Laurence attended the University of Georgia as an undergrad and studied 3-dimensional design, transferring to Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. While in Providence Laurence worked at The Gatehouse Restaurant using his baking skills he learned as a child in the family bakery. He quickly worked his way up the ranks to his first sous chef position under Steven Marsella. After graduating from culinary school, Laurence interned at the world-renowned Inn at Little Washington, where he again used his baking skills to get his foot in the door as mid-night baker. Within his 7 year tenor at The Inn at Little Washington, he worked his way up to the executive sous chef position. “O’Connell says Gottlieb could be trusted to run the kitchen in O’Connell’s absence, with O’Connell knowing Gottlieb “would call the shots the way I would.” While working under his protégé Gottlieb was able to travel, cook and eat at the finest restaurants in the world. “Gottlieb says he appreciates the high-wire, trendsetting, adventurous chefs, the ones “who are always going to put all kinds of things on the plate,” because they are expanding diners’ taste buds. “But when customers go home, they still eat meat and potatoes.” He predicts a bright future for simple food. “Julia Child is cheering for me up there.” While at The Inn at Little Washington, Laurence was voted by Bertoli Olive Oil as one of the top 10 sous chefs in the Country, winning the Peoples and Peers awards (2 out of 3 given). He also led O’Connell’s Relais Gourmand Anniversary Dinner in Paris rubbing elbows with some of the best chefs. O’Connell forecasts that Gottlieb will use his lessons as a foundation, not to make replicas of his mentor’s dishes but to cast dishes in their own original form. “Laurence knew that there was a great place for simplicity.” –Patrick O’Connell
Gottlieb returned to Savannah to open Gottlieb’s Restaurant and Dessert Bar in 2003, with his brothers Michael and Richard. The restaurant received a number of accolades including the first restaurant in Savannah to receive the prestigious 4 diamond award from AAA, The Georgia Trend Magazine Top 10 Dining Destinations in Georgia in 2005 & 2006, as well as promoting for the Georgia Shrimp Association. Upon the closing of Gottlieb’s Restaurant and Dessert Bar in 2006, Gottlieb moved to Maine to be the executive sous chef under Jonathan Cartwright at The White Barn Inn. After the cold weather ran him back south he opened Hamptons Restaurant and Bakery in Sumter, South Carolina. Gottlieb moved to New Orleans for a brief period of time having the opportunity to re-unite with his brother Michael. Laurence worked with him at Ralph’s on the Park, while in New Orleans Laurence contracted out with the Ralph Brennan Group to develop the dessert menu at Heritage Grill and was able to spend some time cooking at Commander’s Palace. Laurence returned to Savannah to help his mother with his father and took the executive chef position at The Chatham Club. Laurence is now in Texas working in Dallas at The Village Baking Company as the pastry/production manager once again drawing from his family baking heritage.
©2013 - 2017 Savannah Food & Wine Festival
November 6-12, 2017
The Savannah Food & Wine Festival is presented by the Tourism Leadership Council, a 501-(c) 6 organization, with proceeds benefiting the TLC Scholarship Fund, with educational opportunities for hospitality program students in colleges and universities in the Coastal Empire and many local charitable organizations.