Source = Relais & Châteaux
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On 16 April, the co-founders of Zagat were presented with the Art de Vivre Award by the Grand Chefs of Relais & Châteaux. “This award was created in conjunction with our annual Dîner des Grands Chefs to reward the many years of relentless work and commitment to the culinary arts and a shared Art de Vivre” Jaume Tàpies, Chairman of the Board of Relais & Châteaux, noted.
In 1979, Nina and Tim Zagat, two Yale-educated lawyers, launched their first survey of 100 New York restaurants amongst 200 restaurant-going friends. Almost 33 years later, Zagat publishes ratings and reviews of restaurants, bars, hotels, shops, attractions and more based on the opinions of passionate consumers in over 100 cities throughout the world. Zagat is “a bible”, according to The Wall Street Journal and a fitting companion to Relais & Châteaux’s annual guide: both a compilation of a certain art de vivre above all.
Responding to the award Tim and Nina stated, “We have followed the Relais & Châteaux for as long as we can remember. We have always thought of them as one of the great culinary and hospitality organizations in the world. Zagat surveyors uniformly rate the Relais & Châteaux and their restaurants a 27 or 28 on our 30-point scale. Therefore, we regard this award as a great honour.”
The Zagat’s praise of cuisine is in tune with the philosophy of Relais & Châteaux. In 1954, the Association was born of this same desire to bring together Innkeepers who also placed cuisine as essential to their guests’ experience and were committed to the relentless defence of an outstanding art de vivre. Today, more than 520 charming hotels and gourmet restaurants (each Relais & Châteaux must have at least one restaurant), in more than 60 countries, offer their guests the opportunity to savour unique moments and experiences.
Patrick O’Connell, Grand Chef and President of Relais & Châteaux North America, presented the Art de Vivre Award. “I can’t think of a more perfect couple to become the first recipients of this award than Tim and Nina Zagat. They have revolutionised the art of restaurant reviewing. The accuracy of their surveys is clearly illustrated by the extremely high ranking of our Relais & Châteaux properties. For more than three decades, Tim and Nina have had their finger on the pulse of the ever-changing international restaurant community. On behalf of all the Grands Chefs and Relais & Châteaux properties, we salute them.”
On 16 April, for the second edition of the Dîner des Grands Chefs, 45 Grand chefs came together to create 15 outstanding menus, on the theme of ‘Springtime in New York’, in perfect harmony with the legendary wines of the Maison de Pommery Champagne. A festive dinner created for almost 400 guests from all over the world who had come to pay tribute to the American terroir, on Broadway, at Gotham Hall resplendent with the colours of springtime.The spirit behind this dinner has long driven Relais & Châteaux as it has Nina and Tim Zagat and was an occasion that deserved a celebration.