Will Guidara

Restaurateur

New York

As the general manager and co-owner of both Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad in New York, Will Guidara has put his education and experience to optimal use. With a degree in hotel administration from Cornell University, a culinary education from northern Spain and a starter gig at Spago in Beverly Hills, Guidara has solidified a reputation as a fine restaurateur as well as a lasting friendship with Eleven Madison Park chef Daniel Humm. Unlike most eateries, Eleven Madison Park is owned equally between Guidara and Humm. In 2012, the pair opened The NoMad, a more casual dining experience than its sister restaurant. Both hot spots are influenced by Guidara’s other great passion — music.

  • On November 27, 2014
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  • On January 7, 2013
    Will Guidara answered the question: Will Guidara

    How did Will Guidara’s company Made Nice get its name?

    Once Daniel Humm and I bought Eleven Madison Park and started The NoMad, we needed a parent company to build an infrastructure. When Daniel first moved to America, he was the chef at a restaurant in San Francisco called Campton Place. He moved from Switzerland, and when he moved here, he literally spoke no English. One of the first phrases he learned to hold cooks accountable in the kitchen was “make it nice.” So in each of our kitchens and our offices, there are signs that say “make it nice.” And it’s our mantra in the pursuit of excellence and so it just seemed right — Made Nice.
  • On January 7, 2013
    Will Guidara answered the question: Will Guidara

    What are Will Guidara’s favorite things to do New York?

    Music in New York is a pretty incredible thing. Whether it’s up in Harlem or down in the Village. There’s some really, really cool jazz in New York, as well Off-Broadway theater. There’s an occasion when going to see a Broadway show is fun, but some of the Off-Broadway theater is a really cool experience.
     
    The waterfront in New York has become a beautiful place, especially on the West Side. Right along the Hudson River between 15th and 22nd streets, there’s a bunch of piers and grassy areas. In a city that’s just go-go-go, it’s nice to be still and take it all in. Whether you go to the green market or to any one of those great little specialty food shops, pick up some great ingredients and a bottle of wine and go sit by the water and just exist and eat and drink. People don’t think about chilling out in Manhattan, and there is no rule that says you can’t. There’s also a place called the Frying Pan, which makes a reasonably good burger and has beer, and it’s a boat that sits on the water. On a really nice day, it’s a good place to sit out on the water.
     
    It’s fun to go spend a day in Coney Island and then go to one of these big Russian clubs in Brighton Beach, where you sit and they put down a bottle of Stoli frozen in a block of ice. And it’s cool to visit one of the big soulful churches in Harlem and listen to the choir just belt it out — and then get some soul food afterward. If you’re going to Brighton Beach, you’re eating chicken Kiev, Thai food in Queens, pizza in Brooklyn. Go on a bike ride to get great Brooklyn views and get a slice of pizza.
  • On January 7, 2013
    Will Guidara answered the question: Will Guidara

    What are Will Guidara’s favorite restaurants?

    In Piedmont, the best meal I’ve had is a place called La Ciau del Tornavento. It has an unbelievable view during the day. If you’re lucky, you can end up sitting in the kitchen, and there’s this huge wine cellar in the basement. It’s a really, really special place. In New Orleans, I like Willie Mae’s Scotch House for old-school New Orleans fried chicken. Sometimes my favorite restaurants are the most gritty because in it there’s a really cool story that’s being told. In Seattle, there’s a restaurant called Canlis that’s run by some friends of mine, and I like it because it’s a 60-year-old restaurant that still feels young. The restaurant Coi in San Francisco has a chef named Daniel Patterson. Daniel and I ate there when we were on our cookbook tour around America. I’ve only been there once, so I shouldn’t describe it as my favorite — but it’s definitely one of the best meals I’ve had in a really long time.
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    Rebecca Reynolds is now following Will Guidara
  • On October 30, 2012
    Will Guidara answered the question: Will Guidara

    Where did Will Guidara and chef Daniel Humm’s company Made Nice get its name?

    Once we bought Eleven Madison Park and started NoMad, we needed a parent company to build an infrastructure. When Daniel first moved to America he was the chef at a restaurant in San Francisco called Campton Place. He moved from Switzerland, and when he moved here he literally spoke no English. One of the first phrases he learned to hold cooks accountable in the kitchen was ‘make it nice.’ So in each of our kitchens and our offices there are signs that say ‘make it nice’. And it’s our mantra in the pursuit of excellence and so it just seemed right — Made Nice.