One of America’s most respected and celebrated restaurateurs, Drew Nieporent is the founder and inspiration behind the Myriad Restaurant Group which operates a roster of highly regarded eateries, including Tribeca Grill, Nobu New York City, Nobu London, Nobu Next Door, Bâtard and Crush Wine & Spirits. Over the last 30 years, Myriad has opened and managed more than 39 eateries around the world, including Seattle, Louisville, Providence, Boca Raton, Moscow and Citi Field, house of the New York Mets in Flushing, NY. Nieporent’s first eatery, the groundbreaking Montrachet (1985), earned three stars from The New York Times and kept that standing for 21 years.
What was your introduction to the restaurant world?
Kitchen boy at St. George’s Camp (1970), and quarter pounder grill man at McDonald’s (1972).
As the mastermind behind Nobu, Tribeca Grill, and Bâtard what are your rules for success?
There are no rules. Treat everyone with dignity and respect. Value your customers. Set the bar high and then set it higher.
Three of your most memorable meals which helped shape your love of food?
1. First time eating Chinese food at Freeman Chum’s.
2. La Maison Troisgros in Roanne – special from beginning to end.
3. Girardet in Switzerland – simplicity equals perfection.
What do you consider as the hallmark of your career?
Too many to recount, but of course earning 3 stars at Montrachet, Nobu, Bâtard, Rubicon and Corton. Also, being partners with Robert de Niro.
After thirty years in the business, fame, success and money, what keeps driving you?
My work is my lifestyle; there is no separation. The knowledge you derive every day about food is what drives me.
How is fine dining changing? What do you see as the biggest trends currently driving the business of dining out?
Fine dining is being redefined. Fussiness is being replaced by simplicity. Also, this generation is changing the ritual of fine dining.
Where might we find you off the clock?
Outdoors on a park bench, near the water.
And finally, a favorite place to drink or dine outside of the Myriad stable?
Many favorite restaurants – the list is endless. It’s always great to grab a bowl of congee in Chinatown.