‘The Restaurateur’ Danny Meyer Is Ready for His Close Up

Photo: Ellen Silverman
Photo: Ellen Silverman

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to open a restaurant in Manhattan? How about two — at once? Wonder no more. Eater reports that a new documentary about Danny Meyer, one of New York’s most esteemed and successful restaurateurs, is about to hit the big screen. Thanks to The Restaurateur, for the first time, you can see what it took to bring Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park and the stylish Tabla to life — at the very same time. The film follows Meyer, who serves on the Board of Directors for OpenTable, and the evolution Eleven Madison Park, from its brasserie origins to its current four-star status, which was a result of the arrival of chef Daniel Humm.

In addition to Meyer, whose Union Square Hospitality Group includes Blue Smoke, Gramercy Tavern, Maialino, The Modern, Union Square Cafe, and others, a pre-“Top Chef” Tom Colicchio (Craft) also appears in the film.

Have you eaten at a Union Square Hospitality Group restaurant? Which one is your favorite? Share your opinion here or over on Facebook.

Chef Daniel Humm on What His Mom Taught Him About Sourcing Ingredients

Daniel-HummA native of Switzerland, Daniel Humm, executive chef at Eleven Madison Park, knew from an early age that his true passion was cooking. The son of an architect, Daniel took his inherited sense of structure and design and applied it to the kitchen, but he learned the importance of sourcing ingredients from his mother, Brigitte. “My mom was a stay-at-home mom and a great cook. Living in a small town surrounded by farms, she always paid a lot of attention to where she purchased ingredients. She knew who had the best milk, the best carrots, and the best eggs,” he says. “On rainy days, the farm-fresh lettuce would be kind of dirty, and, as a child, I didn’t understand the point of getting this lettuce you had to wash five or six times, and she would say, ‘When you taste it, you will it understand the difference.’ At an early age, then, my mother helped me understand the importance of where and how you shop — and today I appreciate that even more.”

While there’s not a particular dish on his current menu that comes from his mother, Chef Humm, who helped Eleven Madison Park earn its first Michelin star and who recently won a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: New York City, says, “It’s the whole thing my mother showed me. We are so focused on letting individual ingredients shine. If a carrot or a leek is on a plate, we want to source it the best way and make sure that it really tastes like a leek. It’s about the pure taste of food.”

Growing up, Mother’s Day was a day for dining out. He remembers, “For Mother’s Day at our house, that was the only day when my mom wouldn’t cook. That was the day we would go out and enjoy a meal at a restaurant. My brothers and sisters and I would make breakfast that day, and then we would go out for lunch or dinner so that way my mom had nothing to worry about.”

James Beard Foundation Awards 2010 Winners: Congratulations!

James-Beard-Awards-2010-nomineesEarlier this week, the James Beard Foundation announced the winners of their prestigious awards for 2010. They include:

BEST NEW RESTAURANT:
* Marea, New York, New York
Chef/Partner: Michael White; Partner: Chris Cannon

OUTSTANDING CHEF AWARD:
* Tom Colicchio, Craft and Colicchio & Sons

OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF AWARD
* Nicole Plue, Redd, Yountville, California

OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT AWARD
* Daniel, New York, New York
Chef/Owner: Daniel Boulud; Owner: Joel Smilow

OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE AWARD
* Jean Georges, New York, New York
Wine Director: Bernard Sun

RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR AWARD
* Timothy Hollingsworth, The French Laundry, Yountville, California

BEST CHEFS IN AMERICA
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
* Jeff Michaud, Osteria, Philadelphia, Pennsyvlania

Best Chef: Midwest
* Alexander Roberts, Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Best Chef: New York City
* Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park

Best Chef: Northwest
* Jason Wilson, Crush, Seattle, Washington

Best Chef: Pacific
* David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, California

Best Chef: South
* Michael Schwartz, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami, Florida

Best Chef: Southeast
* Sean Brock, McCrady’s, Charleston, South Carolina

James Beard Foundation Awards Nominees 2010: Congratulations!

