WESTPORT, CT(July 2006) - Michel Nischan, chef, cookbook author and avid proponent of healthy, sustainable and culturally significant food and social causes, has teamed up with like-minded actor and philanthropist Paul Newman to open THE DRESSING ROOM-Newman's Own., A Homegrown Restaurant. Located on the grounds of the Westport Country Playhouse, the restaurant is slated to serve updated American Heritage Cuisine beginning late summer.
Michel Nischan is the owner of this soon-to-be-enjoyed restaurant that will celebrate America's finest recipes, foods, beverages and preparation techniques with the mission of revitalizing our country's regional culinary heritage. "THE DRESSING ROOM provides an opportunity for us to build on the integrity of the food that once defined everyday American life before the era of convenience foods took hold," says Nischan. He adds, "Our goal is to recapture the simple and pure tastes found in locally grown, organic ingredients for this generation and those to come." Menu highlights include: Yankee Pot Roast Circa 2006; Hook-and-Line Crisp Baked Chatham Cod; Iroquois White Corn Soup; and Cox Orange Pippin Apple Cobbler.
How did the Paul Newman connection come about? Nischan first met Nell Newman, the driving force behind the organic division of Newman's Own. products, through his advocacy for a more healthful, organic and sustainable food future. These mutual interests led to Michel's introduction to Paul Newman.
Newman and Nischan found their beliefs about a dedication to food, family and community to be so aligned that THE DRESSING ROOM concept and creation evolved as a place to share these mutual values. Paul Newman, who Nischan refers to as "Director of Opinions", has lent his name and support to the project. A portion of the proceeds from the restaurant and its community activities will be used to benefit the Westport Country Playhouse, as well as other not-for-profit food and society initiatives chosen by Newman and Nischan.
The 98-seat casual restaurant, with 15 bar seats and another 24 seats on the outdoor patio, will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekends. Complementing the dicor of the newly-renovated adjacent Westport Country Playhouse, which opened its new year-round season on June 1, THE DRESSING ROOM will feature rustic beams, a fieldstone fireplace, exposed wood and a warm, welcoming staff.
Working with Michel Nischan, the culinary team is headed by executive chef Franz Fruhmann who has become a shining light in New York City over the last 16 years, earning his stripes in the kitchens of Dan Barber, David Bouley and Christian Delouvrier. Award-winning pastry chef Bill Yosses will be creating special homespun desserts at THE DRESSING ROOM. Yosses was
most recently executive chef at Josephs by Citarella and is also known for his signature desserts at Montrachet, Bouley and Bouley Bakery. Chefs Fruhmann and Yosses were chosen by Nischan for their commitment to sustainability and organics, as well as their mutual devotion to a cooking style that emphasizes pure, simple flavors. All menus will, of course, be market and ingredient-driven, and the wine and beverage menu will reflect artisan and staff-recommended choices.
According to owner Michel Nischan, "Our plans for the future include doing all the things that will make this restaurant a place where the local Connecticut social, family and business communities - as well as destination-dining seekers - will want to frequent and consider 'their own.'" Future plans being considered include: inviting guest chefs and winemakers to
THE DRESSING ROOM for special dinners to raise awareness of and interest in a more sustainable and culturally significant food future; hosting community heritage cookouts in the spirit of restoring a sense of true neighborhood; sponsoring a variety of themed cultural events to bring participants back to gentler times; and teaming up with the theater programming of the Westport Country Playhouse whenever possible.
Nischan was the opening Executive Chef of Drew Nieporent's Heartbeat Restaurant at the W New York Hotel. Prior to that he was the chef/owner of the celebrated restaurant Miche Mache in South Norwalk and North Stamford, CT. He has continued to raise the bar for delicious and healthful cooking through his cookbooks, Homegrown Pure and Simple: Great Healthy Food from Garden to Table (Chronicle Books, 2005) and the award-winning Taste Pure and Simple: Irresistible Recipes for Good Food and Good Health (Chronicle Books, 2003). Working with Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Michel spearheaded the creation of PURE - the first well-being restaurant conceived and developed by a Western chef in India - which opened in May 2006 at the Taj Lands End, Mumbai. He is currently working on a five-year television and multimedia series for LIME: healthy living with a twist. LIME, founded and controlled by Steve Case, co-founder of America Online, launched in July 2006.
THE DRESSING ROOM is located at 27 Powers Court (adjacent to the Westport Country Playhouse), Westport, CT 06880. Phone: (203) 226-1114; Email: email@example.com. Open for Breakfast: Thursday & Friday, 6:45 to 10:30 AM; Brunch: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM; Lunch: Monday to Friday, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM; Dinner: Seven days a week, 5:00 to 10:00 PM; Bar: open until 12:00 midnight (bar menu will be available all day).
About Westport Country Playhouse
Founded in 1931, Westport Country Playhouse has a storied past that is part of the history of theatre in America. Following a major $17.8 million renovation, the Playhouse now serves as a year-round theatre under the artistic direction of Tazewell Thompson, and enriches a diverse community of artists, audiences and students. The 2006 Season started June 1 and runs through December 23, 2006. Subscriptions and Single Tickets are on sale now. For more information, please call the box office at (203)227-4177 or visit www.westportplayhouse.org.
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Laura Lehrman + Andria Chin
Lehrman + Chin Public Relations
Phone: (212) 580-0099
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