From from Sleepy Hollow, New York, Will Guidara born November 25 1979 (hello Sagittarius ) never intended to become a fine dining restaurateur. Though his credentials include being a graduate of the prestigious School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, he wasn’t attracted to fine dining, seeing it as boring and stuffy. Working in the restaurant industry since the age of thirteen and attending culinary school in the north of Spain he soon would find himself training at Spago in Beverly Hills and going on to becoming a leader in modern luxury dining. After working for six years for the Union Square Hospitality Group, in 2011, Daniel Humm and Guidara purchased Eleven Madison Park, with Guidara as the General Manager. Soon after, in early 2012, the duo opened the food and beverage spaces at The NoMad Hotel and in 2014 the NoMad Bar that earned a top spot on the World’s Best Bar list. In 2017, they opened Made Nice, a counter-service restaurant located in the NoMad neighborhood, then the second location of The NoMad in Downtown Los Angeles in n 2018. Under the leadership of Guidara and Humm, Eleven Madison Park received four stars from the New York Times, three Michelin stars, and then in 2017 arrived at the top of the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. In addition the restaurant was the proud recipient of seven James Beard awards, including Outstanding Service and Outstanding Restaurant in America.
Will and Daniel have co-authored four cookbooks together: Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook, I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes, The NoMad Cookbook, and Eleven Madison Park: The Next Chapter for which only 11,000 copies were produced. Every book of the limited edition, deluxe cookbook: Eleven Madison Park: the Next Chapter, is hand signed with two hardback volumes, more than 100 recipes, watercolour illustrations, and photography of dishes from the restaurant.
A defining characteristic of Will Guidara’s perspective on fine dining is that it’s noble, it’s important. He never wanted to work in a formal ambience feeling there was a human factor missing in fine dining. Guidara’s two goals now are, as he says 1. to create best in class restaurants and 2. to remind the world that “working in service is super cool and that there’s nobility in serving.” He enjoys connecting with people and also believes it’s important to communicate back and forth with the kitchen. He not only wants to make sure people feel comfortable in the dining room at Eleven Madison Park but wants to make sure his staff understands that "service is more noble than just serving food.” Taking a meal and turning into an experience, he wants to create magic. His new approach, of reading the guests, and earning the informality - softens the archaic, ultra serious approach to service that he says doesn't work anymore.