Restaurant Design Video Series: Stephanie Goto and George Mendes
Designers and industry fans heeded the call of Interior Design to Check-In to 200 Lex for the fifth consecutive year to explore hospitality offerings at the New York Design Center. This year’s event offered a culinary theme as participants gathered at Gordon International for the first of four pairings—restaurateurs with their designers, that is—with Interior Design editor in chief Cindy Allen acting as the moderator.
Moving quickly from emerging to established talent, designer Stephanie Goto, whose projects include Paul Liebrandt’s Corton and New York’s Morimoto in conjunction with Tadao Ando, began the evening with George Mendes, chef of Midtown Manhattan’s Aldea. After sampling Mendes’s duck confit, listeners got the inside story on scouting and building New York restaurant space. Mendes felt a kinship with Goto whose design philosophy parallels his creation of signature dishes. “Minimal, with a focus on the food,” he called it. On the inevitable issue of client and designer conflicts, Goto told of holding her ground about rerouting the kitchen’s ventilation system to install one of her signature chandeliers, this one featuring over 500 acrylic rods. Mendes is now thankful for the designer’s insistence, adding: “It’s one of the most photographed elements of the interior.”
Video by Emilie Jackson