Meet the cast of characters

Julian Niccolini


Partner and Managing Director

The Four Seasons Restaurant

Alex von Bidder


Partner and Managing Director
The Four Seasons Restaurant

Edgar Bronfman Jr.


Edgar Bronfman Jr. is a Managing Partner at Accretive LL​C​, and Executive Chairman of Global Thermostat LLC, a pioneering company designed to develop and commercialize a technology for the direct capture of carbon dioxide.  He is also a co-founder and General Partner of Waverley Capital, a venture capital group focused on the on the opportunities presented by disruption in the media industry.

Production Still coming soon.

Hilary Lewis


 Hilary Lewis collaborated with Philip Johnson over twelve years, recording extensively Johnson’s memoirs and ideas on architecture. Lewis wrote two books with Johnson: Philip Johnson: The Architect in His Own Words (Rizzoli, 1994) and The Architecture of Philip Johnson (Bulfinch, 2002). Lewis is trained in the history of architecture, public policy and urban planning, has taught architectural and urban history at Harvard and MIT, and serves as Chief Curator & Creative Director at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Glass House site.

Production Still coming soon.

Paul Goldberger


Paul Goldberger is now a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair. From 1997 through 2011 he served as the Architecture Critic for The New Yorker. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City. He was formerly Dean of the Parsons school of design, a division of The New School. He began his career at The New York Times, where in 1984 his architecture criticism was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, the highest award in journalism. 

Learn more about Paul from his own website.

Robert E. Rubin


Chairman Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. Robert E. Rubin served as vice chairman and co-chief operating officer at  Goldman from 1987 to 1990 and as co-senior partner and co-chairman from  1990 to 1992.

Learn more about Robert Rubin at the Council on Foreign Relations webiste.

Production still coming soon.

Phyllis Lambert


Phyllis Lambert, architect, is Founding Director Emeritus of the  Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal, an international  research center and museum founded in 1979 on the conviction that  architecture is a public concern. Lambert first made architectural  history as the Director of Planning of the Seagram Building (1954-58) in  New York City. She is recognized internationally for her contribution  to advancing contemporary architecture, for her concern for the social  issues of urban conservation and for the role of architecture in the  public realm, and for the programs of the CCA.

Michael Korda



New York Times best-selling author Michael Korda is the former editor in chief of Simon & Schuster and a living legend in the publishing world. His many books include Ike: An American Hero, Power, Charmed Lives, Queenie, Country Matters, Another Life, Horse People, Ulysses S. Grant, and Journey to a Revolution. He has appeared on countless national television and radio programs, and has given talks across the country at libraries such as the New York Public Library, universities such as Smith College, and cultural institutions such as New York’s 92nd Street Y.

Danny Meyer


Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Danny Meyer grew up in a family that relished great food and hospitality. In 1985, at the age of 27, Danny opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe, launching what would become a lifelong career in hospitality. Thirty years later, Danny’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) comprises some of New York’s most beloved and acclaimed restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino, and more. If you want to know more about Danny, head over to his website.

Production Still coming soon.

Drew Nieporent


(Michael D Ellenbogen, Drew Nieporent, James Spione; Production Still coming soon)

Drew Nieporent, one of America's most respected and celebrated  restaurateurs, is the founder and inspiration behind the Myriad  Restaurant Group, which operates Tribeca Grill, Nobu New York City, Nobu  Fifty Seven, Nobu London, Nobu Next Door, Bâtard, Porsche Grille at Citi Field, and Crush Wine & Spirits. Over the last 30 years, Myriad  has opened and operated over 39 restaurants around the world, including  Seattle, Louisville, Providence, Boca Raton, London, San Francisco,  Moscow, Citi Field, home of the New York Mets in Flushing, New York. Nieporent's first restaurant, the groundbreaking Montrachet (1985),  earned three stars from The New York Times and kept that rating for 21  years. Learn more about drew at his website.

Charles Baum


(Charles Baum, Michael D Ellenbogen; Production Still coming soon)

Charles Baum is the son of famous restaurateur and creator of The Four Seasons Restaurant, Joe Baum. "Baum’s son Charles believes that if his father had not become a  restaurant owner, “he would have been an extraordinary stage director,  or perhaps film director or composer.” Adds Charles, “He literally had  an ear for the business. I remember him saying to me, ‘Listen to the  noise in the room, feel the sound. It’ll tell you how your guests are  feeling.’ He could tell which area was having the pleasure, which was  feeling the pain.”" Quoted from The Legacy of Joe Baum By  July 14, 2010

Dick Cattani


Dick Cattani perusing an original summer menu from The Four Seasons; Production Still coming soon.

Dick Cattani, Chief Executive Officer, Premier Hospitality Group, started with Restaurant Associates right out of college as back of  the house steward. He eventually became General Manager of the famous  “Newarker Restaurant” at Newark Airport. To learn more about Dick, please visit his website.

Frank Glasgall


(Michael D Ellenbogen, Franklin Glasgall; Production Still coming soon)


Vice President Real Estate

Restaurant Associates,Corp.

