In the wake of celebrity chef David Burke taking over all food service at the Garden City Hotel, the property's executive chef, Ari Nieminen, has departed. He is now executive chef at the Crosby Street Hotel in Manhattan’s SoHo.
The Finnish-born chef, who lives in Manhasset, cooked under chef Guy Reuge at Mirabelle (then in St. James) before embarking on a career in New York City that included opening the restaurant at the The Four Seasons Hotel, and running kitchens at Firebird, Café des Artistes, the Water’s Edge and Sea Fire Grill.
Nieminen took over the kitchen reins in Garden City two year ago, expanding the menu at the hotel’s Polo Steakhouse. When Burke transformed that restaurant into Red Salt Room by David Burke, he left Nieminen in charge. The two men worked together in 1988, when Burke was executive chef at the River Cafe in Brooklyn. Red Salt Room received two stars from Newsday in August.
In Nieminen’s absence, Burke takes on the title of executive chef with David Ladner, formerly chef de cuisine at Sandbar in Cold Spring Harbor, as chef de cuisine. No replacement for Ladner has been announced by Lessing’s, the hospitality company that owns Sandbar.
Red Salt Room is at the Garden City Hotel, 45 Seventh St., Garden City, 516-877-9385, gardencityhotel.com/red-salt-room.