Chef Michael Lomonaco was appointed Executive Chef/Director of Windows on the World in 1997, to the applause of lovers of great American cuisine everywhere. His inspired revitalization of New York's "21" coupled with his popularity as the host of the Travel Channel's Epicurious and the Food Network's Michael's Place, brought Lomonaco to a position as one of America's brightest culinary stars.
In his position as Chef/Director, Michael was responsible for all culinary operations at the Windows on the World complex. In addition, he managed the kitchens for and oversaw the Windows' private dining menus and operations.
Chef Lomonaco's culinary sensibility is based on his belief that great cooking is the ability to prepare foods creatively yet with simplicity. With deep thanks to NYC area greenmarkets, his menus underscored his conviction that Windows would be a restaurant fueled by "The American spirit"--confident, creative, and filled with the best local products. Through Michael's leadership, Windows On The World became one of America's best loved and the highest grossing restaurants three years in a row.
Lomonaco's first career of choice was in the theater. He is professionally trained to be an actor/singer and worked in theater and films for eight years following college. However, his passion for cooking, food and wine prompted him to enter NYC Technical College's Hotel and Restaurant Management program. Upon graduation in 1984, Chef Lomonaco entered the New York restaurant world and began the process of apprenticeship where he refined his skills under French and Swiss chefs in the kitchens of some of New York's most prestigious restaurants.
In 1986, he joined the staff at Le Cirque before moving to the newly renovated '21' Club as Sous Chef and Production Saucier. He left in 1988 to become Executive Sous Chef at the legendary Maxwell's Plum. A year later he returned to the '21' as Executive Chef.
Michael Lomonaco is co-author of the best selling The '21' Cookbook (Doubleday, 1995). He has contributed articles and recipes to dozens of national magazines, including New York magazine, Gourmet and Food & Wine. He is at work on cookbook that takes the mystery out of creative home cooking.
Fine cuisine is also the soul of many of his charitable activities. He often participates in cooking events that benefit a world of good causes, including Share our Strength, City Meals on Wheels, City Harvest, and the March of Dimes. He is a primary founder of the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund, which has gathered nationwide support.