24 Hours in New York City: Jason Atherton
I wake up in New York overlooking Madison Square Garden. It’s the view that my wife, Irha, and I get out of bed to, at our room in The New York Edition hotel. The hotel has just launched and my new restaurant The Clocktower is located inside. It’s become a second home over the past few months.
I grab a coffee and then do a quick check of my emails. As well as my restaurants in Asia and London, we are working on launches in Dubai and Australia, so my inbox crosses over a few time zones. Breakfast is usually something light—yoghurt and fruit. As a chef, I’m tasting food all day, so I try to start on a healthy note.
First, I’ll head to an exercise class with Irha. We’ve recently discovered indoor cycling studio SoulCycle—it definitely wakes you up in the morning. Exercise is really important to me. I like to do a class first thing before heading into the restaurant to meet with the team and prep for lunch service. I also have a short session with a personal trainer mid-afternoon, once lunch service is over.
For lunch, we’ll take our two daughters out for something simple. Marta near Madison Square Park does great pizza: thin-crust, Roman style. It’s a venture between chef Nick Anderer and Danny Meyer, who I’m a big fan of. Then we’ll take the kids on some old-fashioned sightseeing around New York: the zoo, Central Park. We recently took them to the American Girl Place, a huge shop selling dolls—which they loved, of course.
To unwind at the end of the day, if I’m drinking, I’ll have a gin-based cocktail in the bar at The Clocktower—the Dill or No Dill cocktail with Beefeater gin, fresh dill, smashed cucumber, lemon juice, elderflower syrup and smoked salt is really refreshing. If I’m not drinking alcohol, though, nothing beats a good cup of tea.
Work is an integral part of my day—and happily so. It involves everything from working on new dishes with the chefs to running through the finances and planning for future openings. But after cooking all day, it’s great to go out to eat. I’m constantly on the lookout for inspiration. A personal favourite is Eleven Madison Park; the service is exceptional and Daniel Humm’s cooking is incredible. We’ll go for the tasting menu with wine pairings, around 14 or 15 courses. It’s a real treat. Hospitality is all about looking after each other—when Daniel comes to London, I make sure to invite him to one of my restaurants and take care of him.
To end the day, I’ll have a cup of tea, and watch an episode of Game of Thrones—we’re completely addicted.