I N T E R V I E W
Why do you think the Union Square Cafe has had such success
over the past 10 years?
I believe the success comes from the founding vision of Danny
Meyer. To have a place where the main thing is to offer hospitality.
We make it our mission. People are well received, they feel
like they're coming home. They feel like we are really trying
from the time they pick up the phone to make reservations
to alter dinner.
Q: That includes the hospitality
as well as the food?
Well I see the food and the wine and the service as subsets
of this hospitality. That is the way that we manifest this
hospitality. But what we're in is the business of hospitality.
It's our main product here.
Q: Obviously it works.
Yeah. I think that's the reason why just two weeks ago we
celebrated our tenth anniversary.
Q: What are three kitchen
tools you cannot be without?
My Milsono high Cartoon Swedish steel knives with ebony handles.
A heavy duty blender with a metal mixing cup. And black steel
pans that are great for sautéing. They need to be seasoned
so they don't stick.
Q: Who inspired you to
A: Probably the first
inspiration was my mother and grandmother then the extended
family of aunts. And that was because I saw that very intimate
connection between loving and caring and food. Nobody ever
got together where food wasn't a prominent part of it. I would
watch them cook. It was a labor of love.
Q: It sounds like your
A: That is what we try
to do here. My theory is that the act of eating is a very
basic & intimate thing. We have many conventions for having
to eat food. So if you are made to feel very uncomfortable,
you are wearing the right thing, you're not ordering the right
wine, you're not in using the right fork, you're not sitting
the greatest seat then the actual ingestion of this food becomes
difficult. It's hard because your body is tense.
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