“At lunch this place usually has five or six billionaires. This room [Grill Room] is where the ‘power lunch’ happens. I coined that phrase while working with Joe Baum. Restaurant Associates was a network of restaurants that Jo opened in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was leading a personal crusade to elevate eating in America to a spectacular, theatrical experience. He hired me in 1960 to do the advertising for The Four Seasons but I immediately realised he was creating restaurants so I became creative director. I did that for The Four Seasons…
01Lois did campaigns for The Four Seasons
02Grill Room, Four Seasons, New York
03Mies van der Rohe-designed building
04Logo that’s also on the restaurant’s plates
05Sous chef preparing nigiri sushi
06Assistant manager Ivan Matteoni
07Dover sole with key lime sauce
08Risotto with white truffles
09Lois with stage curtain painted by Picasso
Profile, venue and menu
Celebrated adman George Lois created some of the 20th century’s most iconic advertisements. The lifelong New Yorker produced cutting-edge campaigns that went on to define the golden age of advertising. Lois was also controversial; many of his more than 90 Esquire covers critiqued the contentious issues of the 1960s, including civil rights, feminism and the Vietnam War.
The Four Seasons
Opened in 1959, New York’s only landmarked restaurant is housed in the city’s sole Mies van der Rohe-designed building. Award-winning and locally sourced American Nouveau cuisine is crafted by executive chef Pecko Zantilaveevan.
Risotto with white truffle shavings.
Sautéed Dover sole topped with parsley and key lime sauce.
Chocolate velvet cake.
Marquis de Laguiche, 2009.
Risotto with white truffles
7-8 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large shallots, diced small
1.5-2 cups Arborio rice
½ cup heavy cream
85g truffle butter
55g Parmesan cheese
Salt and white pepper
Shaved white truffles
1. In a stock pot over high heat, bring the chicken stock to a boil and turn down to a low simmer. In another pan over medium high heat, sauté shallots in 1 tbsp of olive oil for approximately 2 minutes until they are translucent. Add the rice and lightly toast for another minute.
2. Add chicken stock, a little at a time, sampling the rice along the way to determine it is cooked and the texture is al dente.
3. Once the risotto is cooked, finish with chicken stock, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, truffle butter and salt and white pepper to taste. The risotto’s texture should by velvety, creamy and slightly runny.
4. Place risotto on a serving plate and add thinly shaved fresh white truffle on top. Serve at once.