Mickey Drexler came for lunch on Monday. Everyone was waving at him. I don’t know why it was very strange. I think it’s just because he’s a genius, that’s all. Martha Stewart was also back on Monday.
Peggy Siegal was here on Wednesday celebrating something, maybe her birthday. She was here with seven women, including Barbara Walters and Nora Ephron. Peggy doesn’t like large tables, so they waited while we set a smaller table for them. Barry Diller and Michael Ovitz were also here on Wednesday, but not together. Mr. Ovitz actually showed up with a nice pair of snow boots (I’m still waiting for my special-order Prada shoes from him).
On Thursday, after the snow, we were getting cancellations left and right, but we did have a lunch hosted by Perri Peltz for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The reservation was for 14, but there ended up being 21 women, even with the snow! I made them a nice meal, but I gave them a choice-when you have a lot of New York City women who don’t like to eat, you have to give them choices.
Former presidential hopeful Gary Hart ate at the middle booth in the Grill on Friday, and sitting in the neighboring booth was Michael Steinhardt. Bill White sat nearby with the Rev. Jacques DeGraff, who is a pastor at the Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem. He told me it was the last church Martin Luther King Jr. went to before his assassination, and that it was Nelson Mandela’s first stop in the U.S. as president. Can you imagine? I have to go there! The Reverend was a very dapper fellow, wearing a yellow shirt with a white collar and a blue patterned tie.
Connie Chung ate a late lunch in the Pool Room on Friday. I was worried about her in the snow because she was wearing these little pointy-toe stilettos with thin hose and an ankle brace. But then downstairs, at the coat check, she changed into big white snow boots.
Saturday’s cooking class was a great success! Everyone showed up on time. Some people were even here before 9 o’clock! Martha Stewart’s banker, Jane Heller, came with her husband. I think she is trying to one-up her culinary client! People had to bring their own knives. One woman thought she lost a 40-year-old knife that was a family heirloom, but it turns out she had had a little too much to drink! It was still at home. Next class I’m going to make them work much harder-they’re going to be peeling potatoes!
It was a good week after all, considering the turmoil in Egypt and everyone at Davos. A predictable January week: People drank a lot of red wine and Pete Peterson had a cold; some people get colds in the winter. I don’t, because I drink enough red wine.
Julian Niccolini is the co-owner of the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan.