There is a brilliantly researched article on The Ladies Who Lunched in the February 2012 Vanity Fair magazine. It reminded me so much of the early days at The Four Seasons restaurant in New York City.
While capturing our imagination, Joe Baum elevated the act of dining into a fine art. Long before it became fashionable to embrace farm to table concepts, this legendary restaurateur extraordinare, changed the way America eats.
- He was the first restaurateur to commission farmers to grow vegetables and fruits specifically for his restaurants
- The first to have salt water and fresh water fish tanks in his restaurant
- The first to introduce fine art in the form of paintings, sculptures, carved wood and blown glass into restaurants
- His table top designs are included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art
- He was the first to undertake scholarly research to authenticate the details of his restaurants
- The first to engage professional theatrical designers to produce custom-fitted staff uniforms
- The first to create restaurants as entertainments
- The first to offer a formalized seasonal menu and create a distinctively American menu — written in English
- The first to launch major advertising and public relations campaigns for restaurants