1968 – 1990 

Laura Attis



The Four Seasons Restaurant

Lorenz Pretternoffer


Maïtre-D, The Four Seasons Restaurant

Pecko Zantilaveevan


Executive Chef, The Four Seasons Restaurant

Daniel Sanon


Food & Beverage Director, The Four Seasons Restaurant

Brent Lewis


(L-R, Alex von Bidder; Brent Lewis, Wright Auctions; Production Still coming soon)

Formerly of Wright Auctions, Brent Lewis, now Director at Heritage Auctions, is an art and design specialist based in Los Angeles and the director of design for Heritage Auctions.   He has spent over fifteen years in the auction business, working with both East and West Coast firms as a specialist and auctioneer.  In his role at Heritage, Brent oversees the department of 20th Century and Contemporary Design, focusing on building Heritage’s market in mid-century and postwar design.

Faith Willinger


(Julian Niccolini (left), Faith Willinger (right) both wearing Faith's signature hat; Production Still coming soon)

Faith Willinger is a chef, author, and born-again Italian. She moved to Italy in 1973 and has spent over 30 years searching for the best food from the Alps to Sicily. Faith has spent more than 30 years searching for the best food and wine, as well as the world beyond the table from the Alps to Sicily. Faith was awarded the prestigious San Pellegrino award for outstanding work as an ambassador of Italian cooking. She's the author of the bestselling (9th printing) guidebook Eating in Italy, the cookbook Red, White & Greens, and the narrative recipe book Adventures of an Italian Food Lover. Learn more about Faith at her website.

Sonia Colon


Reservations Manager

The Four Seasons Restaurant

Donald Marron


(L-R: James Spione, Donald Marron, Michael D Ellenbogen).

Donald Marron is an American financier, private equity investor and entrepreneur, notable as the chairman and CEO of brokerage firm Paine Webber from 1980 through the sale of the company in 2000, as well as the founder of private equity firm Lightyear Capital and of Data Resources Inc.. Marron is one of America's most recognized private art collectors. His collection of post-war works spanning both the 20th and 21st centuries is inspired by his personal response to art and his conviction that good contemporary art reflects -- and great art anticipates -- societal trends.

Production Still coming soon.

Ruth Reichl


Ruth Reichl is the author of My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, a cookbook published in September 2015. She was Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine from 1999 to 2009. Before that she was the restaurant critic of both The New York Times (1993-1999) and the Los Angeles Times (1984-1993), where she was also named food editor. She has been honored with 6 James Beard Awards (one for magazine feature writing and one for multimedia food journalism in 2009; two for restaurant criticism, in 1996 and 1998; one for journalism, in 1994; and Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, 1984. For more information about Ruth, visit her website

Production Still coming soon.

Isay Weinfeld


(Michael D Ellenbogen (L), Isay Weinfeld (R). Production Still coming soon.


Isay weinfeld, the architect responsible for creating the new Four Seasons at 280 Park Avenue that is opening in July 2016, is a Brazilian architect who has worked on a wide range of  projects, from private residences to commercial spaces. Weinfeld  founded his practice in 1975, after graduating from the School of  Architecture at Mackenzie University. One of his recent designs is  the 360 Building in Sao Paulo, completed in 2013.

Learn more about Isay from his own website.

Paul Freedman


Chester D. Tripp Professor of History; Professor Freedman specializes in medieval social history, the history  of Catalonia, comparative studies of the peasantry, trade in luxury  products, and the history of cuisine.  His latest book is Ten Restaurants That Changed America (Liveright/Norton, 2016). The Four Seasons Restaurant is one of the restaurants Freedman writes about in that book. For more information about Paul Freedman, please visit his biography at

John Mariani


  John Mariani is an author and journalist of 30+ years standing, having begun his writing for New York Magazine in 1973. During this time, he became known as one of America’s premiere food writers (a three-time nominee for the James Beard Journalism Award) and author of several books on food in America today. For 35 years he was Esquire Magazine's food and travel correspondent and for ten years wine critic for Bloomberg News. He currently writes a bi-weekly blog for Huffington Post. Learn more about John on his website

Production Still coming soon.

Richard Wright


Richard Wright is the founder of Wright Auctions, a leader in the world of modern design auction houses. His auction house was responsible for auctioning off all the contents from The Four Seasons Restaurant in July 2017 and generating $4.3 million. For an interesting read about Richard Wright, read this article by Vasia Rigou in NEWCITY DESIGN.



The New-York Historical Society is the Fiscal Sponsor of It Happened Over Lunch. Individuals, corporations or foundations can make 100% tax-deductible contributions supporting the film, directly through the organization.


Just as the original Four Seasons was a “gift to the City of New York” – created to satisfy a vision of global culture, It Happened Over Lunch will also be a gift to the City of New York; when complete, we plan to make the film accessible to the New-York Historical Society, the New York Public Library and to Public Broadcasting and educational institutions in New York City, at no fee.

How to contribute, today!