Featured Mixologist and Restauranteur: Nick Mautone

Posted by
rachaelray.com
Nick Mautone: Restauranteur/Author/Mixologist

Nick Mautone's Bio:

Born in Mt. Vernon, NY, Nick Mautone has spent most of his professional life in the hospitality and food service industries.  Nick began his life in food service working for his grandfather’s company – Brunetto Cheese in Yonkers, NY.  Working within the framework of his family business, Nick shaped the core values upon which his subsequent career has been based.

While attending Fordham University for business administration Nick worked in local restaurants and catering businesses to put himself through school.  He began his education as a pre-med major but changed his focus after giving in to his passion for food, wine and hospitality. 

In 1982, along with his 3 brothers and 3 sisters, Nick opened “American Pie.”  Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, American Pie was a N.Y. favorite for nine years.  American Pie specialized in serving innovative deep-dish style pizzas, with both traditional and non-traditional fillings, and homey dessert pies and cheesecakes in a casual and family friendly atmosphere.  Many people felt he was doing Wolfgang Puck-style pizzas before Wolfgang.

After satisfying his entrepreneurial itch, Nick turned his focus to the fine dining arena.  Joining the management team of the three-star restaurant, Gotham Bar and Grill, sharpened the service aspect of Nick’s management skills.  For three years at Gotham he handled staff training and education and increased the restaurant’s overall profitability.

In 1993 Nick was recruited to “right the ship” at the highly acclaimed waterfront restaurant, the Hudson River Club, in New York’s World Financial Center.  As the General Manager of HRC he oversaw the day-to-day operations of a multi-faceted facility which included a large-format, in-house catering facility, an off-premise catering business handling parties of one thousand or more guests, and an à la carte dining room which served three hundred lunches daily.

Looking to broaden his horizons, Nick joined the highly respected co-owners of Gramercy Tavern, Danny Meyer and Tom Colicchio, in 1995.  It seemed like a perfect fit for three entrepreneurial spirits, each with strong family values and a common belief in “Enlightened Hospitality.”  As Managing Partner of Gramercy Tavern, he helped create and maintain what became the number one rated restaurant in New York, widely considered one of the best restaurants in America and on anyone’s list for one of the best in the world.

Currently, Nick operates 2 multifaceted food service, management and consulting companies. Both companies are forward thinking organizations focused on extraordinary levels of excellence, balanced leadership and community involvement.  With Partner Don Pintabona, Nick is the Operating Partner of The Alexis Group which consults to Trina Restaurant in the Atlantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale as well as all food service facilities for the hotel.  Mautone Enterprises has consulted to such restaurants as Amuse, Josephs (formerly Citarella) The Carlton Hotel & Country by Chef Geoffrey Zakarian of Town and 6-Penn Kitchen in Pittsburgh.  Currently, Nick is working with TV celebrity and author Rachael Ray on a new restaurant concept “Bar RR” set to open in 2008 and is partnering with Chef Ed Brown on “81 Restaurant” set to open Fall 2007.  In addition to restaurants, Nick works with beverage companies to assist in their marketing, brand management, sales training and recipe development.  Current clients include Grey Goose Vodka, Beleza Pura Cachaca and Twelve.

Nick is an acclaimed wine judge having judged in such prestigious competitions as the LA County Fair, Dallas Morning News Wine Competition and the NY Wine and Food Classic.  He has shared his knowledge by teaching classes at the Institute of Culinary Education.  Nick is a board member of the New York State Restaurant Association Manhattan Chapter and sits on its legislative council.  He also has been the key note speaker at lectures given by The New York State Restaurant Association.

Nick completed his first book “Raising the Bar” published by Artisan and released in November of 2004 and is currently working on his second.  He has been a contributor to Everyday With Rachael Ray, Cargo and Chow magazines writing about food, beverage and spirits.  He has appeared as a guest on 30+ television shows and radio programs talking and educating about food, wine and spirits.

Strongly believing in active participation in the community, Nick works with many local and national charities.  He is an active Board Member of City Harvest and has been an advisor and fundraiser to Share our Strength, Accion New York and Children of Bellevue. 

Outside of the restaurant Nick devotes his time to his daughter Alexandra, son Nicholas and wife Terri Ludwig.  A dedicated amateur astronomer, his favorite pastimes include skiing, cycling, golf and all team and individual sports. 

Nick graciously gave us these awesome holiday cocktail recipes to share with you!