Chef Waldy Malouf
January 1997 ... Four short months after Waldy Malouf is named Chef/Director of Manhattan's beloved Rainbow Room, restaurant critic Ruth Reichl of The New York Times awards the restaurant a remarkable three-star review-its first-and one of only three she bestows in 1997.
August 1999 ... Today, two and a half years later, continued ...Waldy is again featured prominently in The New York Times-but now as "The Chef" in the Wednesday section's eight-part chef/recipe series. Recipes in his column-which debuted on July 21st-pay tribute to open fire and wood fire cooking, the earmark of the earthy, flavorful, and inventive cuisine he now presents at his brand-new, midtown Manhattan landmark, BEACON Restaurant, Bar & Bakery. In fact, in his recent review, critic William Grimes of The New York Times commented, "[Beacon] ... delivers uncomplicated, big-flavored food, emphasizing fresh, seasonal ingredients. That's all, and that's enough ... Beacon gets it right."
Waldy Malouf graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1975 having won First Prize in that year's Carras Culinary Competition. His extensive professional experience includes affiliations with The Four Seasons, La Côte Basque, the St. Regis Hotel, La Cremaillere (Banksville, NY), the Hudson River Club, and The Rainbow Room.
Beginning at La Cremaillere, Waldy developed a signature cuisine that presented the culinary riches of New York State's Hudson River Valley, a subject he explored to great acclaim in his first book, THE HUDSON RIVER VALLEY COOKBOOK: A Leading American Chef Savors the Region's Bounty (Addison-Wesley, 1995). The book-nominated for a Julia Child Cookbook Award by the International Association of Culinary Professionals-won high praise from The New York Times, which reviewed it on two separate occasions, naming it one of the year's "Ten Best" in "The Sunday Book Review." Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and The Daily News also lauded the work, which was released in paperback this summer by Harvard Common Press and optioned by Book-of-the-Month-Club. Waldy is currently working on his second book, MAGNIFICENT MEATS, to be published in 2001.
Over the years, Waldy has garnered a distinguished reputation for establishing an excellent rapport with his teams of chefs, and is viewed as a mentor by many in the industry. He has developed and nurtured long-term, deeply felt relationships with local farmers and growers. "It is," he notes, "the rapport I've cultivated over a period of twenty years with local purveyors, vintners, and fishermen that gives my food substance, body and emotion.
Awards, Accolades and Activities
Waldy Malouf has been the recipient of many prizes and accolades for his outstanding work. Due to his expertise at RAINBOW!, the restaurant received a coveted Mobil Travel Guide Four Star Award and was inducted into the 1997 Nation's Restaurant News "Fine Dining Hall of Fame." Nationally and internationally, Waldy has been the subject of stories in House Beautiful; Metropolitan Home; New York magazine; Ladies' Home Journal; Food & Wine; Paper; Time Out New York; CNN; The Food Network; "CBS Latin America;" "CBS Saturday Morning;" Brazilian Television; New York 1 News; and numerous Japanese magazines and guide books.
In October 1996, Waldy was one of five distinguished alumni chosen by the Culinary Institute of America to receive honors at their Golden Anniversary Gala, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association. He won First Prize in the Third Annual Cointreau Recipe Contest in 1992, and has been named a "Great Chef of New York" numerous times by the James Beard Foundation. He is a frequent participant in The New School's "Behind the Scenes at the Great Restaurants of New York" series, and teaches regularly at Macy's "DeGustibus." Additionally, he judges many notable culinary competitions.
Waldy has travelled to the farms, wine-growing regions, cooking schools and prestigious restaurants of London, Madrid, San Sebastian, Puglia, and the Sonoma Valley on behalf of the NY State Department of Economic Development, the NY Wine & Grape Foundation, and as a guest chef of the host countries. Another exciting project has taken him across the US thirty times and back as a member of a group of regional chef-consultants to Northwest/KLM Airlines. Their objective is to create in-flight menus that incorporate regional cuisine from each of the airline's major US hubs.
Waldy has been a participating chef for Share Our Strength/Taste of the Nation's annual fundraising gala for years and served on the Board of Directors for the American Institute of Wine and Food (NY Chapter). He co-chaired their annual Marketplace Tasting several years in a row. Additionally, Waldy has a commitment to hunger-relief causes and culinary education, volunteering his services at numerous food world events including those sponsored by God's Love We Deliver; the Culinary Institute of America; City Meals-on-Wheels; The James Beard Foundation; and Green Chimneys. This September, he will provide opening remarks on the topic of the future of sustainable cuisine at The Joe Baum Forum on the Future at The Culinary Institute of America. Additionally, he is President of the Board of Directors of The Ballet School of Stamford.
Waldy is currently developing a thirteen-part travel & food series for PBS. He resides in a former tavern built from logs in Pound Ridge, NY, with his wife, Meg, and their two children, Max and Merrill.