Lomonaco, Chef/Director - Biography
Michael Lomonaco has always put his passion for pristine, seasonal,
regional American ingredients first. No matter where he cooked,
it was the choice of ingredients that were primary, followed closely
by a firm understanding of classical technique and, of course,
that creative genius that has always set him apart.
course of Michael's career traces the thread of New American cuisine,
as it has been developed and refined over the last few decades.
In the mid '80s, he was in the center of it all at Le Cirque,
working under Master Chefs Alain Sailhac and Daniel Boulud. By
1989, Michael was playing a major role in the revitalization of
the old New York establishment "21." He stayed on there until
1996, turning the rather staid, clubby restaurant into a modern
American culinary destination that helped to redefine fine dining
in this country.
1997 Lomonaco was appointed Executive Chef/Director of Windows
on the World. He brought his cutting-edge American cuisine with
him, replacing what had been a French-inspired menu with food
that made diners and critics take note. Michael eagerly took on
responsibility for all culinary operations at the Windows on the
World complex, including the main dining room, the intimate Wild
Blue and the boisterous Greatest Bar on Earth. In addition, he
managed the kitchens for and oversaw the Windows' private dining
menus and operations.
Wild Blue, Lomonaco invented a straightforward American menu that
offered diners a chance to share a casual meal made with the finest
ingredients and cooked with precision. At Windows, his menus underscored
a dedication to expressing "the American spirit," with food that
was confident, creative, and filled with the best local products
obtainable. Through Michael's leadership, Windows On The World
was transformed into one of America's best-loved and highest grossing
restaurants three years in a row.
his time at Windows on the World, Michael helped owner David Emil
develop the wildly successful Latin Night, which gave diners a
first taste of the duo's passion for Latin American cuisine, culture,
and music. Latin Night sparked the creation of Noche, with Lomonaco
as Chef/Director of this multi-story, midtown restaurant and nightclub
featuring the vibrant culinary traditions of Central and South
America and the Caribbean. Many former employees of Windows on
the World in the World Trade Center were hired at Noche when it
opened in 2002. The restaurant recently announced that it was
closing in September 2004, and so we look forward to Chef Lomonaco’s
next culinary venture.
the meantime, you can catch Michael Lomonaco on TV. A former actor
who is at ease in front of the camera, Michael is the co-host
of Epicurious, the Discovery Channel's popular cooking program.
He has also hosted "Michael's Place" on the Food Network, writing
concepts and recipes for 140 episodes over three years. Michael
has been a regular guest on many late night and daytime talk shows
as well as cooking programs including "In Julia's Kitchen with
Lomonaco is currently a visiting distinguished professor at City
University's New York Technical College. He participates regularly
in cooking demonstrations and food and wine events that benefit
a world of good causes, including Share our Strength, City Harvest,
and the March of Dimes. He is a primary founder of the Windows
of Hope Family Relief Fund, which has gathered nationwide support.
Lomonaco is the co-author of The “21” Cookbook, published
in 1995 by Doubleday, and he has contributed to dozens of national
magazines. His new cookbook,
Nightly Specials: 125 Recipes for Spontaneous, Creative Cooking
at Home, is scheduled for release in late 2004.