Sirio Maccioni is a living legend, a restaurateur extraordinaire who has wined and dined high society in New York for nearly half a century.
Sirio Maccioni is a living legend, a restaurateur extraordinaire who has wined and dined high society in New York for nearly half a century. Along the way, he helped launch the careers of many illustrious chefs - David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, and Jacques Torres among them - and befriended a host of celebrities in the arts, politics, and business, from Frank Sinatra and Frank Zappa to Nancy Reagan and Ivana Trump. Now Maccioni lets us into his world, revealing the secrets that have made his Le Cirque one of the world's most celebrated restaurants. With the help of award-winning Bloomberg restaurant critic Peter Elliot, Maccioni recounts the story of his life and his restaurant career. Beginning with his childhood in rural Tuscany during World War II and the tragedies and privations that left him determined to pursue success at the world's finest restaurants, he shares a journey that took him to post-war Paris and Hamburg and the nightlife of pre-Castro Cuba and finally to New York. By 1961, the dashing young Maccioni had become maitre d' at New York's most storied restaurant, the Colony. Within thirteen years, he had the experience and contacts he needed to launch his own restaurant, Le Cirque, which quickly became the hub of cafe society in New York. From hiring the right chefs and revolutionizing the way top restaurants operate to popularizing now-famous dishes such as pasta primavera and creme brulee, Maccioni reveals how he made Le Cirque such a long-running success - a success that reached new heights when the restaurant moved to a new location in 1997. Along the way, Maccioni explains how he's dealt with defecting chefs and demanding customers. And through it all, he pays tribute to his proud Tuscan roots and to his wife and their three sons, who operate the family's other New York restaurant, Osteria del Circo, as well as restaurants in Las Vegas and Mexico City. Like Maccioni himself, Sirio is full of passion, energy, and life - the unforgettable story of the world's most extraordinary restaurateur.