While many of the world’s finest restaurants are recognisable by their famous head chefs, Eleven Madison Park is just as well-known for its general manager, Will Guidara. At The Best Restaurant in North America and No.3 in the world, the kitchen and the dining room can’t be separated – there can be no great food without great service, and Guidara’s army of immaculately trained wait staff are as vital as Daniel Humm’s brigade of talented chefs. It is this complete experience that makes Eleven Madison Park the first ever winner of The Ferrari Trento Art of Hospitality Award.
A true partnership between Humm and Guidara, Eleven Madison Park has built a reputation not just for its outstanding food but also for its unique approach to service, and much of that has to do with the warmth and camaraderie that infuses everything they do. Service goes beyond simply delivering plates from kitchen to table; here there it is a piece of subtle theatre, an art, giving guests a complete experience from the moment they walk in the door.
Diners are surprised and delighted in equal measure throughout their meal, from card tricks to tableside drinks rituals to take-home gifts at the end of the night. Often, the experience includes one course such as celeriac cooked in a pig’s bladder served and eaten in the kitchen alongside Humm’s award-winning team. Everything is meticulously planned and diners are treated as hospitably as guests welcomed into a family home.
Humm and Guidara have been friends and professional partners for more than a decade, having met through legendary US restaurateur Danny Meyer, then owner of Eleven Madison Park. In 2011, the pair bought Eleven Madison Park from Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group and in 2012 they opened the food and beverage spaces at the NoMad hotel, where Humm’s black truffle roasted chicken would soon become one of New York’s most iconic dishes. They have also co-authored three cookbooks and are set to open Made Nice, a new fast-casual restaurant in Manhattan, and a new NoMad hotel in Los Angeles.
Having entered The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2010 at No.50 and risen steadily to No.5 in 2015, Eleven Madison Park now climbs to its highest ever position at No.3 in 2016. The Ferrari Trento Art of Hospitality Award is further proof that this dynamic kitchen-and-dining-room duo has the magic formula for success.
The Ferrari Trento Art of Hospitality Award was introduced this year in collaboration with the Italian winery to celebrate the outstanding work of front-of-house and service teams at restaurants around the world. The category was voted for by the same body of almost 1,000 worldwide voters that makes up The Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy.
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010