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Joseph Baum & The Newarker Restaurant

Joseph Baum & The Newarker Restaurant

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Joseph Baum & The Newarker Restaurant

102 pagine
1 ora
Oct 4, 2017


This memoir by Dr. Donald G. Boudreau memorializes and underscores the significance to the culinary world writ large, of the rather remarkable feat accomplished in 1953 by the highly innovative restauranteur, Joseph H. Baum (1920-1998), who would go on to becoming known as the father of the modern restaurant, in creating his premier theme restaurant, the first of many for Restaurant Associates, The Newarker restaurant at Newark Airport in Newark, New Jersey (1953-1974).
This accomplished, in the words of the respected food writer Barbara Kafka, a “feat of no mean,” ultimately realizing after a bumpy start The Newarker becoming a popular destination restaurant, largely for nontravelers, especially given its lackluster location (Newark Airport in Newark, New Jersey) counterintuitively and rather remarkably becoming a resounding success as a fine dining mecca in the Garden State. The Newarker restaurant was attracting many diners throughout the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, with many paying guests traveling long distances as its loyal patrons. In so doing, Joseph Baum and the company’s then president Jerome Brody, went about pre-staging in The Newarker kitchen for Restaurant Associates, what would ultimately become a high renaissance during the 1960s and 1970s, of fine dining theme restaurants in the restaurant capital of the world, New York City, the likes of which the world had theretofore never witnessed.
They and the Restaurant Associates team would go about creating legendary restaurants such as The Four Seasons (America’s most influential dining establishment), Forum of the Twelve Caesars, La Fonda del Sol (on Avenue of the Americas, on the ground floor of New York’s Time + Life Building], Tower Suite (in New York’s Seagram Building), Trattoria, The Brasserie, John Peel, Mama Leone’s, Tavern on the Green (in New York City’s Central Park), and Top of the Sixes.
Teaming with, including among others, the Swiss-German chef Albert Stockli (1918-1972) who in years to come would go on to becoming one of America’s finest chefs, and James Beard (1903-1985), the joint Dean of American cooking and the father of American food with whom Baum maintained a close warm twenty-plus years friendship and fruitful working relationship, Joe Baum would go about vastly influencing and moreover, positively advancing the food and restaurant worlds beyond his lifetime to the present date. Like few, if many men, ever before him in the restaurant industry and food world a la James Beard, Baum’s seminal contributions continue yielding useful benefits for current and future generations, worldwide, involving all things food. Nine Photographs. Notes.

Oct 4, 2017

Informazioni sull'autore

Dr. Donald G. Boudreau is an internationally recognized expert in the field of economic statecraft. He is also the author of the books, “American Business and Daytime Dramas,” “American Sanctions Against The Soviet Union: From Nixon To Reagan,” and "Resistance in the Gulag Archipelago (1918-1956)." Retired from Federal Government service, for nearly three decades, he held various United States Government appointments with the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Department of Energy, and finally and extensively, with the U.S. Department of Defense. He holds the Ph.D. degree in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies at The University of Geneva, Switzerland, a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree with specialization in public management from Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, and a B.A. degree in Political Science from Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, with Pi Gamma Mu and Pi Sigma Alpha honorary, the National Social Science and Political Science Honor Societies, respectively. Dr. Boudreau served as Rutgers University’s premier Presidential Management Intern as a member of the first class of the Program (1978-80), having been nominated by Rutgers University and selected for such by the then U.S. Civil Service Commission in Washington, DC. The Presidential Management Intern Program (now, the United States Government’s Presidential Management Fellows Program) is a program “designed to attract to Federal service men and women of exceptional management potential who have special training in planning and managing public programs.” Formerly, he served as assistant business administrator for the Town of Irvington, New Jersey. Dr. Boudreau is the recipient of, including among other awards received during his distinguished Federal Government career, the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence, a U. S. Treasury Department Sustained Superior Performance Award, and numerous other U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Defense performance awards. He moreover, while pursuing his doctoral studies at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (“the Institute”) at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, was competitively and jointly awarded by the Institute and the U.N. Centre For Human Rights, an Hautes Etudes Internationales Graduate Internship in International Organization that he successfully served with the United Nations Centre for Human Rights at the European Headquarters of the United Nations at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Boudreau’s articles on various foreign policy and national security subjects have appeared in the journals, World Affairs, Strategic Review, The International Journal On World Peace, European Security, Diplomacy & Statecraft, International Peacekeeping, and Strategic Analysis (New Delhi). He and his wife, Zoraida de, and their children reside in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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Joseph Baum & The Newarker Restaurant - Donald G Boudreau

Joseph Baum & The Newarker Restaurant at Newark Airport:

From a Poisoned Chalice to the Lutece of New Jersey*

by Donald G. Boudreau

Copyright 2017 by Donald G. Boudreau

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Cover images courtesy of Canstockphoto

Cover by Joleene Naylor

Credit: Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. Newarker Restaurant The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1960.


