Meet the Interviewees...

it happened over lunch


IT HAPPENED OVER LUNCH will reveal fascinating stories, known only to a few, from the first 57 years at America’s most iconic eating establishment... The Four Seasons Restaurant.

It will feature personalities whose exploits over lunch inspired Esquire magazine to coin the term “power lunch” in the 70s. It will reveal details of the creation of the first seasonal menu and unearth the secrets of what became known as "American" cuisine. The Four Seasons Restaurant will always be an idea BIGGER than the sum of its parts.

IT HAPPENED OVER LUNCH will come together with the help of many people who were part of this story and the many people who will support this production today. It will be a record of the history of The Four Seasons Restaurant, the story of many people and a narrative memento of an idea, born in 1958, in the mind of Joe Baum of Restaurant Associates and continues today in the hearts of Julian Niccolini, Alex von Bidder and many others.

In the photo taken for a Vanity Fair article by Michael O'Neill for The Four Season's 40th anniversary (1997) you will find the following:  (outside the bar, counterclockwise from rear left) Albert Kumin, former pastry chef, Roger Martin, press agent, Karl Linn, landscape architect, Ada Louise Huxtable, architecture critic and designer of tableware at the Four Seasons, Phyllis Lambert, project director, Philip Johnson, architect, Richard Lippold, sculptor, Lester Klepper, lawyer, Tom Margittai, former co-owner (with Paul Kovi), and inside bar from left Seppi Rengli, former executive chef, Christian “Hitch” Albin, former executive chef, Philip Miles, press agent, Patrick Lemblé, former pastry chef, George Lois, former ad man, Mimi Sheraton, food writer, Marilynn Gelfman Karp, sculptor, Ron Holland, former ad man, Emil Antonucci, menu and logo designer, George Lang, former director, Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini, current co-owners and managing partners.


On Saturday, July 16th 2016, the last meal was served in the iconic Seagram Building; 10 days later the contents from ash-trays ($12,500) to bronze plaques ($96,000) disappeared during an astounding, nostalgia fueled, $4.1 million auction. On July 31st 2016, Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder locked the doors for the last time at 99 E. 52nd Street, setting their sights on 280 Park Avenue and the next exciting chapter of The Four Seasons.


In recognition of the importance of this story to the history of New York, The New-York Historical Society, a not-for-profit organization granted 501(c)(3) status, has become the Fiscal Sponsor of IT HAPPENED OVER LUNCH, T4S Documentary LLC. As such, all contributions are 100% tax deductible and Contributors may choose to receive acknowledgements as described on the "Contribute Today!" page, based on the contribution made to support the production of the documentary.