Have you ever gone into a restaurant and wondered why a chef created a certain dish?  Or wanted to hear what his inspirations were when he or she first started out? That’s the premise behind Studio Gourmet.

Studio Gourmet is part talk show, part cooking demonstration and was started by Brad Lev as a way to get the back story behind chefs and why they do what they do. After moving back to the Bay Area from Atlanta, he thought it was the perfect place to host this type of event given the food culture in San Francisco. The show features a brief cooking demonstration, a Q&A interview and questions from the audience and a sampling of some of the chef’s best dishes.

Lev’s latest guest, Chef David Lawrence of 1300 on Fillmore, proved to be the perfect guest. He was forthright and very funny, but also informative about his long history in the business. Growing up in England, he knew from a young age that he wanted to have a culinary future, taking after his father. Like in any young career, Lawrence said he had his ups and downs, years of low pay and long hours, but at the same time, plenty of learning. His persistence eventually paid off as he eventually found himself working at one of London’s most acclaimed restaurants, Le Gavroche.

He eventually found himself taking a vacation to the Bay Area, grew to love it and eventually moved to the United States. He started his Bay Area restaurant journey at 221 Ellsworth in San Mateo, would move on to several different restaurants in San Francisco before finally finding a home in the Fillmore at 1300 on Fillmore.

Shrimp and grits

His restaurant is his own, a true representation of his unique version of southern food. He has actually never been to the south and likes it that way because he feels it makes his dishes “unique and his own creations.” Lawrence said he loves what he does and wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Studio Gourmet premise is a really interesting idea. It really does get to the heart of the matter when it comes to chefs and the thought processes they go through. It brings a true personal touch to the dining experience.  Lev said he hopes to host one chef a month and eventually bring the show to the TV viewer at home.