Klaus Udo Nechutnys was born in 1947 in Germany after WW II. At age 7, he had dropped his first name of Klaus and decided he was going to be a chef. At 17, he apprenticed to a teacher in Barbizon, France, where he mastered the fundamentals of French cooking. After his training, in 1965 he spent a year at Maxim’s in Paris, before moving down to Lyon to work under Paul Bocuse in 1966. In 1967, Bocuse arranged for him to work at the Mandarin in Hong Kong where he met his Chinese-American wife, Mei. In 1969 he returned to Lyon and Bocuse for a brief stay, before going back to the Orient to teach at Japan’s foremost culinary school. In 1972, with the assistance of Paul Bocuse, he was sent to Napa Valley to oversee the restaurant at Domaine Chandon, Moet-Hennessey’s new facility. In 1978, he helped with the opening of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.
In 1982, Chef Udo and his partner, Edouard Platel, built the Hotel and Restaurant Miramonte in downtown St. Helena, California. The Great Chefs television crew showed up later that year to tape Chef Nechutnys for their PBS television series, Great Chefs of San Francisco.
In 1990, they sold the Miramonte and Chef Udo became the executive chef at Auberge de Soleil. Several years later, he moved over to the Jordan Winery to be their executive chef until his retirement in 2007