The Chefs

Meet Our Chef

The Drake in Laguna is excited to announce our Executive Chef and Ownership Partner, Paul Gstrein. Chef Paul's history in the OC goes far back. Chef Gstrein was practically born wearing a toque as his family owned and operated hotel / restaurant in the Austrian Alps, a family business that dates back more than 400 years. He began his French culinary training at Villa Blanca Culinary School in Innsbruck, Austria before moving to the U.S. at age 21. His culinary prowess landed him positions at numerous renowned restaurants including Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills, Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, Bradley Ogden's Lark Creek Inn in San Francisco, and Mark Peel's Campanile in Los Angeles

He eventually brought his refined culinary skills to the original Bistango in Los Angeles in 1985. In 1988, he moved to Orange County to helm a second Bistango location in Irvine.In 1999, launched Bayside in the exclusive Promontory Point area of Newport Beach and consistently earned high marks in the Zagat Guide and glowing reviews in major newspapers and magazines as well as several television programs. At The Drake in Laguna, Chef Gstrein now brings the power of his family heritage by pairing up with his sous chef son Nick Gstrein, having developed a menu which they describe as "Modern Californian Fare with Global Influences." 

Chef Paul's The Drake in Laguna is a feast for the eyes of delicious seasonal taste personally created and prepared exclusively by award winning Chef Paul Gstrein and Son's Culinary Team. Any of their always consistently delicious Modern Californian Fare with Global Influences cuisine starters, small and entrée size plates or desserts can be enjoyed in our cozy dining room, at the Chef's kitchen-side counter, in the stylish piano bar lounge or outside on our newly enclosed fire-wall patio. your dining experience at The Drake is the kind of special "culinary magic" that is rarely experienced between Chef and their patrons.