Fraser began his culinary career in Los Angeles at the age of 20, working as a line cook at Eureka Brewery and Restaurant, one of Wolfgang Puck’s earliest restaurants. Inspired by this introduction to the life of a professional chef, Fraser entered the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in the fall of 1990.
During his tenure at the CIA, Fraser worked with such luminaries as Thomas Keller at the Checkers Hotel in Los Angeles, and David Burke at the Park Avenue Café in New York.
Upon returning to his native Los Angeles, Fraser continued cooking with the best in the business, including stretches at Joachim Splichal’s Pinot Bistro, Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, and Hans Rockenwagner’s Rox.
When he was ready to strike out on his own, Fraser opened Boxer in 1995. The time spent as Executive Chef and part-owner of the intimate 50-seat restaurant afforded him his first opportunity to learn all the nuances and challenges of running a destination restaurant. And he accomplished all the tasks while earning glowing reviews from local and national media.
After three years, Fraser moved on to Rix in Santa Monica. As Executive Chef he continued to attract media attention with his weekly 8- to 10-course tasting menus, one of which was a controversial but well-received all-hemp menu.
Fraser made another move in the fall of 1999: He took over the kitchens at the legendary Jimmy’s in Beverly Hills. This coveted position would be short-lived, however, due to a change in building ownership. Jimmy’s closed it doors soon after Fraser’s arrival.
Neal Fraser spent his down time contemplating his next move—opening GRACE in 2003. As Co-owner and Executive Chef, Fraser serves his New American cuisine in an atmosphere perfectly designed to complement the ambitious flavors of one of Los Angeles’ most revolutionary culinary talents.
Earning national critical acclaim for his masterful approach to any ingredient from wild boar to tofu, critical accolades include “Hot Tables”– Condé Nast Traveler, “LA’s 25 Best Restaurants” – Los Angeles Magazine, “2 Stars” – Los Angeles Times, “3 Stars – Angeleno. In January 2006 Fraser battled Iron Chef Cat Cora on Food Network’s widely popular series “Iron Chef America” and became the first California chef to win the culinary competition. In addition, he was named Chef of the Year by Angeleno Magazine.
Fraser opened BLD, his second restaurant with his partners from GRACE in July 2006. Located just a few steps away from GRACE, BLD serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a comfortable yet elegant atmosphere.
Fraser’s wife, Amy Knoll Fraser, is also a Co-owner and Director of Operations for both Grace and BLD. The two welcomed their first child together, Roan, in 2005.