On April 4th designers and industry fans heeded the call of Interior Design to Check-In to 200 Lex for the fifth consecutive year to explore hospitality offerings at the New York Design Center. This year’s event offered a culinary theme as participants gathered at Gordon International for the first of four pairings—restaurateurs with their designers, that is—with Interior Design editor in chief Cindy Allen acting as the moderator.
Moving quickly from emerging to established talent, designer Stephanie Goto began the evening with George Mendes, chef of Midtown Manhattan’s Aldea. After sampling Mendes’s duck confit, listeners got the inside story on scouting and building New York’s restaurant space. Mendes felt a kinship with Goto whose design philosophy parallels his creation of signature dishes. “Minimal, with a focus on the food,” he called it. On the inevitable issue of client and designer conflicts, Goto told of holding her ground about rerouting the kitchen’s ventilation system to install one of her signature chandeliers, this one featuring over 500 acrylic rods. Mendes is now thankful for the designer’s insistence, adding: “It’s one of the most photographed elements of the interior.”
It was only natural that spectacular sausage would be devoured at the New York Design Center’s Bright showroom where renowned chef Daniel Boulud discussed his projects with Design Bureaux’s Thomas Schlesser. Schlesser masterminded the interior of DBGB, Boulud’s first foray below 14th Street where an upscale brand of burgers and encased meats are the order of the day. “He understood me better than I understood myself,” said Boulud about Schlesser’s ability to translate his uptown brand to a downtown crowd. On Schlesser’s search for the perfect yellow to adorn the walls of their uptown collaboration, the Mediterranean-themed Boulud Sud, the chef admiringly said, “I love the obsession of the designer.” - Deborah Wilk of Interior DesignReturn to archive