The list of James Beard Foundation Awards nominees for 2010 has been released. Congratulations to everyone whose hard work and great talents have been recognized by the industry’s most prestigious organization. The winners will be announced on May 3, 2010, but there aren’t any losers in this round-up. Nominees include:

James-Beard-Awards-2010-nomineesBEST NEW RESTAURANT
* Bibou, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chefs/Owners: Pierre and Charlotte Calmels

* Flour + Water, San Francisco, California
Chef/Partner: Thomas McNaughton
Partners: David White and David Steele

* Frances, San Francisco, California
Chef/Owner: Melissa Perello

* Marea, New York, New York
Chef/Partner: Michael White
Partner: Chris Cannon

* RN74, San Francisco, California
Chef: Jason Berthold
Owners: Michael Mina and Rajat Parr

OUTSTANDING CHEF AWARD
* José Andrés, The Bazaar by José Andrés and Zaytinya
* Tom Colicchio, Craft and Colicchio & Sons
* Charles Phan, The Slanted Door

OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF AWARD
* Amanda Cook, CityZen at Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.
* Nicole Plue, Redd, Yountville, California

OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT AWARD
* Boulevard, San Francisco, California
Chef/Owner: Nancy Oakes
Owner: Pat Kuleto

* Daniel, New York, New York
Chef/Owner: Daniel Boulud
Owner: Joel Smilow

* Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Alabama
Chef/Owner: Frank Stitt
Owner: Pardis Stitt

* Spiaggia, Chicago, Illinois
Chef/Partner: Tony Mantuano

OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR AWARD
* Tom Douglas. Restaurants include Dahlia Lounge, Etta’s, and Lola.

* Pat Kuleto, Pat Kuleto Restaurant Development & Management Co., San Francisco, California. Restaurants include Boulevard, Epic, Martini House, Waterbar.

* Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Chicago, Illinois. Restaurants include Big Bowl, Hub 51, Osteria Via Stato, Tru, and Wildfire.

* Stephen Starr, Starr Restaurant Organization, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Restaurants include Alma De Cuba, Buddakan, Morimoto, and Parc.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
* La Grenouille, New York, New York
Owners: Charles Masson and Gisèle Masson

* Michael Mina, San Francisco, California
Chef/Owner: Michael Mina

* Vetri, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chefs/Owners: Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin

OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL AWARD
* Paul Grieco, Hearth, New York, New York

OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE AWARD
* A16, San Francisco, California
Wine Director: Shelley Lindgren

* Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, Colorado
Wine Director: Bobby Stuckey

* Jean Georges, New York, New York
Wine Director: Bernard Sun

RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR AWARD
* Timothy Hollingsworth, The French Laundry, Yountville, California
* Grégory Pugin, Veritas, New York, New York

BEST CHEFS IN AMERICA
Best Chef: Great Lakes
*Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Chicago, Illinois
* Alex Young, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
* Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Virginia
* Jeff Michaud, Osteria, Philadelphia, Pennsyvlania
* Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
* Bryan Voltaggio, VOLT, Frederick, Maryland

Best Chef: Midwest
* Colby Garrelts, Bluestem, Kansas City, Missouri
* Alexander Roberts, Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis, Minnesota
* Lenny Russo, Heartland, St. Paul, Minnesota

Best Chef: New York City
* Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern
* Wylie Dufresne, wd-50
* Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park
* Michael White, Marea

Best Chef: Northeast
* Michael Leviton, Lumière, West Newton, Massachusetts
* Tony Maws, Craigie on Main, Cambridge, Massachusetts
* Marc Orfaly, Pigalle, Boston, Massachusetts

Best Chef: Northwest
* Ethan Stowell, Union, Seattle, Washington
* Jason Wilson, Crush, Seattle, Washington

Best Chef: Pacific
* Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles, California
* Jeremy Fox, Ubuntu, Napa, California
* David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, California
* Matt Molina, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles, California
* Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco, California

Best Chef: South
* Zach Bell, Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court, Palm Beach, Florida
* Scott Boswell, Stella!, New Orleans, Louisiana
* John Harris, Lilette, New Orleans, Louisiana
* Michael Schwartz, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami, Florida

Best Chef: Southeast
* Sean Brock, McCrady’s, Charleston, South Carolina
* Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta, Georgia

Best Chef: Southwest
* Bryan Caswell, Reef, Houston, Texas
* Ryan Hardy, Montagna at The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado
* Rick Moonen, RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Read more about the James Beard Foundation and the 2010 Awards, click here. Purchase tickets here. And, reserve your seat at the next James Beard House dinner in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village for a unique dining experience in the birthplace of modern American gastronomy.