LUCKILY FOR THOSE with a sweet tooth, Michael Mignano pursued his love of cooking and baking rather than following his first inclination to forge a career in medicine. Today he creates whimsically tempting desserts as executive pastry chef at New York City’s The Pierre, A Taj Hotel.
At the hotel’s signature restaurant, Perrine, opened in 2016, Mignano complements the restaurant’s indulgent nature with reimagined versions of classic flavor pairings. Growing up, meals shared with family and helping his grandparents sell their produce at farmers markets as well as his exposure to diverse culinary experiences in his hometown in Queens led him to the kitchen. He’s worked with Bill Yosses, a former White House pastry chef; developed the Mignano Bar, a gourmet candy bar; appeared on the Food Network; worked at various NYC favorites, including Charlie Palmer’s Steakhouse and Balthazar; and became the youngest pastry chef at The Pierre when he joined the team in 1998 at age 23.
When Perrine opened, both Executive Chef Ashfer Biju and Mignano drew inspiration from the seasons, creating clean, distinct dishes that allow the ingredients to shine. The restaurant’s neutral color palette and bold accents highlight the playful cuisine.
WHICH DESTINATIONS INSPIRED YOU, AND HOW HAS THAT INSPIRATION TRANSLATED INTO YOUR CULINARY CONCEPTS?
I have always been inspired by Italy and its robust outdoor markets. Looking at such an array of fresh produce and local game, the menu basically writes itself. You can’t go wrong.
WHOM DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR CULINARY HERO?
David Bouley — my very first job at 19 was working at his restaurant on Duane Street in New York City. I learned you should never limit your abilities as a chef. He also taught me the importance of knowing all the inner workings of a restaurant. Even when you’re the chef, you should always be able to work any station at any time.
WHAT ONE PERSON MOST INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING STYLE, AND HOW?
My Aunt Francy was a huge influence on me. Growing up in Astoria in Queens and spending summers with her and my family at our home on the North Fork of Long Island really gave me an appreciation for harnessing the flavors of local, seasonal ingredients. If you have a good product to start, you don’t have to over-season or blend in too many flavors.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD CITY?
New York City — we have everything, and I mean everything. So much variety, especially in the boroughs; the city has always been a melting pot, and with that comes fantastically diversified cuisine. Delicious!
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT BIG TREND ON THE FOOD SCENE WILL BE?
I think there is always room to continue refining street and comfort foods. I also believe you can get so much more flavor and authenticity in these dishes just by using better-quality ingredients and tighter presentations. You can always create a better culinary attraction.
THE PIERRE, A TAJ HOTE
2 E. 61st St.
New York, NY 10065
tel 212 838 8000
Read This Next
FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
Windstar Cruises Announces New Whole-Food, Plant-Based Menu
Windstar Cruises partnered with the National Health Association to create a new vegan menu available on all six of the line’s yachts. The plant-based dishes are prepared without added salt, oil or sugar, and are also gluten-free.
Enter to Win $500 and Get Six Months’ Free Access to the New GT App
Now through May 8, sign up for a free six-month trial of the Global Traveler app and be automatically entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card of your choice for Amazon, Apple or American Express.
Viceroy Announces Partnership with Out & Equal
Viceroy Hotels & Resorts recently announced a partnership with Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the premier nonprofit organization working exclusively on LGBTQIA+ workplace equality. O&E will provide Viceroy with LGBTQIA+ executive leadership development; comprehensive Diversity, Equality & Inclusion training and consultation; and opportunities for professional networking, creating and sustaining an inclusive and welcoming work environment.
One of Kyoto’s Newest Boutique Hotels Offers Japanese Traditional and Modern Design
Maana Homes is a boutique hospitality company in Kyoto with a mission to develop projects cultivating meaningful connections between Japanese culture and the rest of the world. Since the company’s beginnings in 2017, they have pushed the boundaries of traditional Japanese machiya by repositioning and giving them a new identity in the modern world. Machiya are traditional Japanese wooden townhouses popular with Kyoto merchants and craftspeople until just before World War II. Because Kyoto was not bombed during the war, many fine machiya survived to the present day.
Share Your Travel Preferences with Global Traveler in a Short Survey & Win
Learning more about our readers’ travel habits and preferences ensures Global Traveler delivers the content you desire. As the travel industry has adapted and changed over the last few years, it’s more important than ever to connect. To best meet your short- and long-term travel content needs, please help us!
The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko in Japan Introduces Spring Experiences
The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko in Japan offers travelers exciting experiences this spring. Opened in July 2020, the property overlooks Lake Chūzenji and Mount Nantai in Japan’s Northern Kanto region. With cherry blossoms (Sakura) set to bloom in April, the area is the perfect destination for a spring getaway.
Austrian Airlines to Bring Back Flying Chefs
DailyMar 22, 2023
Pendry Washington DC – The Wharf Review
eFlyer ReviewsMar 22, 2023
eFlyer NewsMar 22, 2023
Meadow Homes, New Boutique Vacation Rental Platform in New England, Launches
A new upscale vacation rental platform invites travelers to enjoy boutique properties across New England. Meadow Homes debuts with more than 20 properties in the countryside of upstate New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont, with a keen focus on large, private homes close to popular lake and ski destinations.
Exclusive Savings: Cruise Along the Danube River with Global Traveler
Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler
eFlyer NewsMar 22, 2023
Chase Sapphire Unveils Sapphire Lounge in Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Chase Sapphire recently unveiled the Sapphire Terrace on March 20 at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The new space provides Sapphire Reserve cardmembers with a place to relax and fuel up before flights. The indoor-outdoor space comes with lounge-like amenities.