The Art of the Restaurateur

Reveals the hidden stories behind some of the world’s best restaurants, which celebrate the complex but unrecognised art of the restaurateur.

Nicholas Lander owned L'Escargot in London in the 1980's. He is a renowned food columnist for the Financial Times.


Price: USD$39.95

The Art of the Restaurateur is a compelling look behind the scenes at some of the world's best restaurants, and celebrates the complex but unsung art of the restaurateur.

In his first ever book, acclaimed Financial Times restaurant critic (and former restaurateur) Nicholas Lander reveals everything you ever wanted to know about the highs and lows of the restaurant business, presenting the untold stories of the world's best restaurateurs, from luxurious Michelin-starred restaurants, to bustling neighbourhood bistros, to stylish fast-food cafes.

Every story is fascinating, entertaining, and has something to tell about the creation of a successful restaurant, from finding the right location to deciding what kind of food to serve. Engaging, erudite and packed with insights, it's a must-read for anyone interested in food, and for anyone who's ever dreamed of opening a restaurant.

Learn how Alan Yau lost control of Wagamama in a family feud and how Danny Meyer, with two hugely successful restaurants behind him (Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern) opened Blue Smoke, a barbecue restaurant, without appreciating that all New Yorkers consider themselves barbecue experts, so they all thought he was doing everything wrong. Behind each of these successes is an equally dramatic story of something that went very badly wrong. When they got the tricky recipe right, they succeeded in creating some of the world’s landmark restaurants.

Covering subjects as diverse as finding the right location and the importance of getting the design right; to choosing the best chef and deciding what food to serve; to managing staff and dealing with difficult customers, every story is fascinating, different, and has something to tell about the creation of a successful restaurant.


Format: Hardback
Size: 245 x 172 mm (9 5/8 x 6 3/4 in)
Pages: 352 pp
Illustrations: 50 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714864693

  Nicholas Lander is such a fluent writer in this fascinating book, The Art of the Restaurateur. His system of completing each profile with a salient restaurant point applicable to all is brilliant.
- Danny Meyer

Nobu wasn't built in a day. In Nicholas Lander's gorgeous illustrated book... Drew Nieporent and 19 other proprietors reveal what it takes (pluck, creativity, Clintonian people skills) to run a top dining establishment. A must-read for restaurant lovers.
- Details

…Serves as an excellent primer to the world of running a restaurant. In a world where chefs get all the attention, it's nice to see the incredibly difficult work of restaurateur get its due.
- Eater National

Having been a restaurateur himself (he owned L’Escargot in Soho during the 1980s), Nicholas Lander (b.1952) knows and appreciates the business. He has written The Restaurant Insider, the hugely popular restaurant column in the Financial Times, for the past 21 years, which has become a must-read for all restaurant-goers and professionals.

Contents and Sections:

The Accidental Restaurateur
Restaurateur to Critic

Hazel Allen The The Ballymaloe welcome
Joe Bastianich Italy in the USA
Enrico Bernardo Il Vino: A Parisian mecca for wine-lovers
Gabriele Bertaiola A traditional Italian locanda
Michelle Garnaut Eclectic Western food in the Far East
Trevor Gulliver Pared-down British style at St. John
Sam & Eddie Hart Spanish charm, British elegance
Maguy Le Coze Classic French at Le Bernardin from Paris to New York
Des McDonald Affordable, contemporary luxury
Danny Meyer The essence of New York

  Drew Nieporent From Tribeca chic to Nobu worldwide
Russell Norman Bustling, intimate bars with small plates
Neil Perry Australian style, substance and confidence
Gilbert Pilgram Zuni: Flavours of the West Coast
Nigel Platts-Martin Classic neighbourhood restaurants
Mark Sainsbury Informal urban dining from Moro to Zetter
Juli Soler The influential management of elBulli
Adam Tihany The restaurateur’s designer
Marie-Pierre Troisgros Classic French luxury
Alan Yau Slick, fast-paced and exciting food

The Life of a Restaurateur
Cast of Characters


A Day at elBulli

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