ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., July 1, 2009-It's the home of the "Power Lunch," the place where America's power elite congregates to enjoy world-class cuisine as they broker multi-billion dollar deals. It is the Four Seasons in Manhattan and CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, will give you an unprecedented look inside the famed restaurant as it celebrates 50 years of feeding the biggest names in finance, politics and fashion.
On Friday, July 3rd at 12PM ET, CNBC will broadcast a one-hour special, "The Ultimate Power Lunch: 50 Years of The Four Seasons." In this one-hour program, host Bill Griffeth speaks one-on-one with the restaurant's powerful clientele about doing deals at this landmark venue.
Since its beginning in 1959, The Four Seasons has been a celebration of food, architecture and people. When the rich, famous and powerful gathered to celebrate the restaurant's golden anniversary, CNBC had the only cameras allowed inside the restaurant's golden anniversary. CNBC walked the red carpet with Stephen Schwarzman, Co-founder and Chairman of the Blackstone Group; Tony James, Vice Chairman of The Blackstone Group; Bruce Wasserstein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard; Barry Diller, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IAC; Mort Zuckerman, magazine editor, publisher and real estate billionaire; Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger; Hollywood powerhouse Michael Ovitz; British Indian novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie; and many others.
The term "Power Lunch" was coined about lunch in The Grill Room at the Four Seasons. Every day, dozens gather to do business in the glorious walnut-walled room designed by modernist architect Philip Johnson. Bill Griffeth sits down in The Grill Room to host a "Power Lunch" of his own with a table of restaurant regulars--media giant Martha Stewart, financial legend Donald Marron, Chairman, CEO and Founder of Lightyear Capital; and Dolly Lenz, Vice Chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman and the broker who has moved more than seven billion dollars of New York real estate. Griffeth gets the inside story on deals cut there and the ingredients of a successful "Power Lunch." He also learns about some of the rules that shouldn't be broken, but are.
Griffeth speaks with the restaurant's gracious hosts-long-time co-owners Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini. They hold the keys to the kingdom. As one regular puts it "to have them know you means something here." And they know everyone. Each day, they choreograph the lunch dance of the powerful-one hour of seeing and being seen. CNBC gets behind-the-scenes to watch them in action as we learn what it takes to get a good seat in the legendary restaurant that sits at the base of the Seagrams building. Griffeth gets the history of the building and The Four Seasons from Edgar Bronfman, Jr., CEO of Warner Music Group and grandson of Sam Bronfman, the founder of the Seagrams empire. Bronfman explains how it took a little trickery to get his grandfather to sign off on the building's design.
In addition, we find out what it takes to put together the world-class meals and gracious service that keeps these power brokers coming back. A Day in the Life of the Four Seasons, from the fresh organic food delivered daily to the exquisite preparation in the six thousand square foot kitchen to the experienced wait staff, many of whom have been there for more than 20 years, giving them intimate knowledge of their customers likes and dislikes to the main event, the delivery of a perfectly-prepared and delicious meal...CNBC cameras are there.
Bill Griffeth is the anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 12PM-2PM ET). Ramona Schindelheim and Charles Schaeffer are the executive producers of "The Ultimate Power Lunch: 50 Years of The Four Seasons." Kerima Greene is the senior talent producer and Kevin Kane and Jamie Corsi are producers.
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