Michael  Lomonaco

Italian-American Michael Lomonaco’s first career of choice was a theater/film actor and singer. He professionally trained and worked eight years in the industry but eventually, his passion for cooking, food and wine overshadowed the bright lights of Tinsel Town. He enrolled in the NYC Technical College’s Hotel and Restaurant Management program and graduated in 1984. Immediately afterward, Michael entered the New York restaurant world and began a process of rigorous apprenticeships where he honed 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 Saucier. He left in 1988 to become Executive Sous Chef at the legendary Maxwell’s Plum and a year later returned to the ’21’ as Executive Chef. This led to his being appointed Executive Chef/Director of Windows on the World in 1997 to the applause of lovers of great American cuisine everywhere. When tragedy struck on 9/11 it was sheer luck – in his case, a stop at an eyeglass shop on his way to work – that saved Michael’s life. As a result of the devastation, Michael co-founded the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund which was formed to provide aid to families of the victims of the World Trade Center tragedy. Returning to his on-camera background, Michael has been host of Discovery Channel’s Epicurious and the Food Network’s Michael’s Place. He has also authored cookbooks including The ‘21” Cookbook in 1995. Today, he’s the owner/chef at Porter House New York- one of the best American style steak houses and grills in the city, housed in another iconic building, the Time Warner Center. As Michael says, his steakhouse was a “gift back” to the city he loves.