There is a change of watch in the kitchen at Gladstone’s at Pine Avenue Pier.
Chef Pete Lehmar has accepted a position as head of the Culinary School at the Orange County School of Performing Arts. Chef Pete was honored for his service this week by Gladstone’s officials as “Chef Emeritus.”
Chef T, who has served as Executive Chef at the Federal Bar for many years, is the new Executive Chef.
“Chef Pete is an extraordinary Continental chef,” said John Sangmeister, Gladestone’s managing partner. “Chef T will honor that tradition and bring his own passion for his culture and associated flavors of his heritage.”
Sangmeister said he met Lehmar when Gladstone’s was being built 17 years ago. A lunch at McKenna’s with perfect fish led to a talk with the chef — Pete Lehmar. Lehmar is a graduate of the CIA — the Culinary Institute of America.
“Weeks after our meeting, I walked into the construction trailer and found his resume on my desk,” Sangmeister said. “Since that time, Pete has served as Executive Chef at Gladstone’s Long Beach.”
While at Gladstone’s Lehmar has won seven “Calamari King” and six “Chowder King” awards at the Monterey Seafood Festival, numerous Open Table and Trip Advisor distinctions and back-to-back Press-Telegram Reader’s “Best Seafood in Long Beach and surrounding cities.” In 2019, Pete Lehmar was named “Best Chef.”
Gladstone’s Long Beach General Manager Scott Hewitt and Lehmar worked together to build traditions including the famous Danish Christmas Dinner, New York New Year’s Eve, hosted and competed in two Red Bull Flugtags and more.
“Our good friend, Peter Dills, suggested we contact Chef T Ouk or Chef T to fill the void” when Lehmar announced he was leaving, Hewitt said.
Chef T was born in Thailand, as a refugee in 1980. His family immigrated to Oakland when he was just a few months old. They lived there about 10 years before moving to Long Beach.
“I’m new school,” Chef T said about reinventing the Gladstone’s menu. Some items will stay, and he said he plans to rename Chef Pete’s popular mac Lobster “Lobster Lehmar.”