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Voices from the Food Revolution: People Who Changed The Way Americans Eat
An oral history project conducted by Judith Weinraub
Made possible with a grant from the Leon Levy Foundation
2009-2011
 MSS.309

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This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 22, 2016
Description is in English.

Container List

Michael Whiteman

Biographical Note

One of the most ubiquitous eating venues today is the food court—an essential component in suburban shopping malls, office complexes, railroad stations, and other public spaces. Upscale versions are currently very fashionable in New York City. We take them for granted.

But food courts run by a single operator didn't exist until the 1970s, when restaurant consultants Joe Baum and Michael Whiteman created The Big Kitchen, a 350-seat complex on the concourse level of the World Trade Center.

Baum, who was the president of Restaurant Associates (RA) for many years, was a life force in the restaurant industry, a man full of innovative methods of preparing and serving food at places like The Four Seasons, The Forum of the Twelve Caesars, and Fonda del Sol. In 1970, Baum left RA to form his own consulting company. In that same year, he landed a big contract to create the master plan for restaurants in the World Trade Center, and he needed help.

His choice was the much younger Whiteman, then the Editor of Nation's Restaurant News, a biweekly trade magazine he had created. Eventually the two set up "Baum + Whiteman - The World's Preeiminent Food + Restaurant Consulting Company." After Baum's death in 1998, Whiteman and his wife, chef and cookbook author Rozanne Gold, carried on the business with Dennis Sweeney.

Whiteman discusses that history and the company's work since then. He includes memories of working with James Beard, one of of the consultants on the World Trade Center restaurant project.

Access Points

People:
Baum, Joseph
Beard, James, 1903-1985
Glaser, Milton
Gold, Rosanne, 1954-
Kafka, Barbara
Kumin, Albert
Lang, George, 1924-
Pépin, Jacques
Tower, Jeremiah
Whiteman, Michael
Wines, Barry

Organizations:
Four Seasons (Restaurant)
Hilton International (Firm)
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Quilted Giraffe (Restaurant)
Rainbow Room (Restaurant)
Restaurant Associates
Stars (Restaurant)
Windows on the World (New York, N.Y.)
World Trade Center (New York, N.Y.)

Subjects:
Cooking, American -- History -- 20th century
Food habits -- United States
Food industry and trade -- United States
Food service
Restaurant management
Restaurants -- New York (State) -- New York

Subject Names

  • Baum, Joseph
  • Glaser, Milton
  • Beard, James, 1903-1985
  • Whiteman, Michael
  • Wine, Barry
  • Pépin, Jacques
  • Tower, Jeremiah
  • Kumin, Albert
  • Lang, George, 1924-
  • Gold, Rosanne, 1954-
  • Kafka, Barbara

Subject Organizations

  • World Trade Center (New York, N.Y.)
  • Stars (Restaurant)
  • Windows on the World (New York, N.Y.)
  • Rainbow Room (Restaurant)
  • Restaurant Associates
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Quilted Giraffe (Restaurant)
  • National Gallery of Art (U.S.)
  • Four Seasons (Restaurant)
  • Hilton International (Firm)

Subject Topics

  • Cooking, American -- History -- 20th century.
  • Food habits -- United States.
  • Food industry and trade -- United States.
  • Food service
  • Restaurant management
  • Restaurants -- New York (State) -- New York.

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