Farm to Tray Stories: Chef Laurence Edelman, Left Bank

Soup Kitchen Stories: 2018

Biography:  LAURENCE EDELMAN, Executive Chef/Owner, Left Bank

Laurence grew up in South Orange, New Jersey. Laurence began cooking as a child, at the knee of his father, emulsifying olive oil into egg yolks. He had an inborn interest in food, and was encouraged to develop it.

As a young adult he worked away in tiny hot kitchens for five Mardi Gras and five Jazz Fests, while studying philosophy at Tulane University.  Laurence graduated with a B.A. and left New Orleans for Boston.  Restaurants like Upstairs at the Pudding and Sel de la Terre were his first forays in to the world of fine dining.

After four years in Boston, Laurence returned to New York and took the position of sous chef at The Red Cat. For Laurence, working under Jimmy Bradley and Bill McDaniel at The Red Cat was a transformative experience.  During his years there, the restaurant earned two stars from Frank Bruni and The New York Times.

Laurence worked a few months at Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto before opening up The Mermaid Inn on the Upper West Side for Danny Abrams, an ex-partner at The Red Cat.  For two years Laurence led The Mermaid Inn and then opened The Mermaid Oyster Bar.  

With his business partner and longtime friend Micheline Gaulin, Laurence opened Left Bank in 2011.

Laurence’s food is inspired and prepared using humanely raised and naturally-treated animals and vegetables, and seasonal, healthy populations of freshly caught fish. He thrives cooking simply, without much pretense.


Giving back to the community has always been a priority for Laurence. He has worked with organizations such as City Harvest and Share of Strength’s No Kid Hungry. He looks forward to sharing his food and company with all the supporters of this year’s From Farm to Tray event.