Rockefeller Center has been one of the highlights of New York City for years. However, in recent years, it had somewhat lost its charm. While the major establishments around it, like the glass-and-steel luxury mall Hudson Yards and the Chelsea Market, gathered popular momentum, Rock Center seemed to lag behind.
So, the head of Rockefeller Center, EB Kelly, decided to give it a reboot using food as the main catalyst. With the main thought behind the reboot being, ‘If New Yorkers aren’t eating here, neither will tourists,’ she joined hands with Tishman Speyer, who gave it a destination-dining-worthy renovation.
The Key to Success
To begin with, Speyer started by tapping into one of New York’s strongest creative assets: the chefs. He started building a collection of New York based chefs who wanted to contribute to building the particular neighborhood and wanted to explore the unknown that went along with the re-imagination of this iconic building. Counted among the Art Deco jewels of the city, the Rockefeller Center started its journey of transformation at the hands of the developer, who embraced the varying visions of each professional chef. As per Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson, Speyer focused on these visions to build the new style for the neighborhood.
A Promising Future
Once the revamped Rockefeller Center was reopened for the public, its future seemed strong, with the chefs attracting the elite from across New York for food and drinks after work. At this point in time, the Rock Center is now home to cuisines like tuna bibimbap, dressed Dungeness crab, chicken liver tajarin, and more. This has been possible through the accumulation of chef talent, including Lee Hanson, Riad Nasr, Clare de Boer, Annie Shi (Jupiter), Ignacio Mattos (Lodi), Junghyun Park (Naro), Jess Shadbolt, Greg Baxtrom (Five Acres), Walker Stern (Le Rock), JJ Johnson (Fieldtrip), and Eli and Max Sussman (Samesa).