Alexander LaPratt MS is no stranger to fine food and wine. Having grown up in Detroit Alexander fell in love with wine at a young age while working for Madeline Triffon MS. His passion has since taken him around the country where he has worked the floor for some of the finest restauants in the world including: Michael Mina, The French Laundry, Daniel, Atera, Le Bernardin and Jean-Georges. He has received many accolades including winning the first Ruinart Trophy competition in the United States, being named Wine and Spirits Best New Sommelier 2011, having won ASA's Best Sommelier in America 2011 competition, he represented the United States of America at the ASIs Best Sommelier in the World competition in Tokyo Japan 2013 and he passed his Master Sommelier Exam in 2014 thereby becoming the 217th person in the world to ever do so. He has also been inducted as a Chevalier in the L’Order des Coteaux du Champagne, he starred on the “Uncorked” wine series with the Bravo network and has been featured in many top news publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Figaro as well as popular periodicals such as Men’s Health, Men’s Journal and Cosmopolitan.
In 2013 Alexander put to the test an entire careers worth of knowledge when he opened his own restaurant, Atrium DUMBO, with partners Leslie Affre and Laurent Kalkotour in the posh neighborhood of DUMBO Brooklyn which has been met with rave reviews. Alexander and his partners are currently preparing to open their next restaurant, Beasts & Bottles, in the first quarter of 2016 in the historic Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.
With a French mother and an Armenian father, Laurent Kalkotour’s childhood was centered around the dinner table. He learned about fresh food from a very young age on his grandparent’s farm in the south of France surrounded by ducks, chickens, rabbits and a large garden where they would pick fresh berries, lettuces and vegetables. His first exposure to the restaurant world was in his great grandfather’s Michelin-starred restaurant which he would spend time in as a child. At 15, he then began his culinary journey with culinary school and his first job in a professional kitchen at the one Michelin starred restaurant Leonce with renowned chef Jean Claude Fabre.
After graduating culinary school he then moved on to the two Michelin starred restaurant, La Barbacane. There Laurent was introduced to Chef Reine Sammut who was the Chef of the one Michelin starred restaurant Auberge La Feniere. It was here that Laurent first honed his skills as a Pastry Chef. Soon after, Laurent met Alain Ducasse who he credits with the greatest professional experience in his life as well as his approach to cuisine – excellence of ingredients and simplicity in preparation. For the next five years, Laurent worked for Mr. Ducasse in a variety of capacities including chef at Louis XV in Monte Carlo, testing recipes and helping to write Mr. Ducasse’s Grand Livre de Cuisine Mediterranee cookbook, and teaching at the Ducasse De Gustibus cooking school. In 2004 Laurent moved across the world to New York City to open Mr. Ducasse’s Mix restaurant. He also worked for Mr. Ducasse as the Executive Sous Chef at his highly acclaimed 2 Michelin Star Adour in the St. Regis hotel.
After Adour, Laurent continued his exploration of the New York restaurant scene by going to work with one of New York’s most talented Chef Restauranteurs: Daniel Boulud. He worked through the three Michelin Starred Daniel, Bar Boulud and landed as the executive chef at db Bistro Moderne. After almost 7 years with Mr. Ducasse, 6 years with Daniel Boulud, multiple restaurants and two continents later Laurent went on to open restaurant Atrium DUMBO with Partners Alexander LaPratt MS and Leslie Affre in DUMBO Brooklyn which quickly became a neighborhood favorite. Beasts & Bottles will be their second restaurant.
Leslie Affre was born and raised in the French Riviera. Surrounded by the culinary influences of Provence, Piedmont, Liguria, and the Mediterranean Sea. Her studies began at the acclaimed Paul Auger Ecole Hoteliere et de Tourisme, a high school specializing in training hospitality professionals established in 1914 in Nice, France. This passion took her to restaurants and hotels stretching along the Cote D’zur working in some of the finest Michelin star restaurants in the South of France.
After a trip to London at age 18, Leslie realized the next step was to head to Great Britain and continue her professional journey. In London, after working with prolific London restaurateur Morad Mazouz, she joined Mazouz on the opening team of Sketch at 9 Conduit St. With executive chef Pierre Gagnaire (2015 Best Chef in the World, 3 Michelin stars-Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire, Paris), she ran the floor of the dynamic restaurant with poise and refinement and the restaurant has been awarded 2 Michelin stars, 5 rosettes from the AA, and in 2005 was named the 18th best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine. She then joined forces Will Ricker at E & O Restaurant, a pioneer Asian dining in Notting Hill, its success enabling Ricker to expand his empire to seven currently operating venues in London.
Hidden down a winding, narrow Mayfair street, Mews of Mayfair was founded in 2006 by entrepreneur James Robinson and made a immediate impact on the London dining scene. As General Manager of this multi-story venue Leslie helped solidify this contemporary restaurants place as an innovative, critically acclaimed “feast for all senses”.
With the opportunity to expand her career experience and scope, Leslie headed to New York City and joined the AvroKO Hospitality Group. First at Michelin starred PUBLIC in Nolita and then opening Double Crown on the Bowery as General Manager where they received two stars from the New York Times.
Returning to a more classic & formal setting, Leslie joined acclaimed Chef Daniel Boloud. Under Chef Daniel Boloud at the Dinex Group Leslie served as Maitre ‘D at this flagship restaurant db Bistro Modern.
It was at DB Bistro Moderne that Leslie met her current partners. In 2014, this team of Daniel Boulud alums Leslie, Laurent Kalkotour, and Alexander Lapratt opened Atrium Dumbo, within the historic clocktower building in Brooklyn’s waterfront enclave of Dumbo. This industrial chic space has become a mainstay of Brooklyn dining featuring an open kitchen, vertical garden, and mezzanine. Atrium’s new American, French influenced cuisine has been recognized with 2 Michelin recommendations, and a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.