When in the early 1950s, Joseph Baum was first hired on by its young president Jerome Brody at Restaurant Associates (RA) [a name, earlier truncated to such in 1945 from its predecessor Rikers Restaurant Associates (1) which had essentially been a chain of coffee shops and cafeterias] he was immediately presented with a singular Herculean challenge, albeit one with many counterintuitive components attached. His portfolio: The Port Authority of New York had established a cardinal condition to the company for obtaining all of the food concessions at Newark Airport. They, RA, would be charged with creating and running a quality restaurant, yes at Newark Airport, of all places, and with all that implied aesthetically, as a keystone of the package deal. (2)

The noted food writer and former restaurant critic of The New York Times, William Grimes, with acute perception observes that Joseph Baum inter alia Restaurant Associates was in a sense being offered up a poisoned chalice (3) that few, if any restaurateurs would be up to the task of attaining, never mind moreover, excelling in achieving. What thoughts, possibly, went through Joseph Baum’s mind when facing the thorny challenge being proffered up to him by his corporate masters? Is it too late to go about moving elsewhere? Perhaps it was time for yet another career change, more focused on hotels, given my Cornell degree in hotel administration? One can almost, liken the monumental tasking in difficulty before him to that of The Wizard of Oz’s admonition (4) to Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion in the iconic namesake 1939 movie:

Oz: But first you must prove yourselves worthy by performing a very small task. Bring me the broomstick of the Witch of the West.

The Scarecrow: Bbbbbbbbut...if we do that, we'll have to kill her to get it.

Oz: Bring me her broomstick and I'll grant your requests. Now, go.

Baum, being young and since having grown bored with Miami in recent years, was inclined to be accepting of the challenge. Since The Newarker was Joseph Baum’s premier restaurant undertaking presented to him by his then budding new employer, RA, The Newarker, and Baum’s creating of it, serves as a useful prototype, a laboratory if you will, for examining and exploring what observers frequently refer to as the holistic Baumean approach to modern restaurant design. This was a methodology, in other words a process, which he Baum excelled in employing as part of his DNA. It was, very much indeed, who he was. Note, we are not referring to it here as an orderly, organized process by standard definitions applied by mere mortals, since it surely from those who witnessed it, was anything but. Although it, Baum’s iterative manner of working day to day and his penchant, his ceaseless to the end quest for discovering the new and not yet tried, seeking the extraordinary, was not and would not surely by any means be devoid of intellectual and historical content either.

This sometimes tortuous, tirelessly evolving creative process which many people encountered over decades in their dealings with Mr. Baum was a dynamic, an iterative working approach, one of constant changes on the ongoing trial and error road, toward masterfully improving many diverse elements, that were joining together by his hands in an integrative topical manner, that became over time, his hallmark. Since this was an approach which he honed daily and that, culminating in future decades, powerfully led to Baum producing some legendary, over-the-top, groundbreaking masterpiece destination restaurants, drawing vast crowds along with their concomitant wallets in the process. It is these many Baum created restaurant experiences, which today, continue in resonating their influences and trending practices throughout the food world, both domestically and internationally.

And, what becomes far too easy to overlook, is that Baum through his creations, his rich offspring of restaurants and restaurant concepts birthed, yes birthed, Joseph Baum made countless people happy through indefatigable hard work, constantly improving through positive change, and the mastery of his craft. He did so, by richly entertaining them in so many ways, while concurrently feeding them well, as his cherished dining guests. And they, in turn accordingly thus became, the beneficiaries of his many wonderful feeding places as well as of the many trends he unleashed, granted wittingly or unwittingly.

And too, one strongly suspects, that in sensing such, he genuinely, tremendously warmly enjoyed their, his many guests’ satisfaction derived, in so splendidly living life, joyously with conviviality over food and drink, in these some wonderful places, that aimed toward uplifting the spirits of its patrons, seducing their guests, to moods beyond the ordinary pale, beyond the gray blandness of daily humdrum everyday living, beyond the mundane task of merely eating food. This is one of Joseph Baum’s many gifts to the world that keeps giving, an abundant, colorful horn of plenty, forevermore. And, this is no small treasure.

So, what is it we mean when we say that Joseph Baum was employing a holistic approach in crafting his modern conceptual restaurants? His holistic approach, consisting of many elements, was principally centered upon his framework penchant for willingly and closely collaborating with, and utilizing the expertise and talents of, including among others, some of the Nation’s leading architects, designers, and consultants. As William Grimes (2009), the noted food writer and former restaurant critic for The New York Times observes (5) in his book, Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York:

Baum thought of restaurants as integrated environments, with food, design, and service part of a seamless whole. The look of the place, the language of the menu, the design of the tableware, the waiters uniform – all contributed to the overall effect.

These elements being brought to bear were critical elements for aiding Baum in realizing his ideas. The following examples, here apropos to The Newarker restaurant at the old, original Newark Airport, are not intended by any means to be an exhaustive listing, but rather representative of the types of elements which Baum was ceaselessly experimenting with and coordinating while cleverly

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