognized by the UK’s Rosette Awards for its quality.
Traveling to Miami a few years later, Julian met his future wife, a New York psychologist and writer. He sold the Green Dragon in 2000 and accepted his first position in New York, as Head Chef at Acacia, a French brasserie on the Upper East Side under Phillippe Feret. There he was invited to present at the Colbert Foundation Gala Benefit dinner where he was recognized as one of New York’s Emerging Chefs. Having traveled to North Africa and developed an interest in the region’s cuisine, Julian then became Executive Chef and co-owner of Zitoune, a Moroccan restaurant in the Meatpacking District. Upon opening days after 9/11, Zitoune received considerable interest and acclaim, including a one star review from The New York Times.
In 2002, Julian consulted on the opening of Link Restaurant near Union Square, developing a contemporary dinner menu and an original “amuse” menu for the lounge and bar. 2004 brought Julian the opportunity to work with a national restaurant group, the Glazier Group, at their flagship Monkey Bar restaurant. He headed up the kitchen and brought new life and creativity to the famous restaurant and bar that has been an institution in New York City since the 1930s.
Julian now brings his tremendous culinary experience and versatility to the opening of Cooper’s Tavern, creating a modern American menu infused with Italian touches that reflects his passions and travels. In addition to his many duties in the kitchen, Julian finds time to present cooking demonstrations at various New York City locations; he has taught “taste” to 9th graders in the cities public schools and has appeared on TV shows including the Food Network.