William Guidara has been exceptional in giving new energy to a lesson that the restaurant industry often tends to forget: excellent food has no importance without dining room hospitality. A lesson this guy born in 1979 in Sleepy Hollow, a dozen kilometres north of Manhattan, New York, slowly absorbed.
After graduating at 22 in Hotel Administration from Cornell University, young Will starts walking up and down the dining room at Spago, Wolfgang Puck’s iconic restaurant in Beverly Hills, on the other coast. He soon returns home, however, and becomes an essential component of the Union Square Hospitality Group owned by famous New York restaurateur Danny Meyer. He props up the experience by working at Tabla, Café 2 and the other restaurants inside the Museum of Modern Art.
In 2006, at 27, he becomes the general manager at Eleven Madison Park, which was then a simple French brasserie located in an old bank. Beside him, in the kitchen, there’s Swiss Daniel Humm. It’s the first step in an unbreakable friendship and partnership resulting in one of the most thrilling case histories of the last decade. Five years later, Humm and Guidara buy the restaurant from the USHG, and start their solo business. They start a company called Make it Nice, which now also includes restaurant NoMad New York (one Michelin star), NoMad Bar next door (number 3 in the World’s 50Best Bars 2017), casual Made Nice and, since early 2018, NoMad in Los Angeles, the first place opened outside Manhattan.
But it’s EMP that makes for their most thrilling story. A case almost unique, today people speak of Guidara’s gift for hospitality as much as of the talent of his colleague in the kitchen. The secret? «My mission», says Will, «is to please the client in a genuine and unbiased way. Meals are like children: you have to encourage them following a crescendo, using surprise and marvel as your alleys. We must give comfort, emotions, make clients feel at home». A Super Bowl service, as journalist Ryan King wrote, which in the space of a few years led the restaurant to receive 4 stars from New York Times, 3 Michelin stars and the first place in the World’s 50Best Restaurants (2017). The top, everywhere.
In July 2019 the sudden break with Daniel Humm and Make it Nice group. New projects await him.
born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes.
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Rigatoni alla Nerano, a dish from restaurant Boia De, free Italian cuisine in Miami, one Michelin star (photo Zanatta)
Davide Guidara relaxing on the grass at his vegetarian restaurant I Tenerumi, inside the Therasia Resort in Vulcano, Aeolian islands, Sicily. All the photos are from Tanio Liotta
All the protagonists of the 11th edition of Identità di Pasta, an important segment of the Congress in Milan. From the top left corner, clockwise: Matias Perdomo, Martina Caruso, Davide Guidara, Carlo Cracco, Cristiano Tomei, Andrea Berton, Valeria Piccini and Gianfranco Pascucci. Save the date for Sunday 25th October, Sala Blu 1, from 11 am to 5.50 pm. Register here